The Cheshire Catalyst's
"Coffee Stories"

Story titles include:

Heading to the International Space Station?
Don't forget your Zero Gravity Coffee Cup

Indian River Coffee Co
Suntree, FL

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Cheshire@2600.com

Coffee Stories I

Drugs

My thanks to Karamoon for The reccommedation
Just "click" if you're looking for Area code 321 story, or there's the chronology leading up to My Area Code.
When I was in the Army, I quickly noticed that there were mostly two kinds of people I was serving with. With so much time on their hands, most people were either pot smokers, or alcoholics. And for all the brain cells they were "blowing away", the dope fiends had more on the ball than the alkies.

Me? I had my portable shortwave radio that I had been given for my 14th birthday by my parents. It took them two or three years before they found out it had AM and two shortwave bands, rather than the AM and FM band they thought they were getting me. Personally, I hadn't noticed, because I was too busy enjoying programs from the BBC World Service, Radio Canada International, Radio Prague, and Radio Deutche Welle (Germany). I'd also easily pick up the heavy propaganda stations of Radio Moscow and the Voice of America, but while you could figure out it was one or the other within seconds, it sometimes took a few minutes before you could figure out which of them it was.

In the mean time, Saturday night would roll around, and I'd be invited to parties in the barracks. I felt kind of funny when the joint was passed around. Sure I got a slight "buzz" from all the "second hand smoke" in the room, but I didn't hang around the parties very long, because I still didn't feel I fit in. I wasn't that much of a "drugie". But the joint would occassionally come to me during the party. I'd look at it, and pass it on, but I still felt funny. I mean, here I was, and I didn't really fit in because I didn't do a dangerous drug. (When presidential candidate Bill Clinton said he "didn't inhale" at college parties, I understood completely)

And then it hit me. Of course I do a dangerous drug. Didn't a report just come out recently on the dangers of Caffine? And I AM an admitted Caffine addict! I started going around saying, "I'm so bad, I shoot up Freeze-Dried". And I started to joke that someday that I would drop my name in the Drug Amnesty box for Caffine addiction.

To this day, I believe that one of the reasons I was offerred an "early out" was my joke about the drug amnesty box. I think that the way the Army regulations were written at the time, had I dropped my name in, they would have been forced to send me off to drug rehab.

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories II

Cosmopolitan Coffee Drinkers

When I was working for a computer shop in New York City, I was the guy who became the specialist on the systems from Ohio Scientific of Aurora OH near Cleveland. The boss had been invited to a very important sales meeting, which he couldn't attend, but he had to send a representative. I was the Ohio Scientific guy, so I went.

Computer salespeople from all over the country, and even overseas, were there. In fact, it didn't take long for me to hook up with the fellow from Switzerland. After all, he was from The Continent, and I was from New York City, so that made us the Cosmopolitans in the group, right?

At any rate, I had a rental car, because this place was out in "the sticks", and my new friend (being European, and used to having advanced public transportation everywhere he needed to go) didn't have a car. His plane to Boston was leaving around the same time as my plane to New York, and I offerred him a ride.

At the airport, I invited him to the United Airlines Red Carpet Club, because I had a free ticket to get in. It turned out that this was not the wisest choice to impress someone. It was crowded, noisy, and hadn't been vacuummed in a while. And the coffee was awful. This brought up coffee as a subject of our conversation.

"Say," I told him, "If you're going to Boston, there's a place you have to go to and get a really good cup of coffee."

"Oh yes? Where is this?", he asked.

"You get on the Red Line to Harvard Square, then go down Boyleston Street (it's now JFK Boulevard - that's how long ago this was), and the shop itself is called 'The Coffee Connection'".

"Ach, Yah! In 'Ze Garage', I know it". Of course he knew about the converted parking garage that was now a shopping mall where The Coffee Connection was located. After all, we were the cosmopolitan's weren't we?

NOTE: I Have recently learned that The Coffee Connection is now merely a "Starbucks" location.

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories III

Airline Coffee

I was on a trip to Europe. I had a couple of trips to Europe in the 1980's where I gave lectures on "Computer hacking and hackers in America". I made a couple of bucks, and mostly I got to travel, which was the real attraction.

