Hot beverages never fail to amuse

Paula
Paula Tessier
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If you know one thing about me it is that I have a serious weakness that is much stronger than I will ever be. There was a time, during my first pregnancy, when I was advised to give it up, stop cold turkey. I did. It was dangerous for all around me.

During my next two pregnancies I was allowed to indulge in my weakness but with moderation. Fine, I could show restraint and did just that. But you never saw anyone nurse a cup of tea so long in your life.

That’s right, tea is my Achilles heel, always has been always will be.

Hubby doesn’t share my love of the nectar of the gods. He does, however, conduct a love affair of his own every morning and it comes in the form of a very hot cup of coffee.

Triple the caffeine requires fewer trips to the machine, but he loves his one or two cups a day. A pale comparison to my at least six huge mugs of tea, but I digress.

Hubby takes his coffee very seriously. Personally, I don’t get it, but it’s like a not-so-secret, secret language.

When I was a child, my parents had a glass coffee percolator that rested on a small wire base and went directly on the burner. You could watch the water get sucked up into the skinny glass tube inside until it reached the top where it flowed back down over the coffee grinds. This continual action happened until the water in the pot was the perfect strength, stray coffee grinds and all. It was fascinating to watch — could you tell that we didn’t have cable?

I always loved the smell. That bold, warm, comforting aroma filled our house as I happily reached for my tea.

We’ve come a long way since those days of the glass pot on the stovetop. I remember when pre-filled coffee filters came on the market, touted as the perfect pot with little cleanup.

Then came the pre-filled single bag; like a tea bag but with coffee. Apparently, with convenience comes cost, as I remember them being ridiculously expensive for so very few. But again, hubby takes his coffee very seriously so we always had them on hand.

Nowadays, we’ve gone 17,000 notches higher with the single-cup coffee-brewing machine. There are different brand names, and of those brand names there are different models. Incidentally, with two sons sharing their dad’s love of coffee, we are now on our third upgrade.

So, last weekend, while enjoying Sunday morning breakfast at our place in Green’s Harbour, my caffeine-craving husband was preparing to work the coffee machine. It’s a new model so he’s not quite used to it, and patience, it seems, is not his strong suit before he has his first cup.

It went something like this:

Pod went in, cover clicked shut, waited for the indicator light to push the button … nothing. Lifted the cover, ensured pod was properly placed, closed the cover, waited. And waited, and waited. Checked the back to ensure there was adequate water in the storage compartment, flicked the power button off then on again. Still no water for the waiting single cup. There may have been some foul language at this point.

Eventually, after several attempts, the machine started to hum and the cup was filling. Finally! His eggs were getting cold but it didn’t matter. The coffee was hot.

As he sat at the table, ready to dig in and enjoy, something in his cup caught my eye.

A weird and unsettling pattern was swirling slowly at the surface of his coffee. The pattern of, you guessed it, spoiled milk!

It hurts to see a grown man cry, so thankfully he didn’t. Instead, there was yet a little more unprintable language and then a laugh.

Turns out, all these years later, you still don’t need cable when there is coffee to be made.

Email Paula Tessier at chickp@bellaliant.net.

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