The Flapper was not a morning person, and I seem to take after her. We knew not to bother her as kids unless and until she had her first cup of joe; instant Nescafé coffee that is. A heaping teaspoon of granulated coffee crystals with sugar and Half and Half combined with a cigarette was her morning ritual. Doris Day would serenade us on the radio, as the sun streamed into the kitchen through fat wooden Venetian blinds.
Bob has always been a morning person. He is insanely happy to start each day, and always loved cafe au lait, that is lots of sugar and milk with his brew; after giving up his morning bottle of Coca Cola that got him through Med School. And we became coffee snobs. We were very early adopters of “grinding your own” and sought out exotic blends of coffee in the Berkshires, pre-Starbucks proliferation era. Even when we moved back to NJ in 1987, new friends were surprised to hear the roar of a coffee grinder after dinner.
So I guess it should come as no surprise that both our children requested new coffee delivery systems for the New Year. The Rocker is marrying Cait, a non-coffee-drinker, while back in Nashville the Groom never touches the stuff. There was also the matter of being sustainable, avoiding the pitfalls of plastic pods and such. So the Bride and her brother wanted to brew an excellent cup for one, and not trash the planet while also feeding our family addiction. They went into serious research mode.
Which single cup pour-over coffee maker is the best, French Press or Chemex?
After days of deliberation on both sides of the country, they both received as gifts a Chemex pot! The funny thing is, this clear glass fluted pot looks similar to our old way of making coffee, with a Melitta. The Melitta company has been around for over a hundred years, and probably fueled many late night dorm studying marathons for Boomers. It comes in two parts, a plastic funnel and the glass carafe, and its filters are comparatively cheap.
We switched to a Keurig in the last few years for its speed and convenience; and though there is some guilt about the pods what I really miss is waking to the smell of coffee brewing. That was always Bob’s job when he was home. It’s like our gas fireplace, I miss that wood burning smell too but not the mess. And I remember Nelly Bly saying that even with his dementia in full swing, Daddy Jim could still make a great pot of coffee. So like phone numbers, and letter writing, will we all forget how our ancestors made coffee, percolating over an open flame?
These little faces greeted me yesterday morning for some latke-merry-making in the kitchen. I used the Bride’s old Keurig before frying up a batch of pure Jewish perfection. Happy New Year to one and all, and may caffeine be your addiction of choice too!