I had a ticket from JFK Airport in New York to Vienna Austria via Frankfurt Germany. I flew TWA, but it turned out that the flight was a "Code Sharing" arraingement with Austrian Air. This meant while the trip was a single "flight number", I had to change planes from TWA to Austrian Air in Frankfurt.

So I got on the Austrain Air plane, and I was seated in Business Class. This meant that I was immediately offerred one of a host of European newspapers to read. One of them was the International Hearald Tribune. "Wow," I said, "I haven't read one of these in ages," I told the stewardess as I grabbed the paper. I became engrossed in the paper pretty quickly.

Europe is so small, in comparison to the size of the USA, that they try to get many of the in-flight amenities out of the way while they are still on the ground. This is because the flight time is so short between European capitols. So while I'm reading my paper, they come around offering Coffee. I look up at the interuption, and say, "Oh, yes please," and go back to my paper.

I'm given my coffee, a couple of paper packets of sugar and a creamer. Almost absent-mindedly I put in one sugar, and a very small amount of cream. I'm in the middle of an article when I take my first sip.

It hit me like a jolt! The Coffee! It's wonderful! I'm Back In Europe Again!! And this is just the airline coffee!!

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories IV

German Coffee Shops

While I was stationed in Germany, I worked shift work. I was in the communications department of an Air Defense Artillery unit. Since our line batteries had missiles pointed across the iron curtain (to shoot down any incoming jets), our comm center had to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our schedule was such that we'd work three days, three nights, three midnights, and then get three days off.

This usually meant that we were off while the rest of the Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 Army was still going strong. One of my favorite things was to take the tram from our Kaserne on the edge of town, into downtown Kaiserslautern (about 100 Km soutwest of Frankfurt) in the early morning and go to one of the local bakeries for breakfast. You just go in, point to the danish you want, add a "kaffe bitte" ("Coffee Please" was one of my few German phrases), and be seated in the back. They'd bring back my danish & coffee while I got to oogle the shop girls on their way to work in the morning.

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories V

Being in Your Cups

I was employed by a large international bank for a few years, and convinced the boss that someone should go to a major international telecommunications conference being held in Geneva Switzerland, and that he should be the one to go.

I was so good at convincing him, that by the time the trade show came around, he couldn't take the time to go, and so I was sent! (clever, eh?) On the way over, I stopped in London to meet with British Telecom officials, who we were talking with about possibly leasing a trans-atlantic line.

I finally found their office, and (jet-lagged as I was) was able to keep up my end of the conversation pretty well. What impressed me, though, was when the obligatory coffee was brought out (thank God it wasn't tea - coffee is the beverage of business). Instead of the usual styrofoam cups, a mix and match assortment of bone china tea cups came out. It was like 6 of the office blokes each brought in one cup and matching saucer from each of their Gran's house.

Believe it or not, this impressed the hell out of me. Ever since, I have always kept a small portion of my personal coffee mug collection at my office, in order to have a real mug to offer to a guest when it came time for coffee. (no one gets impressed with styrofoam) They were Public Radio coffee mugs, of course, and great conversation starters in their own right.

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 2007 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories VI

Emeril's Restaurant

A woman I was living with for a while had a real "thing" for Emeril, the TV Chef. "I want to be his next wife," she'd often say. He had a restaurant in "City Walk", the "restaurant row" of the Universal Orlando Theme Park. The place was quite expensive, but with 1/2 my income tax refund that year, I took her to lunch for her birthday (dinner would have cost my entire refund check).

We went dressed for the occasion. I had on my 3 piece suit (I consider it a "costume", and it hangs in my closet next to the Space Ranger Flight Suit that I wear at Science Fiction Conventions). She had on a party dress, and high heels. Ladies, let me tell you now. Never go to City Walk in high heels. The quaint cobblestone walks require Sensible Shoes.

We get to the restaurant, and it's nearly empty, because it's around Noonish, and most people are in the Theme Park, and not yet at lunch. It's quite obvious that she's taken with the place, and I'm the amused party taking it all in, and just along for the ride. I have to admit that lunch was pretty good! I'm not really a gourmet, but I was warming up to the scene.

