Cup O’ Joe

by Courtney Sirotin on January 27, 2012

Post image for Cup O’ Joe

One thing I really enjoy is learning how other people take their coffee at home. I’m not talking about at a place like Starbucks, where it is easy to get something elaborate, but at home, where you have to purchase the ingredients yourself and are committed to your style of drinking. I also like seeing what kind of mugs people use and what temperature they like the liquid to be. Do they heat the milk first so that the whole drink stays hot or are they okay with just a warm coffee? It is all very telling.

For no other reason than that it interests me, I am going to share with you how I take my coffee. I realize this is not a very fascinating topic to many/anyone but me, but I’m going to do it anyway.

First of all, let it be known that I despise anything but scalding hot coffee. This means that unless I am near a microwave, I have to drink it quickly. At home I can zap my mug regularly so I have the option to sip slowly if I want, though I do tend to drink quickly just because it’s in my nature to do so.

Step 1: Retrieve Mug

This is my favorite mug because of its size. We have a Keurig, which brews a set number of ounces per cup, and this mug accommodates the coffee and its accoutrements perfectly. Also, the fact that it is a tall and narrow mug, as opposed to wide and short, means the coffee stays hotter longer as it is less exposed to the cooling air. I am okay with the fact that it is a Christmas mug.

Step 2: Add Soy Milk

I have dabbled with all kinds of milk and milk alternatives in my coffee. I’ve tried almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk and regular milk. I like the creamy and chalky nature of soy milk the best. I’ve also tried all the milks in sweetened, unsweetened and flavored varieties and like the unsweetened, plain best too. (Stay tuned and you will see that l add my sweetener later.) I use approximately 1/3 cup of soy milk.

Step 3: Add Creamer

Look, I like it sweet and creamy and I’m not apologizing for it. I like this flavor and brand of creamer the best because it is not artificial. I wish it was organic, sure, but at least it’s not made of chemicals. I add approximately two tablespoons to the mug.

Step 4: Microwave

I then microwave the milk mixture for exactly one minute and fifteen seconds. It rises to a boil just before the microwave dings so it is nice and hot! (Yes, I see the mess in my microwave…but what do you expect from me? I am a mess, remember?)

Step 5: Sweeten and Stir

I then add two packets of sweetener and stir. I use organic stevia packets most of the time but I have a box of Splenda in my cabinet too. I will sometimes use one packet of each. They all taste the same to my palate, but my reason for mixing it up is simply that if one of them turns out to be really bad for me at least I’m splitting the difference.

Note, if you were to drink what is in the mug right now you would keel over from the sweetness.

Step 6: Add Coffee and Stir

Now for the good part! I use the Keurig, as I said, and have a strong preference for the “Extra Bold” Kcup varieties. I like the Newman’s Own Organics (regular and decaf) and Tully’s Kona Blend (regular) the best. I have one cup of caffeinated and one cup of decaffeinated each morning. If I didn’t add so much milk and sweetness to my drink I probably wouldn’t need the Extra Bold blends, but I love the way the rich flavor cuts through the sweetness. I like a thick cup of coffee. I also love the foam that’s created from the Keurig!

Look, my cup of coffee is not everyone. In fact, it may not be for anyone but me. In fact, don’t even try to make it (not that I ever thought you would) because you will not like it. But I do, and that’s what makes this topic so interesting!

If you don’t mind me asking, how do you take your coffee? If you want, I will draw conclusions about you based on your answer and you can tell me if I am right…? Everyone likes to be analyzed on the internet! Don’t forget to include your mug and temperature preferences too!

(Kelly, Alana, Mom, Dad and Jay…I am expecting you guys to answer!)

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

KELLY January 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Okay so this is ironic because I have been struggling A LOT with my coffee prep the last couple of days. Like you, I like my coffee scalding hot. I don’t like strong coffee so I add lots of milk. I have 1% at home so that is what I use. (I use cream or whole milk when I’m out since I’m not near a microwave and can’t add as much.) Okay here is the huge issue…a week ago I added
the milk and put it in the microwave for a minute. Then I got sidetracked and my coffee got cold. I put it in for another minute. Started drinking it and all of a sudden I got this long gooey thing in my mouth. The milk must have curdeled! I was so disgusting I actually threw up a little. I am scarred but because I need coffee and I need it hot, I think I’m gonna try drinking it black from now on. Wish me luck!!

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COURTNEY January 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Where to start? There is so much going on here! First of all, I should admit that before starting this reply it took me a good ten minutes to come to terms with the fact that you may soon become a black coffee drinker. That puts you so far on the other end of the coffee spectrum from me that I found myself wanting to tell you not to do it…but no, no, I’ve decided that its okay now. You are who you are and drinking black coffee may suit you now. We will see. Anyway, that weird stringy thing you are describing is a film caused from heating the milk and I’ve experienced it too, though I find its not as prevalent with soy milk. Its gross but not harmful and I DO notice that it happens when you are heating cows’ milk more than once in the microwave, so maybe just be cautious of that if you want to keep drinking milk in your coffee.

For your analysis I am going to assume you are still taking 1% milk in your coffee. Because you like your coffee hot, like me, I will assume you are also a person of extremes. Now, I’ve only known you for thirty years so I’m not going to claim to be an expert on you; I’m making all of these assumptions strictly on how you take your coffee.

