I drink instant coffee but don’t offer it to guests; I pull out my secret stash of the good stuff. Last Saturday, for example, I took from its honored place on the shelf our high priced coffee made for complicated machines that use measuring cups, filters, and glass pots. I don’t know how to run such machines so I asked our daughter Emily to make a pot of real good coffee for our son’s graduation party. She did and I thought all was well. At least I enjoyed my cup of this gourmet blend served only on special occasions.
When the party was over I was puzzled to see how much coffee was still in the pot but secretly happy; I had leftovers for the next few days! On Sunday morning I poured cold machine-made coffee into a mug and put it in the microwave. On Monday morning I did it again, polishing off the remains—good to the last drop.
Imagine my shock when Emily at a later family gathering informed me she didn’t drink Saturday’s coffee claiming it was inferior to fresh ground beans. We like our kids to be firm in their convictions but her smugness was one bean short of hoity-toity. I protested, “What’s wrong with that coffee? It’s not instant; it’s made for coffee makers!”
“Dad, that coffee is old!” she argued with more than a little fervency. “It smelled terrible!”
I said, “It wasn’t terrible. I reheated it twice since Saturday and it was great.”
At this news her husband Jason, all her siblings, and all their friends erupted. “What? You drank reheated coffee? The stuff Emily made from that old can?”
I marched into the kitchen, found the gourmet coffee, and presented it to them with flair, “What’s the matter with this can of coffee?”
Jason read it, “Fred Meyer Supreme Blend? They don’t even make that stuff any more.”
Daughter Olivia’s fiance Brandon removed the lid and sniffed. “This smells like old Saltine crackers and ground up twigs.” Elliot our 18 year old pulled some old Saltine crackers off the shelf for comparison purposes, apparently feeling this bolstered their case.
“But it’s two pounds, seven ounces of real coffee!”
Jason turned the can over and read, “Use before August, 2003.”
“You’re drinking coffee you got when Elliot was eleven!” came the cries. Apparently one is not supposed to drink, much less reheat, coffee that’s seven years old.
Brandon took the can and with flair dumped the contents into the garbage, “There! Now you can’t use it at all.”
Thoroughly chastened, I yielded. I couldn’t out-argue a mob of vociferous coffee aficionados, especially now that my secret stash was gone for ever.
So now I’m going to learn about coffee pots. I wonder how often one can reuse a filter and grounds.