After lunch, we ordered coffee and cake. I put in my half a teaspoon of sugar, and a couple of drops of cream, and took a sip. The waiter was right there to see my reaction. The coffee was GOOD! My eyes went wide in surprise - I thought I reccognized it. I looked up at the wiater and said, "Cafe du Monde?". Now this was an educated guess. With Emeril's TV show on in the house alot, I couldn't help but know that he grew up in Falls River MA, but now had restaurants in New Orleans, with the Flagship being the NOLA Restaurant. Cafe du Monde is a little outdoor cafe in the French Quarter known (Internationally known, in fact) for coffee and beignets (French for what the French themselves think is a doghnut).

So when I asked the waiter if the coffee was from Cafe du Monde, he was the one that now looked surprised. "Um, uh, well, no. Emeril has his own Private Lable coffee". OK, if the staff wants us to think Emeril roasts his own, that's fine. I'm pretty sure I know where he goes for the coffee.


So there we were, in the middle of Tourist Country dressed to the nines. We stopped at a Tourist Store ("3 T-Shirts for $10"), bought some cheap t-shirts, shorts & flip flops, and just Played Tourist for the rest of the day. You never do that often enough when you live here.

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1996 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories VII

Florida Reading Coffee


When you only want a single cup of coffee, and don't want to make a pot that you'll throw out, the single cup Melita cone is the answer (#2 coffee filters are available at local supermarkets everywhere).
Garrison Keilor on his radio program A Prarie Home Companion has described the two pots of coffee that Dorothy keeps at "The Chatterbox Cafe" in Lake Wobegone MN. One is the "Old Folks Coffee", which is pretty weak, and takes 6 cups just to get you out the door, and then there's the pot of Real Coffee for the people that need it, like the farmers, truck drivers, and other "real folks" around town. The state of Florida has what I call Florida Reading Coffee.

Florida Reading Coffee is "the old folks pot". It became particularly noticeable when I picked up the glass coffee pot where I worked one day. The pot was half full, and looked weak. It looked so weak that I thought I could...

I picked up a form from the desk of a nearby secratary, and held it under the coffee pot. I then looked down through the glass pot - and half a pot of coffee - and started to read some very bad handwriting through the very weak coffee. Ever since then, I've have referred to Florida Reading Coffee.

I later went out an bought a "one cup Mellita filter", to make my own coffee. It worked well.

BT

SIDEBARS

(C) Copyright 1999 Richard Cheshire
PO Box 561
Titusville   FL
USA 32781

Coffee Stories VIII

The Solution to
Florida Reading Coffee

It's about 10 years after the Florida Reading Coffee incident. In fact, I'd gone for a job interview fairly early one morning. The coffee pot hadn't been put on, and I had been offerred a cup. I'd gone without to get to the interview on time, and I was waiting for the pot to finish brewing.

I kept glancing at the office coffee set-up waiting for the pot to be full, when I finally realized that the pot hadn't changed it's level in the past few minutes. The pot was over half full, but just barely.

I went over to the pot, and realized a couple of things. For one thing, there was no opening in the top to pour water in. Then I noticed the water pipe going in, and the "Brew" button. This meant that a pre-set amount of water was going into the machine, (and then the bright revelation hit) to match the pre-packaged amount of coffee in those foil packets!

Amazing concept! If you don't want the coffee watered down, don't put in so much water! And the coffee actually was pretty good. Solved: another great mystery of life.



NNNN



These stories are © Copyright 1996, 1998, 1999, 2007, 2016 Richard Cheshire. They are part of a "work in progress", and may be read for personal enjoyment, but are not to be reproduced or distributed without permission of Richard Cheshire, PO Box 561, Titusville, USA 32781. You may send e-mail to: cheshire@2600.com. Publishers inquires would be most welcome, but when I come to your office, you'll be graded on your in-house coffee!

Return to The Cheshire Catalyst's Home Page.

This doc: http://CheshireCatalyst.Com/coffee.html


last updated: 2017-0101-23:42 UTC


Cheshire@2600.com



This file can be found at http://CheshireCatalyst.Com/p-telex.html

| Previous Page |   | Home Page |  | Table Of Contents |   | Next Page |