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Official her’s and his cups, This are larger than standard so are usually reserved for the weekends.

My wife and I start our day with a full pot of coffee and the morning news. By the time she leaves for work there is only enough left in the pot to fill her travel cup.

It’s a great way to start the day in my book, and though I do enjoy the coffee every day, there are some days when it tastes better. Who knows why this is so? Same coffee, same water, same pot yet something in the taste buds welcomes it more than other days.

Today it tastes very good. It’s much cooler here this morning with heavy rain and that probably has something to do with it. I don’t know why but it seems that even marginally cooler weather brings out the best in coffee. When the calendar changes and we move into Autumn and Winter, the warming aspect of coffee certainly is a bonus.

I grew up among coffee drinkers. When I was a child coffee was made from a percolator on the stove. Hot off the gas range, my daddy would often pour his coffee into a saucer, blow on it, and drink it while it was still smoking. I don’t guess that is proper etiquette and is not something he would ever do in a restaurant. However, we were at home and accepted. Many of us today drink out of mugs but in our household, it was always a cup and saucer for coffee. There is something especially pleasant about the clinking of china as cup meets saucer or as a spoon stirs the ingredients.


My favorite coffee cup….Mast General Store. It has a faint hairline crack on the inside but not showing on the outside yet and not leaking. Nancy has a purple one. We bought them some years ago on the day after Thanksgiving at the store in Valle Crucis, NC.

I did not begin to drink coffee in earnest until I graduated from high school. Prior to that time though I would drink a cup on occasion. I particularly remember one encounter with a very hot cup of coffee. It was the last high school game of the season, a very cold November night. My Uncle Jack had brought me to the game as he did every Friday. At halftime I was really cold and went to the concession stand, deciding to get coffee…a very adult thing to do for an eighth grader. I paid for my coffee and they passed me the paper cup which was incredibly hot, likely the hottest I’d ever held but it felt really good to my cold hands. There was milk and sugar available on the counter so I took advantage. I poured in the condiments and reached for a plastic spoon to stir it up. I noted that the spoons were of the lightest plastic I had ever seen. When I stuck the spoon in the steaming hot coffee, it bent double, testifying to the excessive heat of the beverage. I stirred it as best I could with the now distorted spoon. It was several minutes before I could drink any of the coffee and even then it was short sips. I learned this when the first taste burned the tip of my tongue. Its primary purpose for a while was to serve as a hand warmer. I learned that I did not like excessively hot coffee but some people do. I am aware of people who take a freshly brewed cup of steaming coffee and put it in the microwave to make it even hotter. These days, I’m a somewhere between a normal hot and room temperature kind of a guy, but we all have different preferences.

My first wife passed in 2001 but I learned a great deal about coffee from her and her family who lived in the hill country of eastern Tennessee. I quickly discovered that coffee was available in the kitchen all day long. If at any point you drank the last cup it was your responsibility to make another pot. I also learned that though there was milk in the refrigerator and sugar in a bowl on the kitchen table, they did not use condiments for their coffee. They drank it black. I learned to do it too and now it’s actually my preference. Granted, it is an acquired taste. Occasionally, I do take the plunge into the land of sugar but overall it is black for me. I heard someone say that they drink their coffee black, “The way the Lord drinks His.” I don’t know who could speak with that authority but it is an interesting concept.

Of course, coffee is loved by many for the boost it gives us first thing in the morning. Most people avoid it at night not wanting it to disrupt sleep. However, I do whitecoffeecupremember that my first wife’s father never seemed to be affected by it, regardless of the time of day. I learned that from observation.

One night when we were visiting the family in Tennessee it was bedtime so the coffee pot was finally turned off from its hard day’s work. I saw my step-father Freeman Sexton who was well into his eighties, take the remainder of the coffee and pour it into a thermos. I asked my wife if her dad was going somewhere early in the morning. She asked why I posed that question. I told her what I saw her daddy do with the last of the coffee and that made me curious. She explained that if he got up during the night to go to the bathroom (which many of us older guys do), that he would take a drink of the leftover coffee just like many people get a drink of water! That my friends, was a hard core coffee drinker. Of course, you would kind of expect that from a man who tended an acre garden with only a hoe and split wood for the cooking stove every day….but that’s another story.

