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Coffee Wars

We don’t own a microwave. Haven’t for eleven years of marriage. I can’t stand the smell when you open them. I’ve been told that it’s fine if you keep them clean, but no thanks.

I like really, really hot coffee. I’m not even sure I like the taste of coffee. What I like, adore, need, in the morning, is a scorching cup to wrap my hands around and steam wafting into my face and an occasional sip of hot liquid burning the chill out of my head and throat and stomach.

These two things are tragically related in my house. Bear with me here.

No microwave. A woman who nourishes and adores four small children as her current life’s work and likes only the first few sips of coffee in a full mug. After those first sips, I hold it and love it until the cup goes cold and then I want a new cup. Or the same cup, I don’t care as long as it is thermonuclear hot again.

So. Here’s what I do, once Matt leaves for work and the coffee is mine all mine, I spend about two hours every morning dumping my coffee back into the pot and reheating it to scalding goodness and repouring it into my cup for two sips and ten minutes of hot enoughness and then dump, reheat.

This saves coffee. I know it’s kind of gross, but it’s my cup and I’m drinking it and I wash the coffee pot afterward, sostopjudgingmewhocares. It saves coffee. If I dumped each cup after it got too cold for me, I’d need approximately 25 cups of coffee to get through a morning. Wasteful. Think of the coffee growers and pickers, not to mention the water and my effort. Clearly, no.

I am an environmentalist is what I’m telling you. A coffee bean preserver. Plus, I’m endlessly lazy and I don’t want to brew new pots of coffee when I have a perfectly good cup of coffee that is a smidgen or 100 degrees or so too cold.

What’s the problem? You ask. I don’t care if you have disgusting coffee habits as long as you confine them to the nastiness of your own home.

MATT. Matt is the problem. Damn the man. Matt and his new shift which puts him in MY house, and yes, from 8 – 6 this is my house, until 11 a.m. every morning. That’s a long time. And it’s coffee drinking and reheating and drinking time. Used to be, in the good old 8-6 days, he would fill his big to-go mug and leave, leaving me the end of the pot to sully at will.

NOW. NOW! He’s here until eleven. It’s endless, that three hours. (Also, frustratingly productive. Handyman Matt can accomplish more in the three hours before work than I accomplish in an entire week. It’s like he deserves hot, non-slobbered-in coffee or something. To top it off, he does fantastically annoying things that are my fault and that I’ve asked him to do. Like, for example, last week, after I intentionally ordered a bench and a hanging wall thingy in cream, even though I knew all the trim and built-ins in the newly finished mudroom were painted white, because, well because PB didn’t sell them in white and I loved them and, and … ? He spent a week re-painting every stitch of trim in the mudroom cream. And the doors. And the built-ins.) He’s basically a saint, except that he’s an irritating saint that likes hot coffee and gets all grumpy when I use the entire pot of coffee as my personal cup.

The gall. The cold coffee.

I’m going to need a bigger chai budget. Or a second coffee pot.

I hope that you’re having a fabulous long weekend with all the scalding hot coffee you can drink and steam in your face and a few tears in your eyes for all of the incredibly brave people who have lost their lives in service to our country in the last 233 years.

60 Responses to Coffee Wars
  1. Adoption of Jane
    May 31, 2010 | 5:01 pm

    Definitely a Second Coffee Pot, LOL.

    May 31, 2010 | 5:05 pm

    That. Is. Hilarious.
    Currently, I'm sipping my lukewarm coffee because I was JUST able to get my daughter down from a nap. If I wasn't happy to drink my coffee at ANY temperature, I'm sure I'd reuse the stuff, too!

  3. mosey
    May 31, 2010 | 5:09 pm

    Perhaps a little pot on the stove, devoted solely to your coffee re-heating?
    And this, by the way, is the reason I love you. I am now going to re-heat my cup of coffee for the same reasons as you. Because until now, I just drink the lukewarm dregs without really enjoying it. You've given my mornings a whole new perspective.

  4. Gayle
    May 31, 2010 | 5:36 pm

    I love your little quirks. I bet you have more and can't wait as they unfold.

  5. Shell
    May 31, 2010 | 5:41 pm

    Definitely a second coffee pot…

    Though I have a hard time believing the no microwave thing. Especially in the summer. I hate having the house get all hot from the oven.

