Using My Bean

I like to think of myself as a pretty nice guy. I make sacrifices sometimes ("No sacrifice too small!" I always say.) Especially for The Lovely Wife. During her first pregnancy, I all but switched to decaf coffee when I was brewing the morning pot. She, of course, was very diligent about what she was consuming, and alcohol and caffeine were just easy to cut out*.

And so it was with the first pregnancy that I drank decaf coffee in the house, and found my dark roast brew when I was on the road. I didn't feel particularly deprived at the time, but I figured that the "best" decaf available in the supermarket -- that is, costing less than $14/lb -- wasn't really comparable to the best coffee-in-a-tin at that same store. That was until the second pregnancy.

During the breastfeeding days, and when The Lovely Wife found herself once again in that delicate state (aside: we now know what causes that), it was back to the decaf routine. Only this time, there were two slight changes. One, she didn't feel the need to cut out 100% of the caffeine in her morning brew. She would be content to have half-caf and limit herself to one or one and a half cups in the morning. "Who's making the sacrifice now?", you'll say. Secondly, we located some decent dark roast Swiss Water Decaf in the grocery stores, making what little sacrifice I was still making that much more enjoyable. Now I could enjoy a combination of Supermarket Dark Roast and Supermarket Dark Roast Swiss Water Decaf (SDRSWD). Brilliant! Right?

Not quite.

I'm usually pretty good about reading labels. But clearly the last trip I made with The Toddler to the supermarket was not the height of diligence.  After the move, we'd run out of coffee altogether. Actually, that's a lie: we had some whole-bean Caramelo (or Butterscotch, and if anyone can tell me the difference, I'll buy you a coffee), but that only lasted for two pots in the new house. Also, the coffee maker from heaven brews large pots, so even a decent amount of ground coffee doesn't always go far.

So this morning, I become the accidental martyr:  I realise as I'm scooping 5 scoops of the Supermarket Dark Roast and 4 scoops of the SDRSWD that what I'm actually combining is:

Supermarket Dark Roast Swiss Water Decaf, and
ORGANIC Swiss Water Decaf.

That's right. I've invented the Half-Organic-full-decaf Supermarket Blend.

And this being Thursday, it's day 3 of this clever blend. Truthfully, it tastes pretty good, but I have an inkling as to why I've been craving the good stuff so early in my workday.

Speaking of which (and I know a certain someone out there will appreciate this), I have done what I thought nearly impossible. I have found an actual coffee house in the vicinity of my workplace. The workplace that previously gave me the options of Tim Hortons, or watery faux French roast in the cafe downstairs. The place I stumbled into is actually a bakery/dessert shop, and I was delighted to purchase a strong cup of Indian Monsoon dark roast just yesterday. I will certainly try to support any tiny establishment who chooses to take up the battle against bland coffee. And should I choose to stay at this job for a long time, I do not wish to see this place disappear.

So, score 1 for Mike, and one for those crafty Swiss. Next time the French will win.

*I should say that alcohol and coffee were easy to cut out. The chocolate was another story.

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Posted bythemikestand at 7:07 AM  

13 stepped up to the mike:

Christine said... 8:09 AM, August 10, 2006  

butterscotch coffee? was it good? i think i'd just prefer a nice dark roast coffee (double cream) with something caramel-ish to accompany it; were i to crave two flavours at once. flavoured coffee, aside from smelling delicious, is pretty obnoxious most of the time.

and i'll have to get the name of the shop from you, when we venture out. my husband university'ed in halifax (cape breton being the home front) and is itching to visit again.

TinaPoPo said... 11:35 AM, August 10, 2006  

I really can't get into the flavored coffees, but I'll take flavored over nothing any day of the week.

I'm not looking forward to getting pregnant and having to give up both coffee and wine. It will be a cruel, cruel 9 months.

themikestand said... 11:51 AM, August 10, 2006  

Chrstine: Butterscotch coffee is an interesting treat, but not for everyday consumption, as far as I'm concerned. And I concur: I'd rather have something chocolatey or caramelly with coffee, not IN coffee.

Tina (Ms PoPo if you're nasty?): Agreed. Good in a pinch, that flavoured stuff. And I didn't want to bring it up, but my wife gave up beer for the first pregnancy and never picked it back up. She clung to the wine glass with certain vigor during the second, limiting herself but not going entirely without. We think it made for a happier baby. So there you go.

Christine said... 9:13 PM, August 10, 2006  

i think wine makes for a happier MOMMY which in turn makes for a happier baby.

i'm still working on this theory, of course, with pre-teen and newly-teening children.

since i'm also an instructor, the algebraic equation is:

wine = happy mom = happy kiddies

Sassy said... 11:11 PM, August 10, 2006  

I was completely lost during most of this post - but I enjoyed it nonetheless. :)

Christine said... 7:37 AM, August 11, 2006  

and since i was obviously drinking wine and testing the theory, the actual equation is,

wine + mommy = happy mommy

although, wine is a variable and can be substituted with coffee (before noon).

Mocha said... 8:33 AM, August 12, 2006  

Yep. "someone" is proud. Butterscotch coffee? Wow. What am I missing???

The Expat said... 11:38 AM, August 12, 2006  

Mike... you are a brave, brave man.

Giving up the neccessities of life... a good husband though. I am sure TLW will appreciate it.

Stay sane.

Dustin said... 8:14 PM, August 12, 2006  

Coffee, bleh! Such a horrible way to consume caffeine. I like mine in IV form. Mmmmmmmm...straight to the heart.

Mrs. Flinger said... 4:52 PM, August 14, 2006  

Oh, sounds just like our house right now. Me, being the knocked up one, and him being the "you got me addicted to coffee and now you go all limp on me with DECAF?"

But butterschotch coffee. Yummers and Yummers all over again.

Megan said... 7:07 AM, August 15, 2006  

Wow. I am really behind on coffee times considering I only understood about half of what you are talking about. Here it is small cup of dark coffee or cappuccino. Sometimes you can get a coffee and milk cup. Forget the gingerbread-pumpkin pie lattées of Starbucks. Not available in France.

themikestand said... 10:30 AM, August 15, 2006  

Gee, I get a lot of comments when I post about coffee. What gives? :)

Christine: I get your wine math. Same for our household.

mocha: You're not missing all that much if you use flavoured creamers... except that the flavoured beans, as you know, don't carry the sweetness -- a bonus, in my books.

dusty: IV caffeine..I like it. Can you take it on the airplane with the new TSB regulations?


Ms Flinger: Can your husband now use the word "limp" with complete safety now that his job is done?

megan: Sounds like France knows what's important and is probably laughing at the coffee wusses in the world. I'm sure the Turks and the Greeks are doing the same. I gotta get me some REAL french roast.

Steph said... 12:48 AM, August 30, 2006  

Hmmmm. dessert cafe? In HRM? Any chance you'll disclose that location?

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