We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, July 24. 2013
— My special thanks to D.M. for the nice contribution he made this morning to my Help Keep Doc From Gnawing Off His Right Foot fund. While the hospital has been real easygoing about the debt, the independent lab that did the in-depth blood work is already talking 'collection agency' for my being a whole month behind. On that note, it does seem in recent years that companies have become a lot more short-fused than in the past. My electric company gives you a whole 20 days before they cut your power, and without any further warning.
— I won't be posting much over the next week as I'll be saving up the goodies for when Bird Dog goes on vacation on the 1st. Who leaves for vacation on a Thursday is anybody's guess, but I figure he and the missus are headed for the Two-Seed-In-The-Spirit Predestinarian Baptist All Revival Revue & Clam Bake in Wopaskisquipsiecola, Mass, which starts on the 2nd.
As for the following, I turned yet another person on to this great drink the other day, so figured it deserved a repost.
Personally, I think coffee is one of the most putrid things I've ever tasted. I simply can't understand how it ever became popular in the first place. You'd think someone would have taken the first sip and gone, "Yuck! Ptooie!", and that would have been that.
On the other hand, I adore its effects.
If you feel the same way, try mixing it with chocolate milk. And I don't mean just adding a dab of chocolate, I mean making it half-and-half. It's called a 'mocha' ("mo'-kah") in the bar world and, while I wouldn't call it "great" tasting, it sure beats the hell out of straight coffee.
I boil half a cup of water in the microwave, then drop in a heaping teaspoon of Taster's Choice, some sugar cubes, then fill up the second half with chocolate milk. I have no idea if chocolate milk mixes tastefully with other brands of coffee or not as I've drunk Taster's Choice from the beginning. So, if you try this and it tastes terrible with your own brand of coffee, at least pick up a tiny jar of Taster's Choice and give it a try.
The chocolate milk should be the type you prefer, but you should test all available brands. Like there are different types of chocolate in the world of candy (Hershey bars vs Mars bars, e.g.), there are also different flavors of chocolate milk.
Remember, we're not looking for a big "Mmm, delicious!" moment when you take your first sip. Simply not gagging and retching is a good start. What you're basically shooting for is whichever milk makes the putrid coffee taste the most palatable.
On the subject, one of my favorite things in the world is my coffee mug warmer. Your local hardware store or K-Mart/Wal-Mart might carry them. What's fun is that the chocolate milk in the mocha settles slightly over time, so if you baby the mug along for an hour or two, it slowly goes from being a coffee-with-chocolate drink to a hot-chocolate-with-coffee drink, getting slightly sweeter all the while. In that way, the mocha is kind of unique, as it's actually a 'dynamic' drink in that the taste changes slowly over time.
As a small side note, I noticed while digging up the accompanying pic that there appears to be a number of USB-powered warmers on the market, although I'd have serious doubts they're very effective. A USB line carries an extremely low voltage and I'd guess that it'd take forever to warm up (by which time your coffee has gotten stone cold) and it wouldn't get very warm when it finally did. The regular wall-current models keep it piping hot.
And, ironically, the one place where you might use a portable, USB-powered coffee mug warmer would be, say, on vacation using your laptop — and the last thing you'd want to do at that point is purposefully drain the laptop's battery!
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I remember driving through beautiful little Wopaskisquipsiecola one day. The church steeple at the head of the town square? Adorable!
I've been drinking mochas since you first posted this one zillion years ago. Thanks again. :-)
I just tried it with some Folgers and it was...awful. But I've scribbled down Taster's Choice on the shopping list because you might be right. Taster's Choice is quite a bit different than 'standard' brands like Folgers, Maxwell House, etc.
When I used "gag and retch" in the post, I was distinctly thinking of the Folgers I'd had at my mom's place a few days before. Taster's Choice is, indeed, quite different. Also grab a small bottle of each brand of chocolate milk, since that can also make a fairly big dif. Let me know how it works out.
Coffee "putrid"? As in "Decaying or rotting and emitting a fetid smell"? What are you drinking, cause it's definitely not what I'd call coffee? First of all, you need ground coffee, not instant. Instant is nasty, though still not putrid - more like burnt tyre nasty. Next, you never boil your water in the microwave. You need to boil water the way nature intended - in a kettle. You pour the boiling (!) water over your ground coffee, freshly ground if you can find any, and stir. If you want sugar, add it a bit later. If you want milk, add just a tiny bit, otherwise what you get is a sickly brown milkshake with a coffee aftertaste. Enjoy!Also, don't use too much coffee cause it only tastes bitter and gives you palpitations instead of the energy kick you were counting on. ;-)
"Coffee "putrid"? As in "Decaying or rotting and emitting a fetid smell"?"
No, more like a mold slime that's been decaying in a harbor for 35 years while wet dogs peed on it. Lofty, but with a hint of bouquet.