  6. Annje
    May 31, 2010 | 5:54 pm

    Maybe a big insulated thermos for Matt; he can haul it all over his work radius. That will leave the actual coffee pot free for your own personal use.

    baby-bottle warmer??…. haha just kidding, who uses those?

  7. vawriter
    May 31, 2010 | 5:56 pm

    They have these little cup-sized hot plates, or at least they used to before everyone except you bought a microwave. It doesn't stay hot, it only comes to life when the weight of a coffee cup switches it on. Consider. A cup of coffee that is CONSTANTLY HOT. Ahhhhhh…..

  8. Steph
    May 31, 2010 | 6:23 pm

    I like my coffee lukewarm. I actually fill my cup and then go do something else while it cools. Obviously I'm a weirdo. :)

    Also, can I have your husband?? Mine is great in that he's extremely handy and can build anything but he runs on slow speed and I run on fast which just doesn't work all the time. I'll totally trade you! Just for the speed you describe!!

  9. Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge
    May 31, 2010 | 6:32 pm

    I don't drink coffee, so clearly I don't knwo what I'm talking about here, but…

    Why don't you just make two pots of coffee, first yours (that you pour into a tea kettle or soup pot) and then make his to stay in the coffee urn? That way you can reheat yours still. Really, all it would take would be a whistling tea kettle. It goes right on the stove top. Like, 15 bucks, max.

    Or, why don't you just buy an extra coffee maker?

    Or what about a french press for him? Those make excellent coffee.

  10. Minnesota Mamaleh
    May 31, 2010 | 6:32 pm

    lol you're either going to love or hate this suggestion! but one of my girlfriends has the same strange (not judging but it *is* strange) coffee habit as you do swears by her keurig coffee pot. easy single serve perfect coffee is her claim. love the post and the tribute at the end.

  11. Keely
    May 31, 2010 | 6:39 pm

    I don't have a microwave either. Can't you get one of those little single-cup warmers that plug into your USB and leave the coffee on that? I'm sure there's a 'high' setting. Or something.

    Maybe just a 2nd coffee maker.

  12. a Broad
    May 31, 2010 | 6:58 pm

    I love love love my coffee pot that is thermal and keeps the coffee hot until afternoon… if there is any left that long .

    I do understand the feeling of the Intruder into your Time during the week at home … be glad that at least he does leave.
    There will come a day when he retires and he stays .. Don't ask.

  13. Anna
    May 31, 2010 | 7:09 pm

    My boss uses one of those candle warmers to keep her coffee warm. I've never used one, but it could work!

  14. Lyndsay
    May 31, 2010 | 7:19 pm

    Ahhh!!! I understand completely!!

    My hubby switched his shifts last week and now (among other changes)he is home on Thursdays (my day off)until 11.

    Last week he was all – "Hey! Let's all go for a bike ride!"

    And I was all – "Um no sorry. Actually what happens on Thursdays is that we stay in our jammies until lunchtime."

    I think you should invest in the second pot… otherwise he might stop painting all your trim and such.

  15. Mama Cas
    May 31, 2010 | 7:35 pm

    I was going to make the teapot suggestion, but someone else beat me to it. As someone who lives with a very tiny kitchen with very little storage space, the idea of storing TWO coffee pots makes me twitch a little.

    Anyway…I love your quirks. It makes me feel less weird. Keep 'em coming!

  16. Rebecca
    May 31, 2010 | 7:51 pm

    Get a Keurig…your coffee drinking will change forever.

    I hate when Husband gets a lot of shit done when I'm struggling to get us all dressed…it makes me feel inadequate! Then I jump back into reality and realize that's ridiculous!

  17. Corey
    May 31, 2010 | 8:20 pm

    Maybe an espresso cup? An itty bitty cup so you can just pour in a sip or two.. blazing hot.

    Of course, it's not really big enough to cradle and let warm your face…

    A 4 cup coffeemaker is a whopping $10 at Wa.lmart. You could splurge. You're worth it! ;-)

  18. MamaVee
    May 31, 2010 | 10:38 pm

    You could get one of these – you plug it into the USB port of your computer and it keeps your coffee hot in the mug.

    and this is the little coffee mug warmer that Vawriter mentioned – you can get them for ten bucks at Target.

