Coffee Confessions

I admit that I like dark, strong coffee. I prefer not to put anything in it. Sometimes, though, I will change things up and have a twelve ounce mocha with four shots of espresso.

They asked me about my coffee preferences today at my regular coffee haunt. The two brews available both work for me so it was sixes. What I’m looking for a good cup of coffee is what seems like a clear and unambiguous flavor. I don’t want woody or winey blends, or coffees that shrink away from being strong.

It prompted thoughts of the coffees that I don’t like. I know you’re curious and anxious about it, so here’s the list.

  1. McDonald’s coffee
  2. Dunkin Donuts
  3. Starbucks
  4. Any other fast-food place where I’ve ever sampled coffee, like Burger King, Wendy’s etc.

People are often shocked when I mention Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. Eyes bugging out, their voice rises. “You don’t like Dunkin Donuts coffee? I love it.” They gape at me as if I’ve just spoken an alien language. I imagine them going home to loved ones in a state of shock. The family gathers around to comfort them. “What is it, honey? Are you okay?”

They slowly respond from their depths of horror, “You’ll never believe what I heard today.”

“Tell us, tell us.”

“Michael doesn’t like Dunkin Donuts coffee.”

Gasps all around.

It’s always amusing when one person is appalled that another doesn’t the flavor that they love themselves. “You don’t like Budweiser? I think that’s the best beer in the world.” I, course, respond without snobbery, asking, “Have you had any other beer? Do you have any taste buds.” See? I’m just like them.

I feel like I’m required to mention Seattle’s Best, Pete’s, and Tim Horton here. I’ve never had Tim Horton, so I can’t comment on it. I’ve had Seattle’s Best, and can take it or leave it. I do love Pete’s Coffee; it’s my go-to when there’s a need to find some and it’s there.

My coffee days began in the military over a quarter of a century ago, when American coffee options were much smaller. I was a shift worker. Night shifts sometimes required some stimulation, especially those of the twelve hour variety, in at six in the evening, out at six the next morning. In those bunker-like places without windows, lit by fluorescent and tasks lights, warmed by multiple telephones, radios, and computer terminals, I began drinking coffee.

I began with the leftover day shift coffee, you know, whatever was still in the pot. I’d nuke that sludge and drink it down. As my taste buds developed, I realized how dissatisfying that was. Actually, it was nasty. Instant, like Nescafe and Sanka, was then embraced and discarded. They frankly seemed worse than the warmed up sludge.

I started brewing my own pots. That’s when my preferences awakened. I figured out what strength I preferred when I was required to measure out the scoops for my pot. In the early days, it was, “More is better.” Command posts and operations centers typically had Folgers or Maxwell House. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I found them weak and unappealing, forcing me to bring in my own grinds. Then I started buying beans and grinding them at home…

Yes, I was hooked.

It’s amazing how many coffee options now exist. It seems like just like everything else in the world, we go for overkill, trying to fill every niche and nuance of flavor and delight.

I guess I can live with it, as long as I get mine.

12 thoughts on “Coffee Confessions

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  1. So here’s something I’ve discovered about myself and coffee. I can easily say I’m not a coffee snob.

    The coffee I dislike the most is what they provide in hotel continental breakfasts, lol. Or in the room itself for you to prepare in your own. Secondly it’s quick stop or mini mart coffees.

    Other than that I’m fine, I can drink old coffee that’s sitting out for a few days, I can drink coffee that’s cooked all day, Folgers, instant (which has a curiously good nutty flavor) the dreaded Starbucks and fancy coffees from unique shops and my favorite is girding beans and using my french press.
    How much I love those different coffees depends on mood.

    Coffee drinking is by far a simple task. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, you know, I can subjugate the snob in me and drink all kinds of coffee that makes others recoil. Its temperature doesn’t bother me; I’ve walked in, picked up an old cup of coffee and drank it down without a second thought, horrifying others.

      You’re right about that hotel continental breakfast coffee. It’s usually pretty bad, something that I choke down for the energy to go find a real cuppa. I’ve had a few of those quick stop and mini-mart coffees, and yes, they’re on my list, too. Nevermore, you know?

      Yes, mood and coffee…and need…lol.

      Thanks for commenting. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The “Golden Arch” is good coffee–especially when the turnover is fast so the coffee is always fresh. I also love “Timmy’s”–that’s Tim Horton’s and it is also very good. But my Hubby and I have an all-time “only” and that’s a local beanery called “2 Per Cent” who roast their specialty blend of beans once or twice a week in small batches, but it’s oh-so-tasty without leaving any bitter after-taste. And yes, I agree with Erroneouschoices and you that hotel coffee and buffet coffee are awful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll need to take your word on the Golden Arch coffee, but maybe that’s why it tasted bad to me; not many were buying it so it was not fresh. Don’t know. Years ago, but it made enough of an impression that I haven’t gone back.

      Your 2 Per Cent sounds enticing enough to try. I do enjoy small local roasters. They’re usually damn tasty.

      Thanks for commenting. Always enjoy exchanges about coffee. Cheers


  3. I too might say I’m not a coffee snob, but with Starbucks and other specialty coffees getting so expensive. I’ve gone back to my coffee roots, or how my grandfather made coffee. It was a Nescafé (not instant) and he boiled it in a clay pot with cinnamon and a clove and used unrefined sugar to sweeten it. Cafe de La Olla ☕️ it’s so good so now I make it for myself almost every weekend because I drink espresso at work. Let’s just say I need the energy to NOT kill my coworkers, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll pretty much drink any coffee other than regular black coffee, but the stuff I really like is anything loaded with milk and sugar (which is why I hardly drink coffee anymore). The one that got me hooked way back in the day was Tim Hortons English Toffee Cappuccino 🙂 I really want a coffee now…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s a good coffee topic for me to write . You are impatiently standing in line forever it seems in a coffee shop waiting for a crowd of self preoccupied people giving complicated orders for lattes, smooothies… to only one server working? you just want a plain coffee to get you going to write. Now what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and the irritating thing is how often the preoccupied people don’t seem to think about what they want until it’s their turn to order.

      While standing in such a line, I once contemplated writing “Coffee! The Musical”. It was all about the people’s orders and the barristas’ reactions to everything going on — the customers they know, and their private thoughts, the secret crushes, etc. It could be a lot of fun.


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