As far as dealing with beans goes, it's both a time factor and a 'desire' factor. As long as mochas are 'okay', then I don't feel the need for anything better, much less something that takes up a bunch more time.
"instead of the energy kick you were counting on."
Hell, I'm just trying to stay awake in the drowsy tropical island heat. :)
Ah, I have the perfect sucker test subject for your little experiment, Doc. I have a new roomie who was bitching about the taste of coffee just the other day. I'm going shopping this afternoon so I'll pick up the implements of torture special ingredients and shall report back. Let's hope for a gag- and retch-free experience!
"No, more like a mold slime that's been decaying in a harbor for 35 years while wet dogs peed on it. Lofty, but with a hint of bouquet."
Whatever coffee you are drinking, there is something seriously wrong going on with it! ;-)
Your description is very evocative, but not in the attractive sense. I do hope you stumble across good, aromatic, seriously tasty coffee sometime, and become a convert :-)
Actually, I've heard of this before, but never tried it. I'm gonna do so. I'm not a big fan of coffee, either, and like you doc, I don't want to fuss with beans and all that.
We residents just call it 'Wopa' for short.
My personal (daily) favorite:
A mug of whole milk (you can use lesser test if you Really think that's going to keep you above room temp longer. ha.) microwave warmed for 1 minute. Add 2 heaping spoons of Nestle Quik and 1 level spoon of Folger's. Heat again depending on mug size, usually 1 minute or less
I'd try Taster's, but my budget limit's me to Costco Folgers.
First off, instant coffee and you make a decision on that? I love good coffee, instant is not that, no matter what marketing tells you, Starbucks, overpriced and at best, marginal to good, but cost vs enjoyment NO WAY. Grind your own, maybe use a pregrind like Folgers Silk, or any other dark roast, finely ground coffee; 7 tablespoons and 8 cups of water in a Bunn coffee machine... 180-190 F; heaven on earth. If you want to bum it up with sugar, chocolate and milk, do so at your own peril. Not that I don't love chocolate or milk, just not in a good coffee! Sugar... ehhhh.... glucose is glucose, wherever you ingest it.
A good cup of black coffee is divine and goes well with so many things: donuts, pancakes, eggs and bacon, cake, brownies, cookies, a BLT. I could go on and on!
I have never liked coffee with anything added to it. Black only.
I feel badly for those who do not drink coffee because it can be found for free in so many places...especially at churches, work and at meetings. I highly recommend that everyone find a taste for coffee. When you're down on your luck, at least you can have a free cup of coffee!
I guess there's something to it, cause my dad used to drop a small piece of dark chocolate in his Sanka. I never got into it (I've always been a tea person), but he just couldn't drink it without it. I've had them in the bar and they're pretty tasty.
Mocha frosting on yellow cake for a birthday cake.
Best in the world.
When I was a kid (mid 50s) my dad owned a restaurant with a soda fountain. A very popular item was a mocha malted frappe (milkshake). Chocolate ice cream with coffee syrup or coffee ice cream with chocolate syrup.
Nowadays I use 14 oz hot whole milk with one heaping tablespoon of Taster's Choice and two packets of instant cocoa mix. Two shots of Irish whiskey make it tasty.
--without sufficient coffee, i'm in a gauzy dream world of indistinct beings shouting something that sounds like "Are you alright?"
Why don't you just buy coffee ice cream? A gallon a day keeps the doctors away.
Some folks do have strange reactions to coffee. I recall a guy telling me about drinking his first cup of coffee while on night guard duty. Apparently he proceeded to have fun with the machine gun and woke up the camp. They came to take him away in the morning.
I like to make coffee in a French press and mix 1/2 mug of hot coffee with 2 rounded tsp sugar, 1 rounded tsp cocoa, and a dash of real vanilla flavoring (stir together the sugar, cocoa, vanilla in mug before adding coffee). Top off with at least 2% milk and heat to desired temp. Only takes 5 minutes or so and is much better to me than using chocolate milk/instant coffee. YMMV.
Also, a scoop of chocolate ice cream (one without a lot of thickeners/additives) is not a bad substitute!
From brief research, USB 2.0 offers a half amp at a nominal five volts for a whopping 2.5 watts. While largely impractical as a cupholder, the cat gives off more heat than that.
That said, Van Houtte French Roast in a Bodum, taken straight up, is a fine thing. What #8 said. Just say no to glucose.
Doc - I agree with what you said about big stores having a "shorter fuse" these days. It seemed like you could go right up to the 2-month mark before stores would start getting serious, issuing threats and penalty fees in the old days, but these days it's the 30-day mark plus 1 second and you're in deep kimchi.
As for the mocha, pass the Red Bull, please. :-D
I'm sorry Doc, sugar in coffee is just icky. Plain, or with cream, but no sugar.
