Coffee continued

This morning I was a little cleverer. I took a thermos. The one cup of coffee was not really enough. Cleverer in that I brought a thermos, not so clever in that I did not discern when the place, called Joe’s something or other, opened. Yesterday when I went out I didn’t really think about the time but it was early, still dark. There were people already having beers at the tiny, three-stool bar and they hadn’t just been served. I have to admire people who can do that. The guy sitting in front of me on the flight coming here had 2 bloody marys and 2 beers in the space of 2 hours. We departed at 8:15 am. And he was not young.

Anyway, I went out at 5:58 this morning assuming I’d find the same beer swilling crowd. But I was wrong. It opens at 6:30. I had to waltz around town a few times, peering into shop windows featuring thousand dollar glass sculptures of rabbits skiing or golfing before Joe’s opened and then I had to stand in line while a bunch of drivers from Mountain Express, ruddy faced, macho ski-all-year types who all ordered half-caf frappicino lattes with mocha shots or some damn thing.

I got a thermos of black coffee, straight up, thank you very much. It was the “morning blend” however, not the double caffeinated french roast. I like to be awake when I’m shivering my ass off on the slopes. But not jittery.

God, what’s a person to do

The apartment where I am staying in Vail does not have a coffee machine. It has one of those Nespresso machines. I don’t like them or the horse they rode in on. The coffee it makes, meh; the mess it makes is another matter. Every cup of coffee requires a little plastic container. Not so good with that.

As it turns out, there aren’t any of those little plastic things of coffee to use anyway. This causes me some concern because while I don’t drink that much coffee, I drink it every day and have for 40 years. So this morning I got up at 6 and went out looking for it. I’m not sure where one might find it in Milwaukee, but I’m guessing it’s an easier thing to find at 6 am there than it is here where lazy rich people are sleeping off hangovers.

I did find a place. It’s like 50 miles away. At least it’s not Starbucks.


I used to be perfectly happy with Maxwell House coffee. I mean happy for decades. When Starbucks happened I never really got into it. Or hanging out like that with my laptop though I might when I retire and am writing my memoirs, or maybe I’ll get into sitting there with my sketch pad making notes observing the comings and goings, getting to be a regular like my friend Jerry who does a syndicated cartoon strip and does this for inspiration. I can see the fun of that. But I digress.

I don’t really like waiting in line there. And well, I didn’t really care about the coffee anyway.

Then I dated someone for whom coffee was something of a religion. He ground his own coffee and had his unique blend and his special press pot and a special way of drinking it, fer chrissake. Then, somehow, I got that religion, I grind my own beans. I don’t yet need a French press, though I have one (thank you Karen), and I don’t really drink all that much coffee but I need my coffee to be a 50-50 blend of Alterra Nicaraguan and Kenyan coffees. This is not easy to accomplish. I have to go to the Alterra store and wait in the endless lines and get one bag of each and then mix them. Fortunately that only has to happen every few months, and, if worse comes to worse, I can deal with their Breakfast Blend.

For the record, my favorite cup is one I bought in Mexico.