I see you as stubborn due to your refusal to drink it lukewarm, but not as stubborn or as extreme as me because you are willing to compromise when outside of the house and will add cold whole milk or cream to your coffee (BTW, I think its really smart to substitute these because you are right that they can be used in lesser quantities and will not cool it off as much…maybe I’ll try it sometime.).

The fact that you don’t sweeten your coffee shows me you are perhaps a bit stoic and careful. Sweetening coffee adds a big variable to the process that a careful person my choice to simply avoid all together. What to sweeten it with? How much to use? It’s all very loosey goosey and I don’t think you like that.

I am curious what kind of mug you use?

Using milk softens you a bit and the fact that it’s 1% shows you employ a life of moderation…you enjoy a level of richness beyond skim but you are certainly not an over-indulger.

I’ll sum up by saying you have a moderately extreme personality that borders on perfectionism. You approach the world with caution but also vulnerability and are willing to soften up once you feel safe. How’d I do?

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HEATHER February 1, 2012 at 4:37 am

Drink it black but put a little sweetener or sugar in it. That takes a little of the edge of of some of the bitterness. I have also found that columbian kcup coffee is awesome. I like mine extra hot to. It takes me a while to drink it so don’t need it cooling off any faster.

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COURTNEY February 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hi Heather! You are the first person who I don’t know personally to reply to this post, so if I am totally off with my extremely scientific analysis of you, don’t take it personally!

You like your coffee black but not really, because you do add a little sweetener. Interestingly, you don’t seem to care what kind of sweetener you use. That indicates that you are a pragmatic person who doesn’t bother herself with trivial things. You say you like your coffee hot but it doesn’t sound like you’ll take the time to reheat it, which tells me that while you do have personal needs and desires, you are not going to dwell on them when your energy is better put elsewhere. You seem like an interesting person 🙂

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JASON SIROTIN January 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I take a Doughnut Shop K-Cup and put in some Natural Bliss french vanilla creamer. That’s it. Nice and simple. I’d like to state that Courtney can be really annoying with coffee and it takes her forever to make it. We will be at a gas station and she will be take upwards of five minutes to make it. That’s along time in a gas station. Then she uses the microwave, which no one else but truck drivers use, and she heats it. She then pulls it out and takes a sip and if it doesn’t give her a third degree burn then back in the microwave it goes. She is so neurotic about the heat of her coffee that she has reached across the coffee shop counter, grabbed a lid, and placed it on the unattended poured coffee. With a look of disgust she stares down the Barista. This has created many uncomfortable moments. If it’s not hot she has on occasion thrown a tantrum and refused to drink it. She’s the mess I love.

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COURTNEY January 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

I’ve waited a long time to psychoanalyze you so here goes. You like a middle of the road coffee; nothing too fancy. The brand you drink is a medium bodied, simple blend similar to Dunkin’ Donuts and this shows that you are not pretentious. And yet…you seek out decadence. Because I cohabitate with you I know that you pour your French vanilla creamer with a heavy hand. You like your coffee sweet and creamy and nearing pale. I like this about you because it reflects both your need for opulence, despite your simple lifestyle, as well as your child-like innocence. You are realistic and whimsical all at once. The fact that you drink it at all temperatures reflects your instinct to put the needs of others before your own. Because I know you I know that you are all too willing to set your coffee down and help me with something and get back to it later, whereas I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else. 

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HEATHER February 1, 2012 at 4:15 am

Oh honey I am so with you. I am a stay at home mom with a 6 year old and a 2 and a half year old. I just recently went back to school so my days and nights can be so so chaotic.

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BRIDGET February 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I make only Peet’s or Starbucks at home. I like it EXTRA bold and dark – with tons of caffeine. I always put a splash of milk (*whole milk preferably, but whatever’s in the fridge will do) at the bottom of my preferred short, round, thick mug and then pour the coffee over it. I like it as hot as possible but had never even thought of heating the milk up before I read your blog. I drink 1-2 cups every morning. Go!

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COURTNEY February 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

Everything about your cup of coffee is bold; from the brew to the short, thick mug. I get the sense you are bull-headed and stubborn (and of course lovely, sweet and gracious…don’t take that the wrong way). I’d also call you a thrill-seeker, always wanting to do and feel more than the average person. You start your day with a blast of caffeine and don’t even try to mask the dense, rich, bite from your high-test drink. A splash of milk will do little to weaken your cup, but I suuspect it’s there to keep you grounded, if only symbolically. Lastly, Bridget, I’m surprised it never dawned on you to heat your milk since you like it extra hot, especially since you put it in the mug first and it’s just staring at you for a moment. I’ve gone back and forth on what this could mean, but ultimately I think its as simple as you just needing your caffine fix so badly in the morning that you never considered adding another step to the process.

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ALANA February 5, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I drink it with just milk or black. So Plain!

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COURTNEY February 6, 2012 at 1:12 am

Alana, you are not plain and neither is your coffee; you are both just laid back. You are not one to obsess over your drink. Milk? Black? Either way works for you. Do you know how rare that is? Most people are very set in their coffee ways and the fact that you can so easily adapt to a varied cup speaks to your level-headed and people-pleasing nature. You are not one to ruffle feathers or seek the spotlight; you are a cheerleader! I bet you would go out of your way to make sure I got my coffee just right at your house and never even think about your own cup! Boy does the world need more people like you!

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BRIDGET February 6, 2012 at 5:14 am

I wish there were a like button on this thing!!

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ALAT CEK GULA DARAH May 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Regards for helping out, great information. “Whoever obeys the gods, to him they particularly listen.” by Homer.

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