Thursday, September 06, 2007

They call me Mr Fussbudget...

...especially at my local supermarket.

I did a major shopping today, and one of the items atop my list was coffee. It's one of the few food items I'm particularly picky about. On my last trip, they were out of my favorite brand; it happens sometimes, and I bought a well-known "gourmet" coffee as a substitute.

Big, bad mistake. The stuff was vile, and there were mornings when I didn't think I could keep it down, much less finish the pot.

So the coffee shelves were the initial stop in today's shopping tour. I was perfectly content to throw away the remainder of the hideous swill I bought last time.

But I noticed the display had been rearranged. Now, there were rows and rows of flavored coffees -- which I consider slightly less acceptable than drinking heated antifreeze -- plus various cans of "custom" coffee blends from the same people whose "Dark Colombian" brew I came so close to physically rejecting more than once.

And my favorite? Not there...



Worse, I was informed that the store had stopped carrying it. Cretins.

So I bought a can of "French Market" -- dark, with added chicory, Looziana-style -- and rushed home to do some research.

I found that Cafe La Llave was not, as I first thought, a Mexican roast, but was based on Cuban coffee; the company that makes it in fact got its start there.

And then I found a source, right here in SoCal, that will ship me the stuff for $0.80 per car more than Von's charged. That's still cheaper than the toxic waste I bought as a substitute.

That will make my buddy happy if he ever makes it out here. I can brew him up a pot of Cafe Cubano, and he can refine the recipe for me.

I started drinking coffee at a late age (roughly 23-24), and didn't start making it at home until I got married. Over the years, I ground beans, quite enjoyed the chicory blends, but didn't really fall in love with the taste of a cup of joe (except for odd occasions in frozen Arctic wastes, France, Italy and during a couple camping trips with a friend who knew how to make it Navy-style) until I got my first shot of Cafe La Llave.

During the glorious days of my transcontinental love, I took a few cans of it back to her place so she could have it ready for me on those early, chilly East Coast mornings. Beat the heck out of anything they had at Grand Union or even Gristede's, let me tell you.

I ordered four cans today, and will have them by the middle of next week. It's been three weeks since I ran out, and I have a serious jones going....

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am the fussiest coffee drinker in the world...or I thought until today! I have a couple of brands that I love and even have to have a specific coffee maker. Bad huh? Lou

MrScribbler said...

Lou -- a nice thing about Cafe La Llave is that it can be brewed in any coffeemaker and come out wonderful. My $19.95 junker from WallyMart does just fine.

Anonymous said...

I started later than you -- I was over 30 when I started drinking coffee!!!!

Gill

Anonymous said...

Good coffee is important. I've used French Market before. I liked it. I'm one of those who likes their coffee strong enough to eat with a fork.

Doc

MrScribbler said...

Doc -- I like it strong enough to dissolve a fork!

Ptolemy said...

I still haven't started drinking coffee, but I didn't drink tea, hot or iced, either until recently when I discovered Inkos Blueberry iced tea. Naturally my grocery store spontaneously ceased to carry this heavenly nectar of the Gods. BUT, I discovered their website and for a MERE $2 per 12-pack, they will ship me as much of it as I want in any of their wonderful flavors (including apricot and white peach)... And the price INCLUDING shipping comes out to less per bottle than the grocery store... How wonderful to get a DEAL for a change!

MrScribbler said...

ptolemy -- compared to my coffee addiction, I'm a real Philistine, tea-wise. I brew up a pot of lipton and I'm happy. Like coffee, I take it straight from the pot.

Except when I'm in England, where I must have good black tea with milk in it.

Laura said...

I too, am seriously spoiled. Ann Arborites take their coffee really seriously. A friend of mine makes a truly beautiful cup of Peruvian coffee. Another friend has converted an air popper (for popcorn) into a coffee bean roaster. Drinking strong hot quality coffee from beans that have just been roasted is nothing short of miraculous.

Have a good trip!

Anonymous said...

Coffee! Been hooked on it since the age of 17. No coffee-no life! Grind my own beans... I'm fortunate to have base priviledges so I like the blend of Mill Creek's Kona & Breakfast Blend. Paying $5.39 lb. Off base its $10.00 lb. Used to drink Starbucks until the cheapskates upped the price to $9.69 lb. Like you say....cretins! Chicory is common in the restaurants of the Southwest. Now you have me curious about this coffee you're drinking.... What I need is to try it! MaFanLaile

MrScribbler said...

MaFanLaile -- you can find my pusher here

MrScribbler said...

Drat...don't know why that didn't work...you'll have to cut & paste....

http://store.drsoda.com/caflallaves1.html

EarlGrey said...

OK, now I have to check the Cuban/Puerto Rican market here and see if they have this. No wonder 'regular' coffee doesn't do it for you -- doing an espresso roast vs a 'French roast' is no contest! :)

John said...

Yay!!! I know that brand. In Miami they sold it dirt cheap, along with several similar ones. You can't go wrong with La Llave.
Once you get used to that, and similar makes, all the rest is just swill, poorly flavored hot water.