Sunday, March 13, 2011


Europeans are pretty clueless about coffee regardless of what they think. They make not bad coffee but try and get a cup full?  Impossible.  You have a choice of something called Expresso which is very good coffee served in a thimble which I can toss back like vodka or Coffee Americana which is Expresso with an equal volume of boiling water in it.  Served in a small cup.  About two good gulps.  There is also something called Cappuccino which is the same as coffee with cream and sugar but costs three times as much.

Historian-Nan at All The Good Names Were Taken posted a picture of a kitten head down in a coffee cup that pretty much sums up my relationship with the stuff.  When I am working at my computer, I like to have a hot cuppa on my desk at all times.  This can lead to consumption of large volumes.

Since I got my Melita coffee maker  I have been able to keep track of just how much that can be at times.  Filters are 40 to a pack (oh, did I mention I like statistics and numbers and graphs and such?) and a pack lasts two weeks.  The pot makes, if I fill it to the brim with water, two mugs of coffee.  400 mls per mug. I measured.

Forty mugs per week minus five that Tanya drinks (one cup in the morning about five days a week) leaving me with 35 cups per week or five cups per day.  Two litres per day.  Some days I drink three cups, other days seven but I start to vibrate a bit after seven cups.  Tanya is always after me to stop drinking coffee, blaming it for all ailments real and imagined.

I did stop cold turkey maybe 15 years ago.  Home sick two days then on Tylenol for three until the caffeine dependency wore off.  I drank herbal tea for several months. It comes in two flavours, regardless of what the box says. Boiled grass and Feedlot runoff.  I do drink real tea.  Earl Grey being my favourite black tea and sometimes I even drink green tea but it will never be habit forming.

The other day Tanya took my blood pressure.  135/90 which she said was high and I should stop drinking coffee.  I did for 48 hours.  Longest two months of my life. 

I've had this cartoon since pre-internet days; scanned it from a Xerox copy I got decades ago.


  1. I have a 20 ounce insulated mug that I drink from all day long. You know, perhaps, that coffee drinkers are no more alert than non-coffee drinkers, although they are much less alert if they haven't had their coffee.

    I didn't know about the Europeans, but rarely drink expresso because it comes in some ridiculous cups, which would seem to imply a much higher caffeine content than it actually has--based up my experience.

    One of the surgery centers here in town won't bring you coffee in recovery because they sell it downstairs, so they expect the patient to find someone to go down, buy him a cup, and bring it to him. So, there you are, fresh out of surgery and with a killer headache, and the bastards won't give you a cup of coffee, nor will they let the nurses have coffee makers on their unit because, as with the patients, they want to sell it to them. I would literally give up coffee before I would buy theirs.

  2. I know this is against all you've taught me, but I like decaf better. Two cream, two sugar.

  3. I swear, it became the chief occupation of my visit to England - the search for a "real" cup of coffee. I remember almost skipping with glee to a kiosk that said they had it, whatever they called it (drip or perk or something), only to be told they were out. Oh the weight of the crushing disappointment!

  4. Interesting description of herbal teas: "Boiled grass and Feedlot runoff." J is a firm believer that all teas fall into the former category.

    May I recommend "Monks' Blend" among the blacks, and "Chai Green" among the greens.

    P.S.: Yes, I'm back; beware the peculiar ursine creature.

  5. I know your pain. I gave up coffe once back in the early nineties and it was like having the flu. I also share you opinions regarding all the wussy coffee that's so common now. I like black coffee. I want that shit to be thick as hell, like a New Orleans fog. No cream, no sugar, no nothing. Just coffee, goddamitt! By the way, I recommend Community Coffee, which is what I drink. I love it, I need it, it's like blood and it's good.

  6. Snowbrush, they are already charging you three times the world price for the operation and they can't supply the patients or the nurses with coffee? Pretty disgusting.

    Also, Expresso does not have much caffeine in it. The darker the roast the less caffeine.

    Tattytiara, a French press makes great coffee. So if you are traveling and can find a place that has French Press coffee on the menu, it is as good as anything you will find in NA. thanks for commenting.

    May-B, decaf is an idea but I am not sure of the process so is it better or worse for me? and double double is NOT coffee. Coffee should be hot as hell, black as night and bitter as marriage, according to my Peruvian friend, Victor Mares.

    Rob, we have 20 or 30 different brands of tea in any grocery store but none that you see in Canada. Someday I will make a list of them.

    Anonymous, amen to how coffee should be drunk. The best coffee I have ever tasted is Saltspring Island. You can find it on the net and they ship anywhere they claim. It is Fair Trade and all that other good stuff too. And thanks for commenting.

  7. I drink copious amounts of coffee everyday. Tried tea for awhile last summer because of stomach problems, turned out it was my meds, not the coffee. I would put tea bags (2-3) in the basket of the coffee maker. Learned that trick from a friend who drinks tea. He gave up coffee many years ago because it gave him headaches.

  8. Wow, I think of coffee as a remedy for headaches rather than a source of them--that's why you find caffeine in OTC painkillers. Yet, every drug has scores, if not hundreds, of effects, and many of them are opposite to one another.

  9. Yeah, it's disgusting. To tell people who can't get out of bed that they have to find someone to go buy coffee from the medical clinic that they're in bed in screams that all the doctor/owners really care about is maximizing profit. I wouldn't be surprised if they started charging patients to park in their lot. I took my business elsewhere, partly because of their coffee policy, yet they're the biggest clinic in town, and they have the only practitioner in town in some specialties, so people really have no place else to go.

  10. How much money can they possibly make from the coffee compared with the ill will they generate? It is like the roadside gas bars/convenience stores that put up signs that say washrooms for customers only.

  11. "When I am working at my computer, I like to have a hot cuppa on my desk at all times. . ."

    A man after my own heart. I just have one cup a day. However, I keep that one cup going all day and into the night.

    I come by it honestly. My family on one side is coffee-loving Swedes, and I really got the gene. If anything happens to me, they'll probably hold a national day of mourning in Brazil and Colombia. :)

    Re: health. Coffee has been studied many times without finding any credible negative health impacts. Some folks are by their nature affected more by the stimulative effects of caffeine. No surprise there. A news story the other day said a new study shows a cup of brewed coffee a day can help prevent certain cancers in women.

    One blood pressure reading is like a paragraph out of novel. It tells you very little. Morning, noon and night readings over a five- or seven-day period gives you an idea of where you are. The 135/90 is a bit high. Assuming you weren't upset, hadn't just exerted yourself and the reading was taken properly, it suggests you should follow up with a series of readings.

    If the series shows a definite tendency to be above 120/90, especially higher than 90 for the diastolic, or second number, steps should be taken to bring it down a bit. There are several ways to do that. The best, if your weight is at all over the ideal weight for your height and age, is to shed a few pounds by decreasing food intake a bit and increasing walking quite a bit.

    If that doesn't quite do it, a visit with your doctor or primary care provider is in order.

    In the meantime, enjoy the coffee.

    (BTW, the URL for my blog has changed from to


Comments are encouraged. But if you include a commercial link, it will be deleted. If you comment anonymously, please use a name or something to identify yourself. Trolls will be deleted