Back when Seattle was In and Happening, Time (or maybe Newsweek, but I remember it as Time) did a “Seattle package” including a cartoon from Lynda Barry. The cartoon began with a friend, incredulous, asking how Barry could have sold her house in Seattle to move to Chicago. Barry’s explanation points out that it’s dark half the year and damp always. “There’s a reason they drink so much coffee there…”
This has become one of my frequent quotes. There IS a reason we drink so much coffee here. Starbucks house blend is often derided as burnt and bitter, but it’s not atypical of what you find in much of Seattle. Including my office.
Due to some sort of maintenance, the office had no coffee one day last week. To see me through this dire circumstance, I took a thermos of coffee to work.
Now, I usually take cream and sweetener in my coffee. At home it’s cream and splenda, or if we’re out of cream, hot milk and splenda. At work we have little 1-oz half-and-half “mini moos” and equal. I knew I used a lot less sweetener at home. I thought that was because the cream did a better job of blunting coffee’s bitterness than half-and-half, or that the coffee mugs at work were bigger.
With coffee I’d made myself from a thermos, I needed much less half-and-half and sweetener than the normal work coffee. We’re talking 3 of the little min-moos in a 14-oz mug instead of 6. Hm.
(I’m not against a strong, smooth, rich coffee, mind. I’m just not fond of strong and bitter coffee without the smooth or rich.)
Since then I’ve been adding the lesser amount of half-and-half and hot water to the work coffee. Lots of hot water. It’s much more tasty.
And the nice part? It’s about taste, not calories, protein, or fat.