If you must drink instant, Nescafe clasico is the best of the brood.
I had a roommate once who drank nothing but Nescafe, so it's definitely got a following. As for the sugar, I view it as a vitamin supplement. Good ol' Vitamin S.
At one point, I had the entertaining choice between being violently ill if I drank coffee (incipient ulcer) and incapacitated (violent mood swings, never mind the headache) if I didn't drink it. I kept drinking it, just with milk. That my diet was almost exclusively coffee, chocolate, and alcohol at the time might have been a factor.
I'm sure it would be better if I quit....but I don't want to deal with myself without my coffee, never mind the rest of the world!
As a few people have hinted, you're judging coffee on damn near the worst example of it (the worst being Navy coffee).
It's a deep rabbit hole, but if you want to dip just one toe in the water, try Eight O'Clock coffee (original) or "Joe" from Trader Joe's. Either (any coffee, in fact) is better bought whole-bean and ground just before brewing, but pre-grind if you must (that is, buy the Eight O'Clock pre-ground or grind the Joe yourself in the store) and brew it fresh. (Really, the best best way is to buy the beans green and roast them yourself three days prior to grinding them, and then brew them with water at.... but like I said, it's a deep rabbit hole. Enter at your own risk.)
Those two are far from the best available, but they're both so much better than any instant that you'll probably get the idea. And you might like either without so much adulteration. Those two are my standard coffees because they're decent and cheaper than the really good stuff. Try one of those and see if you don't come away with a different point of view.
And for the record, sometimes I like instant. But I have standards.
Thanks, but as I mentioned above, I'm just in it for the buzz. As long as I don't gag and retch while taking a sip, I'm good to go.
But what if you could not only not gag or retch, but actually enjoy it?
A fair question, but as I said in the post, it just gets more and more chocolatey, and thus better tasting as it goes along. Besides, if it was too tasty, I'd start guzzling it down, heh, and I'm supposed to be drinking less coffee these days because of my blood pressure problem.
I recently made my own decision to drink less (no blood pressure concerns; quite the opposite, every time I give blood or get a physical they ask me my secret; I wanted to drink less so it would have more effect when I need it) and it was a little bit of a challenge, but I've done it. Only two cups today, and frankly I needed both of them.
Well, if you're just looking for the buzz there's always NoDoz.
If you MUST drink instant, buy the overpriced Starbucks Via packets. They give you twice the caffeine buzz, and taste way better that those revolting granules of other instant coffees. We keep them in the car to stay alive on long car trips...
Also have some real espresso again, made in one of those Rube Goldberg machines before you give up on the taste of coffee. Life's too short to drink bad coffee. If you like mocha, try one of Starbucks' mocha drinks. They're pricey but will wake you up. And taste scrumptious.
Or you could just buy a cheap espresso maker with a milk frothing attachment, but they tend to get clogged up by the minerals in the water fairly quickly. And it's more fun to people watch at Starbucks than clean out an espresso maker at home...
We recently went camping and we bought Via for my coffee needs. I was surprised at how good it was. Much better than the competition for instant. But so damned pricey!
We are now going to keep some with our camping supplies as a staple.
1) open a can of sweetened condensed milk, decant into several mugs, add instant coffee and slightly stir.
2) put the mugs in a freezer, spoons in. The concoction won't freeze, it'll just become taffy-like.
3) when ready to drink, just add hot water.
4) if in a hurry, just take a bite --it's really good, and colder than ice cream.
5) pay no attention if your kids gather in front of the open freezer discussing something in low tones.
That's basically a cheap version of Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Which is liquid crack, and I should've suggested it myself.
--and pbird too!
Liquid crack, or Hoplite Phalanx at a dead sprint
Reporting in: the first words out of roomie's mouth were "Hey, I don't feel like retching or gagging at all!" Granted, she had read your article first so she was clued in on using the proper lingo. Like you and the other heathenistic blasphemers instant coffee drinkers, she simply won't take the time to prepare a proper cup of coffee, so if one simply must go the instant route, this appears like a pretty good suggestion. She thought it was terrific and is preparing a second cup as I type this. "Thanks, Doc!" she just yelled at me. So, Doc, even despite your nauseatingly disgusting daring, bold adventure, it seems there's an exalted place for you atop the nearest bonfire pedestal.
Ginny - Your blatant zealotry kind words were very appreciated. It's times like these when you can really tell who the foaming-at-the-mouth religious idolators good folks are. If she's single, please tell your roomie I'm very handsome and dashing available.
Yep, that's what the blogs are all about -- honest communication between peers!
You're weird, man. Are you a Real Doctor? If so, you're the
only one I ever heard of that didn't like coffee.
No, not a "medical" doctor.
A doctor of video.
That kind of doctor.