Thursday, May 31, 2012

Drink Coffee and Live

 A friend of mine sent me an article about the latest scientific research that shows how people who drink six or more cups of coffee a day have a definitive 10 percent increase in their ability to stay alive while others are not staying alive. That’s right. A clear decrease in overall mortality due to a constant consumption of the divinely provided beverage, el Cafe.

Um. But if you smoke. No deal. You throw it all away.

Of course, they didn’t say what kind of coffee these people were drinking. And it’s scary to think that people are living longer if they are drinking one of the major coffee brands, sold in large, coffin like cans, stale and tasteless. That stuff could kill a vulture. I wouldn’t want to live longer if it was only to drink that stuff.

If you could see my face right now you’d see a clear look of disdain as I contemplate drinking such offensive coffees for long periods of time. I mean, I can have a cup at someone’s house, I’m not a snob, but I try to avoid it whenever possible, not because I’m too good, but because it is too bad.

I ran out of good coffee a few weeks ago. I was too lazy to go to the store. My wife had a can of the “good” to the last drippy stuff. Seriously. It was stunning in its awfulness. I had forgotten how bad it is. Soooooo bad. It’s almost like they’re doing it on purpose.

Maybe someday I’ll post about how we’ve lost our taste for decent coffee. It is a historical fact, a tragedy really. A by-product of war and forgetfulness. But, for now, I leave you with this encouragement:

Don’t just drink coffee and live. DRINK GOOD COFFEE AND LIVE!

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2011


  1. What's good? Boy, I could do a blog about that, but I'm not crazy into it. I just like decent coffee. Cheap coffee, like Maxwell House and Folgers, is the worst for too many reason to recount here. The problem is, a lot of people have grown used to it, and they think of good coffee as "too strong," when strong/weak has nothing to do with it. That's like saying that water melon that tastes sweet and fresh is too strong compared to water melon that isn't ripe and tastes watery. -- I try a lot of different coffees to see what I like and have a sense of adventure about it. I try different amounts, starting a little heavy, then back it off just enough to take out the bitter without taking out the taste. So, say I'm making a pot of coffee, I get a new bag, start it at 11 or 12 scoops, then back it off as necessary to get it right. (How big is a scoop? I don't know, Tablespoon? It's a coffee scoop. You have to go by your own anyway.) I have roasted green coffee beans myself, learning about the art of roasting in the process. Most of the time I get whole bean already roasted and grind it in a cheap burr grinder (40 bucks, which is cheap for a burr grinder), and occasionally I'll use ground coffee because I can be lazy. -- My favorite coffee, in general, is coffee from Sumatra. I am also developing a taste for Guatemalan coffees. Ethiopian is very good as well. I found a very inexpensive Guatemala coffee at Meijer's (their own brand) that absolutely rocks. I also found a coffee by a company called "Westrock" that is from Rwanda and is pretty amazing. They buy from a Rwandan coffee company simply trying to set a good example of how to do business. -- If I'm going to get a preground, I often get Starbucks Cafe Verona blend, or Kauai Single Estate Hawaiian, which is a lighter roasted coffee. That kind of thing. Something decent. -- It does not pay to buy large bags/cans of preroasted/ground coffee as they will go stale very fast, just like bread does. Most of them are already stale before you even get them. They cost very little because they are crap and the farmers/workers used to gather them are paid next to nothing. Buying bad/cheapo coffee encourages poor conditions for workers. Fair Trade is a gimmick, mostly, in my opinion. Only cooperatives, worker owned, can even qualify, so a lot of good farmers are shut out because they actually own their farms (heaven forbid!). If you want to help farmers/workers, simply buy good coffee. You pay a little more, but it is waaaaaay worth it. And it encourages good farms and practices, with better wages.

  2. Wow. All I know is that, generally, I really don't like the taste of coffee - but I love drinking coffee if it's sufficiently doused in flavored sugar. I like it less for the taste, and more for the "full stop" or "period" that it provides at the end of an event.

    For example, you eat breakfast, and you know you're done when you've polished off your coffee. You go out to meet a friend and you know your meeting is done when your coffee is gone. You get home from doing something and have a cup of coffee to end one sentence and start another. That sort of thing. In this respect I am almost as big a fan as you are.

    It started in England with tea. PG Tips to be precise. I think that's why they don't have as much of a weight problem over there. Because people will have a cup of tea to set the world to rights and it really accentuates daily life. Instead of turning to sweets at the end of a meal - you turn to tea. It provides a starting and ending point to many activities - and it's something to look forward to - gives direction in a strange sort of way.

    I still drink PG Tips, but I accentuate my days more with coffee now that I've returned to this country.

    Nothing else seems to get the old bowels moving more than a cup of coffee either - that's another reason I like it. Not to mention the "wake up" factor which, as a mother of 3 chilren under the age of 5, is pretty handy.

    Neat coffee is kind of like beer to me - I don't like it, but I'll have one if it's the only thing going - I put this down to mankind's oral fixation.

    So, it seems there is a lot of philosophy; lots to discuss on this topic. I will bear your suggestions in mind, although we are a one income family on a budget so I might not be able to sample any of your suggestions unless I find myself in an unusual social situation with avid coffee connoissuers such as yourself.

    I appreciate, and understand, your fervor on the subject though. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have been considering tea. I have tried PG Tips and several other brands. I like the idea of tea, but find myself simply trying to find a tea that has a full flavor like good coffee does, but that's not going to happen. Tea is a different beast. So I've been exploring it a little. Coffee is actually rising in popularity in regions of the world that once were tea domains. England and Japan, and they say China is next. This is partly due to the influence of Starbucks, and partly due to American influence in general. -- I find Twining's Irish Breakfast Tea to be good though. That's my fave tea so far.

  4. Yeah ... tea is a little more gentle and forgiving than coffee. It's like candy sometimes to me mixed with milk and a little sugar. To get the full "British" tea experience, I've found that you have to purchase an electric kettle and boil your water that way ... otherwise it's just not the same. Electric kettles are a household staple in England ... I was pleased to discover you can get them here too. If I ever see you again, when I visit Justin, we should co-host a coffee/tea party. :)

  5. Just let me know ahead of time.


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