The Coffee Grinder

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Mother absolutely hated coffee.  She hasn’t been with us in a very long time, so I don’t remember all of the things that she liked and disliked; but I clearly remember that she hated anything related to coffee.  She was always a tea person; hot tea, iced tea and always with her little traveling container of saccharin.  I probably got my sweet tooth from my Mom, but the ‘real sugar’ sweet tooth – not the fake stuff she used to use. 


My Dad drank coffee and my grandparents drank coffee.  I don’t know which person(s) guided me into drinking coffee, but my primary hot beverage of choice became coffee in my late teens.  I had some isolated tea phases, but usually tea drinking was reserved for my sick days; a ritual that still lives on to this day. 

We used to have a percolator at the house.  Drip coffeemakers hadn’t become mainstream yet for personal consumers; they were more commonly used in restaurants and donut shops.  Many times, it was easier for us to make instant coffee.  Yes, we had Taster’s Choice and Sanka; and yes, there was a time when I liked Taster’s Choice.  I’ve revisited that a few times over the years, but have been sorely disappointed. 

So the tea thing and my Mom’s hatred for coffee probably threw me off a bit when she got me a coffee grinder as a gift.  I think it was a Hanukkah gift, but it could just as easily have been a birthday gift.

“What am I going to do with this?” I asked.  It was one of those stupid throwaway lines that an older teenager might say to his Mom – except I was the one that said it.  The line probably didn’t mean too much to me back then.  I can only hope that it didn’t mean too much to her either, because I am ashamed of myself to this day for saying that to her. 

The “rest of the story” is that I soon began to use that coffee grinder, experimenting with different coffees and blends.  I started to buy whole bean coffees almost exclusively.  I began to take my coffee making very seriously, and have taken pride and compliments over the years.  There was even a time in my marriage when my wife thought I was insane anytime I bought a new coffeemaker.  I was just honing the craft and process of coffee making, trying to brew the perfect cup. 

These days I’m using a percolator again, partly because of my vintage mentality and partly because I’m happy with the coffee flavor.  And I’m still using the same coffee grinder that my Mom gave me.  I pray every day that it will continue to work forever, because it keeps the memory of my Mother close to my soul.  My Mother got me the perfect gift one day, but I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate it.  Thanks Mom, and I’m sorry.

1 comments :

Britton Minor October 30, 2010 at 7:46 AM  

Mothers generally have a special understanding of the sometimes thoughtless things our kids say. You see, that unconditional love we have for our children goes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down deep and extends faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar into the future, and we realize that you will one day respond to unwelcome advice, life lessons, and even seemingly strange gifts in a kinder, gentler, and more grateful fashion. And even though that time for you may have come after her life here on earth, I suspect she forgave you for your temporary thoughtlessness almost immediately.

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