The title stands tall and proud all on it’s own. To start the day, enjoy a sunrise, sunset, or share with close friends. In my case, it is nearly lifeblood. I drink it black. Simple & satisfying. I liken the adding of creams, sugars, and flavorings that so many people seem to enjoy to dousing a USDA Choice Porterhouse with A-1. My auto drip coffee maker is on a Christmas tree timer on the kitchen counter. It fires itself up around 5:30 a.m., and runs continuously on weekends till 8:30 p.m. More often than not, I override the timer to get a late cup. I’m a simple man so my go to is the cheapest stuff I can find in bulk at Costco Warehouse. I also have this thing where I drink the cup to just below 1/4 full, then refill it. Keeps the temperature to my liking. Apparently that’s weird.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy a fine cup of coffee. Perhaps all the cheap stuff primes me to appreciate the good stuff that much more. It’s like bottom shelf vodka – If you want to spend time at the local happy hour, you better get use to lesser brands. My wife doesn’t like the cheap stuff so much, coffee or otherwise. But she’d rather drink my swill for her first cup than get up early and defeat my “system”. The “system” is economics. I drink coffee in significant volume so I am willing to trade quality for quantity. I am sure I use it to self-medicate my untreated ADD, but that’s a whole other post for another time. The Keurig was costing a car payment to feed, and we wore it out/replaced it twice before shelving the unit in lieu of Mr. Coffee. But it was good coffee.

There are times when I really crave more than my typical cup of Joe. When the wallet presses a bit harder on my right cheek when I sit, and there’s a Satrbuck’s nearby – when isn’t there a Starbucks nearby – I like a simplistic Flat White. I’m the last one to order, and the first one to have product in hand. At home my wife likes her java with half & half. At the coffee shop it has whipped cream, caramel, salt, chocolate and whatever other flavor the particular season has to offer. Flat White please.

In the evening she gravitates to tea – equally flavorful blends with a touch of honey. After the kids are tucked in, she uses teas for aroma therapy, stress relief, calming, and clearing sinuses among other things. She earns it. I often find myself enjoying the sight of her fulfilling tea experience – usually while sipping trusty ol’ Kirkland (Costco store brand) out of a paper travel cup – cause you just never know. If we happen to come across a shop that sells loose tea, we’ll get a couple flavors for her to try. Then the issue becomes not having enough of the ones she does like, and too much of the ones she doesn’t. We have a cabinet for them. Throwing them away would be disrespectful. I’ll stick with Earl Grey. Black.