Coffee for Me


I began drinking coffee as an undergraduate student at Cal-State Los Angeles. In those days it was a State College rather than a State University. I liked being able to schedule my classes for just two or three days a week, but that meant long days. It was “institutional” coffee that was served in the “Top of the North” cafeteria or in the Student Union, and I had to drink it with too much cream and sugar.

After graduating in December of 1971, I did my student teaching and had a concurrent internship. That meant I taught a 60% load and got paid at a 40% rate at Oak Avenue Intermediate School in Temple City, California and spent the next forty years teaching in Orange and Villa Park, California.

Forty plus years drinking teachers’ room coffee–sometimes so thick I’d cut it with a knife and drink it with a fork.

For my first several years at Yorba JHS in Orange I had breakfast most mornings at Poncho’s on Tustin Avenue. I became such a regular that as I walked into the restaurant one of the waitresses would put my cup of coffee on my “usual” table or spot at the counter. She’d keep it full until I was ready to leave. Rich always had my breakfast ready at five to seven–good coffee and strong enough to get me ready for a day full of teenagers.

One morning a new waitress complained to Rich that no one had ordered the meal he had just put up for her. He said it was mine. She looked in my direction and I confirmed it. Yum, chili and cheese omelet, hash browns and sourdough toast. Of course, that was back in the days when I ran six or more miles per day and could eat like that.

At home I had a variety of drip coffee makers over the years and usually brewed Yuban coffee. In those years when my classroom(s) was too far from the teachers’ lounge/office to get coffee between classes I’d bring a large thermos and drink from it most of the day.

I couldn’t drink coffee late in the day or I had trouble getting to sleep. This even happened with decaf. I guess my mind/body just thought coffee = caffeine stay awake and do something.

For the last ten years or so I’ve used a Cuisinart coffee maker that has an internal grinder so I could have fresh ground coffee in the morning–it made good coffee–but the grinder was difficult to clean and became more trouble than it was worth. It was easier to use my small electric grinder rather than the one in the coffee maker.

In Retirement

Most of the time since I retired in 2012 I’d drink most of a carafe and, as thrifty (cheap) as I am, I’d microwave the rest the next day. More? I’d use my wife’s electric teakettle to heat some water and make instant coffee. The same if I wanted decaf in the evening, my body having adapted to caffeine, or lack thereof, in retirement.

But, instant coffee isn’t really coffee or, at least, doesn’t taste like it is.

A buddy of mine solved a like problem with the purchase of a K-cup machine.

Hmmmm . . . too expensive (remember I’m thrifty). I didn’t like the idea of more trash (K-cups), and I still have a good coffee maker.

Decided to look for a machine which would brew both a regular pot of coffee and single cups.


Well, I found a Cuisinart that would do the job–for two hundred dollars–ouch! I also found a Hamilton Beach for eighty dollars that would brew a pot, a K-cup single and came with a K-cup sized filter for using my own ground coffee. But, remember I’m thrifty; I sat on the idea for several weeks.

Last week I shopped for the Hamilton Beach on Amazon and found it for $79

I found the same model at Target for $89. However, if I ordered it online from Target the price was $79 and another 5% off with my Red Card. So, I bought it online and picked it up at our local target.

Washed everything out last night and brewed a pot this morning — mmmmmm, delicious coffee. This evening I’ll try the single serving side with some decaf and see the result.

PS: Had a whisky instead of decaf. Sunday morning I had one cup remaining in the carafe and zapped that in the microwave to drink while I read part of the morning paper. Read the rest of the paper while sitting on the exercise bike and then fixed Charlie’s breakfast and another cup of tea.

Rather than make a full pot of coffee I decided to try the single (K-cup) side of the coffee maker. Filled my coffee cup with water, poured it into the single-cup reservoir and inserted a Trader Joe’s Medium Roast K-cup. A few minutes later I had my second cup of coffee — ahhhhhh . . .

Note: Currently, I’m drinking a blend of Trader Joe’s Medium Roast and their Kenya AA.

Another Note: Right after I graduated from CSCLA the name was chanced to CSULA (University). I was sent a letter offering a new diploma with the “University” name for a one-time payment of $50. Think I got one? Remember, I’m thrifty; No Way, Jose!

At my feet
At my feet

Picture of the Day & Box Wine

An English Summer
An English Summer

I am a fan of Trader Joe’s wines, specifically, their boxed California cabernet. Had a short glass after dinner while watching the Angel / Dodger game. It seemed as though there was still some left in the box but little came out.

Took the plastic pouch out of the box — there was wine left — a good deal of it. Snipped one corner of the pouch and held it over my empty glass — I was able to pour an entire glass of wine from a seemingly empty container.

Well, there are still a couple of sips remaining in my glass — the game is tied at 4 – 4 in the bottom of the ninth.

Bottoms up!