Om Namah Shivaya


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Don't Make Me Call the Flying Monkeys". Keurig cups, Sugar and Cream; Coffee Etiquette at the Stout House

 Anyone who knows me knows that I *LOVE* coffee.  I love smelling it straight from the bag, in fact during marching season I keep a bag of beans in my car to smell when I'm exceptionally tired.  #Isthatweird?  I'd wear a perfume made from the stuff if I found one.  It's the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I get ready before I go to bed.  While I prefer the medium to dark roasts in the form of whole beans that I can grind myself, if it's hot and black with sugar and cream on the side (preferably FF Hazelnut creamer by Coffeemate if you have it), I'll drink it down cause it's all "Sweet Nectar of the Gods".

So it came as no surprise really when my inlaws presented us with a Keurig one-cup coffee maker for Christmas.  The first thing my father-in-law handed me was a box of Keurig hot chocolate cups.  As I was thinking "Do they know you need a special coffee maker for these?" my mother-in-law rounded the corner with her customary "Now if you all don't like this the receipt's in the box" and Keurig maker in hand.  As the only serious coffee drinker in the house at the time, my initial thought was "We're gonna have to take this back and give them their money back because I can't make *my* coffee with this thing", then Tim started lookin' it over and wanted to give it a try so we took it home.  

The next morning I awoke bright and early like normal and thought I'd take this new coffee maker for it's maiden voyage...what could it hurt.  I mean, if I didn't like the coffee it produced I could always grind up a pot of my favorite (currently back on "Love Buzz" and "Mind Body & Soul" mixed together....yummmmm) in no time.  I pulled the monstrosity of a "small" kitchen appliance out of the box, found the instruction manual and gave it a quick cursory glance.  *Who reads these things anyways?*  I rinsed all the parts, ran two cycles of water through, popped a "Keurig Cup" into the holder, put my big ol' mug underneath, hit the *big* cup button and waited.  A squelching sound, followed by the whirr of the motor and coffee started streaming out.  Interesting.  It certainly looked hot, but was it good?  

No.  #Bummer.

My first disappointment came when the *big* cup button produced just a touch over half of my big mug.  My second disappointment came when I took my first sip.  Yuck.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  I don't remember what flavor I was trying, but I do know it was a flavor I'll *never* try again.  Not only was the taste of plastic (even after the two recommended water cycles) extremely strong, but it was as if I were drinking the worst, "been sittin' on the burner for days, reduced down to a syrupy consistency, concoction labeled *coffee*" that I've ever had.  I resisted the urge to gag.  I'll be honest that I gave the new coffee maker a good honest run and could never be turned around to it.  My husband on the other hand?  He *LOVES* it.  It has turned him into a coffee drinker, which I love(d), and find somewhat amusing.  The man, who for years, has turned his nose up in disgust at the mere thought of drinking coffee now, if it's possible, drinks more coffee than ME!

Black, two sugars, two *big* cups is how he takes it.  Millstone breakfast blend is the preferred Keurig cup flavor, and then there's the coveted "One Chai Latte, One Millstone please" concoction he put together a couple of weeks back.  Thankfully he purchased a reusable cup filter thingie while I was at MMEA so he can now use his favorite Folgers flavor which is great because it's *way* less wasteful and *way* more cost effective.  Those little cups are expensive and don't do any favors for the planet!

So you're probably thinking this is a win-win situation for each of us.  He has his coffee maker, I have mine.  He has his preferred flavor/method as do I.  He prefers some sugar, while I adore my creamer.  What's the problem?  Coffee etiquette, that's the problem.  As the *senior* coffee drinker in our house and relationship, I have established "common sense coffee etiquette" rules that I would love for him to get the hang of, and if you plan on drinking coffee at my house you might want to pay attention as well ;)

1) Please don't use my coffee mug!  I know it's weird, but that's the way I am. Like a cast iron skillet, it gets seasoned with each fragrant pour of my coffee and chosen creamer.  Just like you don't care for my flavor of coffee, I don't care for yours.  Please don't spoil my sacred coffee time with careless use of my mug.
You're used to me doing weird things and I know even this shocked you the other night when I made my request.  Thank you for not using my coffee mug anymore.  For others let this be your gentle warning.  ;)

2) When making your coffee in the morning, CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF when you are finished.  You wouldn't leave a trail of sugar on the counter-tops and floors at work, why do it at home?  I don't leave splatters of cream or coffee grounds when I'm finished, so it would be lovely if you would clean up after yourself as well so I don't stumble out in the morning & find myself walking onto sugar granules and coffee grounds scattered on the floor and then trailing my hand through them on the counter.

You know my cleaning obsession can't deal with this so why add *another* thing I have to do to my morning routine?  #notfair

3) PSA: You don't need to use a new coffee cup every.single.time. you have a cup of coffee!  I rinse mine out every morning when I'm finished and it's ready to go the next time I'm ready for a cup.  Do the same with your cups please.  *Rinse* them out (use soap if you want that's okay!) then put them on the rack where they can air dry.  This way I don't spend half my evening rinsing out coffee cups because you want a cup of coffee yet don't have anything to drink it in.  Choose your cup for the week, or deem one *yours*, as I have.  Like a seasoned skillet, it will get better with each cup if you just rinse it when you're done.

Is that gross?  I don't know and frankly I don't care because as the "Boss", as my husband has dubbed me, I get to make the rules for the inside of the house because I take care of it.  So rinse your cup out yo!

4) Speaking of rinsing...rinse out the SINK after you dump coffee down.  One thing that has stuck with me from 7th grade "Home-Ec" is the statement "A clean sink is a sign of a clean house"...know where I'm going with on this one?  RINSE THE SINK OUT!  Don't leave coffee splatters to sit all day long.  They stain, especially a white ceramic sink like ours.  #RINSEITOUT

5) Until such time that I am graced with a breakfast bar, OR a #kitchen island, our counter space is limited.  Everything has a place and a space to live ontop of said counter.  When you're finished with making your coffee *PUSH* your coffee maker back into it's corner.  It takes mere seconds, makes the counter look cleaner, and will force you to clean up your coffee grounds.  I do it every.single.night after I set my coffee up for the morning (timed CM's are the best invention ever!) and it takes less than 30seconds to do.

Did anybody else catch my gift suggestion?  ;)  Just checking.

I know these all seem simple and trite, but it's all apart of living with one another, getting along, and practicing basic etiquette.  What is etiquette you ask?  My 8th grade orchestra can answer that for you...etiquette is "Required behavior" for whatever situation you're in.  So practice good coffee etiquette.  Not only will the "Sweet Nectar of the Gods" smile upon you every morning as you waft along on it's heavenly aroma but I won't have to call the flying monkeys on you ;)

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