Friday, August 16, 2013

Will You Have a Cup or a Mug?

How many times have you been asked that question?  My first cup of that heady brew, "COFFEE" comes to me in a mug, often while I am still in bed, brought to me by my husband of 53 years. We then watch the news together while I sip away.  I think he decided, early on in this marriage, a wife who has had her first cup of coffee is a wife with a sunnier temperament!  Smart Dude, this man of mine!

Because I am the only coffee drinker in this house, hubby is strictly a Tea drinker and very particular about the type he drinks, but  that is a discussion for another time.  My coffee is made , drip style in a 4 cup, Mr. Coffee pot that I have been known to pack if I am traveling to a place that might not have one. If we are having a large amount of guests, my 10-12 cup Gevalia Pot is waiting to be used. There are those who used only the Keurig  system with pods or little cups. This is wonderful for the 1 cup coffee drinker, or wants different blends. Now Maxwell house is making single server cups for your Keurig.

When diners were the place to meet for coffee, often a strong rich brew, of unknown origin was the fare.. Most people did not worry about the type of bean, roasting process,  or whether it had an exotic name. If you were in a cold snowy part of the country, holding that restaurant ware coffee cup, which was thick and substantial, it warmed your hands and boy oh boy,  did that cup of coffee taste good going down. You sat at the counter and had countless people around you to chat with, while they drank their cup of the good stuff, about the weather, what you were doing, and why you were doing it. The counter lady or man joined in the conversation and everyone became friends. I will have a cup of "Joe"! was the mantra.

Jackson China Co , Falls Creek, Pa  1940s
My Swedish Father had a large cup with a deep saucer and when the coffee was too hot, he would spill some in the saucer to cool. A ritual I watched with fascination. Who knew that the antique "cup Plates" that are coveted by collectors today were used for that very thing. The coffee went into the saucer to cool and the cup was placed on the small 3 inch cup plate. 

Today, in some places that wonderful old fashioned diner is a thing of the past, but coffee carries on. Now you are asked, " Do you want to meet at Starbuck's or Panera's" for coffee and cake"?  If you are sitting in Barnes and Nobel's book store, a convenient set of tables and a Starbuck's coffee bar is waiting to provide you with a favorite brew while you study, read or leaf through magazines.

Starbucks has been providing the sophisticated coffee drinker with a huge variety of exotic blends since 1971. If you just want the breakfast blend or something much "wilder " try the Komodo Dragon.

When I am traveling I know that I will be able to get a good cup of coffee at a Starbucks, McDonald's , and sometimes Burger King. If an Ikea is close by there is always a good cup to be had from their coffee bar.

Gevalia coffee, which was founded in Gävle, Sweden in 1853 is still the largest coffee Roastery in Scandinavia. I love the richness of their brews. The advertising in the United states is quite effective and they have a ship to door program that is very convenient.Their "Autumn Spice" for the fall, or their " Abyssinian Mokka" are quite special. They have 50 varieties of coffee to choose from.  I was a little shocked to learn that Kraft Foods now owns the Gevalia Brand.  Another famous American brand, Maxwell House, "Good to the Last Drop"  is also owned by Kraft foods and was introduced in the U.S. in 1892 and was named for the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Of course today that hotel is a large resort hotel and is named Millennium Maxwell House Hotel.and is in the heart of Nashville.

The most common coffee sold and used in Sweden is the one sold and used in Ikea. A filtered coffee that carries the UTZ certification . Mellanrast ( filter coffee Med. Roast) I use this when it is available to me. I am not the sophisticated coffee drinker that many are, I do like a rich full blend and when it is fresh ground it is special. There are clubs and forums for coffee, there is research from many sources, which confuse you with their facts. The head spins with the facts and figures, but in the end it is simple. Enjoying a cup of coffee with a piece of coffee cake in the afternoon with friends can be the highlight of anyone's day!

Moderation is the key--if you drink 30 cups of coffee a day you can expect some type of problem , but if you drink 2-4 cups a day, ---hmm that's for me!  When I am in Sweden, the best part of my day is when the telephone rings and I am asked to join the 11:00 a.m. Kaffe with Friends or family. The art of sitting and resting instead of drinking that cup on the "Fly" gives you a sense of peace for the rest of your day. It is more than the coffee, it is a nourishment for the soul--a little conversation, a cuppa of the good stuff, a little cheese and crisp bread and a sweet cake. What more could we ask for?

My Older Cousin Gunnel , My younger cousin Orjan and I looking at a family Album while having coffee time in Herrljunga, Sweden


  1. I will have to say that I drink from a mug. A big one that I can walk around with and enjoy. I only drink 2 cups a day.

  2. Don't even speak to me before I've had my first wake-me-up mug of coffee. You may find your head rolling if you do ;). It's the first thing on my mind when I get up!

    1. That is why my marriage, among other things, has lasted so long. The coffee is brought to me before I am even out of bed! A big mug and some graham crackers. I take mine with 1/2 & 1/2--no sugar.