Tags: coffee, morning

  • Donna Levijoki   /   November 7, 2016., 5:09 pmReply

    David!! My Daddy did the same thing with the saucer! I never have seen anyone else do that. Ahhhhhh. .. that provided such a sweet memory David. ...being that he passed away when I was 12.... I enjoyed remembering sitting at the table with him... drinking coffee with him... he'd pour some of his in a little saucer for me to have with him. Yes I was young, but I was Daddy's little girl too. . I lovvve coffee! And Rob & I use a percolator on a gas stove when we go camping.

    • David Lewis   /   November 7, 2016., 7:19 pmReply

      That drinking out of the saucer thing is interesting. I don't know where people got it from unless someone just looked at the saucer one day and said, "This coffee is hot as blazes. I bet if I poured some in a saucer and blew on it, I could cool it enough to go ahead and drink it!" It takes balance to do it too because its very easy to slosh it out of the saucer. I have a percolator, too, that I bought for emergencies. I haven't used it in a long time. I guess I need to pull it out and make sure I'm still in practice!

  • Jackie   /   November 7, 2016., 11:29 amReply

    We didn't have coffee in our house growing up. Considering, i lived with my grandpa and dad, neither of them drank coffee. However, i have romanticized coffee. #1 My dad and grandpa were both Veterans (Vietnam/WW2) and i remember going to the Vet's club and that place reaked of coffee. I didn't know at the time what the smell was, but i didn't like it at the time. Now when i have little breakfast dates with myself. i get hit with that smell it brings back those memories of sitting at the bar at the Vets club and getting served a coke and looking at the the different pics behind the bar and all the old guys talking to me. It was a great opportunity to people watch and probably were my love of story telling came from. #2 I don't know what it is about people who can just sit and enjoy of a cup. I really admire it. Those are the type of people i want in my life. #3 I drink a small cup every morning and i always feel more accomplished. It's become a ritual. I really enjoy it super early in the morning before a long trip. I love putting in my travel mug and hitting the road. It's sort of a spiritual experience.

    • David Lewis   /   November 7, 2016., 7:12 pmReply

      Jackie, a cup of coffee can certainly become much more than the coffee itself. The aroma, clink of the cup, and other ways it affects our senses can certainly transport us to a different place, different time, and remembrances of treasured people. It is indeed a ritual for us at our house, too....a special time.

  • Georgia K Lewis   /   November 5, 2016., 1:13 amReply

    We weren't allowed to have coffee as children unless we were sick and then it was made very weak. Dad used to tell us it would make us ugly! I really didn't acquire a taste for coffee until after I finished nursing school and started practicing as a RN. Of course I had to have my sugar and later wanted cream. Nowadays, I'm partial to Dutch Brothers coffee and especially love the blended white chocolate mocha freeze. Would prefer the caffeine, but am not allowed now. I remember my aunt from Virginia used to pour her coffee in her saucer and that's how she drank it. She was quite the character who also took her false teeth out to eat. But that's another story too....

    • David Lewis   /   November 5, 2016., 8:20 amReply

      Your comments reminded me of the "make you ugly" warning. That white chocolate mocha freeze sounds quite awesome.

  • Susan Taylor   /   November 4, 2016., 5:01 pmReply

    Love your blogs!

    • David Lewis   /   November 5, 2016., 8:21 amReply

      Thanks, Susan. I'm sure you and Mr. Ed have some blog worthy stories!

  • Edie   /   November 4, 2016., 4:46 pmReply

    When my brother Charles was visiting with us last week he was talking about how it irritated Mom how my Grandpa Nickerson would always stir his coffee over and over again clicking the spoon against the sides of the cup. And yes he always drank from the saucer too. My Grandma and Grandpa Talley always had the percolator going all day long. Grandma Nickerson drank iced coffee all day with loads of cream and sugar in it. I really didn't start drinking coffee till I married Jim. I'm one of those that doesn't drink coffee after 10 am. It's a morning beverage only.

    • David Lewis   /   November 5, 2016., 8:26 amReply

      I pretty much limit my coffee to the mornings, too. However, if it happens to be a cold, wet night coffee may appear.