My Morning Brew Makes Me Smile

I took this picture yesterday morning when I was enjoying my green tea. Coffee came later in the morning. Caffeine is a good thing.

Go Mama O coffee mug 2017

My Mother’s Day present

Isn’t this the best mug?

It makes me smile for several reasons:

  1. My seven year old mini-me drew it.
  2. It’s either a younger me or her self-portrait
  3. I emailed the gift idea to my husband prior to Mother’s Day.
  4. He “surprised me” with it.
  5. I accidentally opened the box it shipped in because I’m usually the only one who does online shopping. Oops – surprise!

Here’s to hoping you’re drinking your own favorite beverage from a mug that is as meaningful and fun as mine. ┬áCheers!

Life Lessons from Coffee: You Get What you Pay For

After nine years of trusty service, my coffee maker broke. Its inevitable demise was so anti-climatic. I filled it up with water, lined the basket with a paper filter, scooped in the grounds, pressed the button, and waited…and waited. Nothing. I tried unplugging and replugging it in another outlet, pressed the button, and more nothing. Since I’m kind of addicted to my morning fix and frugal, I both wanted my coffee and didn’t want to let good, locally roasted ground coffee (not freshly ground that morning) to go to waste. Being an avid tea drinker as well, I decided to let my coffee steep like so.

mama O making coffee when her coffee maker broke.

Boiling water over coffee filter that’s chip-clipped to a measuring cup. Genius, right?!

This was effective, but not the same experience as my regular old coffee maker. One friend suggested the “pour over” method. I was once served coffee this way in a nice, local coffee shop, though they used specific equipment for this method, instead of my plastic funnel. This video from America’s Test Kitchen breaks it down:

The results: amazing! It takes some time, but the quality and taste was excellent. I compared this with a cup of coffee from the grocery store that I bought on an early A.M. run to the store for a few things. The results were telling, in more ways that one. Here’s what I found in the bottom of the cup:

Grounds in my grocery store coffee

Not “clouds in my coffee” but grounds. Yuck.

It’s no surprise that grocery store coffee is lacking in quality and taste compared to the carefully brewed at home pour-over method, Starbucks, or any local coffee shop. This was a great reminder that you truly do get what you pay for. Be it money, time, convenience, or the overall experience, there is a definite price / value relationship.

Lesson Learned – don’t buy cheap coffee! I also just replaced my defunct coffee maker with a beautiful new Cuisinart one. My first cup this morning was delicious! I’ll stick with my new machine and from time to time the “pour-over” method in my house.