  19. Sade
    May 31, 2010 | 11:07 pm

    Nice one Stacey, I was actually drinking my reheated cup of coffee as I read this. Nice to know I am not the only one with nasty coffee habits.

  20. Kate Coveny Hood
    May 31, 2010 | 11:27 pm

    Coffee aside – having Chris at home until 11 a.m. every day would drive me crazy. Especially since it would absolutely mean a 9:30-10:00 a.m. wake up time for him.

  21. jen
    May 31, 2010 | 11:40 pm

    my husband is the same way. he accomplishes a ton when home with the kids. i don't know how he does it.
    and i've always wondered how you managed the hot coffee. now i know. but i may ask for tea if i ever stop by.
    and a good friend once told me … a candle warmer works wonders to keep coffee warm when you have kids. genius. i have yet to take out the time to search for the candle warmer thing. but still.

  22. Mom24
    June 1, 2010 | 12:23 am

    I have to say, you're screaming for a microwave. Barring that, but the second pot. Life's short, you know?


  23. Amber Page Writes
    June 1, 2010 | 1:15 am

    I just can't get over the fact that you have four kids and no microwave. How do you survive???

  24. Alexicographer
    June 1, 2010 | 1:37 am

    I'm sorry, this is a fun story, but you lost me at the "thermonuclear" given that you are getting your coffee from a coffee pot. I know thermonuclear, and coffee pots do not generate it. Microwaves can, and so can stoves, but coffee pots do not.

    I vote (as others have) for the tea kettle (on the stove) or simply a saucepan on the stove (you do have a stove???), though the latter might be dangerous with small kids and/or klutzes. Not saying you are one, but I am, so thought I'd mention it. I lived for 2 years in an apartment with a gas stove/oven (now all electric) and did fine there with no microwave; not sure if you're on gas or using electric? If the former, life with no microwave seems OK to me …

  25. Pamela
    June 1, 2010 | 2:16 am

    first of all, you need to meet my boyfriend the French Press. and then meet his midget friend the one-cup French Press. hot coffee at will. or as needed. you're welcome.

  26. MommyNamedApril
    June 1, 2010 | 2:31 am

    my husband works from home. he is IN MY HOUSE ALL DAY LONG. he thinks he's helpful (okay. OKAY. sometimes he IS). but mostly, i just want it to me MY HOUSE.


    p.s. handy matt should install you an instant boiling water tap. we have one, it's A W E S O M E. my nothandyatALL husband was able to put it in, so you should have no problem :-)

  27. Boy Crazy
    June 1, 2010 | 2:48 am

    Oh! I'm jumping up and down here!! I have your solution!!! (also haven't read comments, so maybe someone stole my thunder…) but all you need is this:

    I swear by my thermos. If you pour the coffee in while it's still scalding hot, that thermos will keep it hot for HOURS. No joke. (Especially if you prime the thermos with hot water first. I LOVE mine.)

    And, the only reason I have a microwave is to re-heat my coffee. I am really not quite joking. (I have to have my coffee as hot as the core of the sun in order to really, *really* enjoy it.)

    (I am slightly freakish about my coffee, so I'm a little embarrassed of my enthusiasm here…)


  28. LilacClouds
    June 1, 2010 | 3:18 am

    the family I work for have his and hers stove top percolators because they don't like the same kind of coffee, you wouldn't necessarily need 2 just one for you for your coffee reheating pleasure

  29. The Bald Guy
    June 1, 2010 | 3:34 am

    I like Matt the handy man very much. Get a microwave please! ;-)

  30. Dysfunctional Mom
    June 1, 2010 | 6:47 am

    I'm still wrapping my brain around the whole 'no microwave' thing. I bow down to you. I am amazed.
    What they said. Get another pot or something, because clearly his way is unacceptable!

  31. Vodka Mom
    June 1, 2010 | 10:51 am

    I'm still reeling from the fact that you do not have a microwave. with four small children.


  32. Vitale Family
    June 1, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    I hear ya sister…I do use my microwave – a lot – as my reheating device. My life gets in my way of coffee drinking.

  33. mommymae
    June 1, 2010 | 3:23 pm

    yer funny.

    i drink coffee with cream & sugar, so i couldn't reheat it.

    plus, i don't like reheated coffee. my tastebuds revolt if it isn't fresh!

  34. Kami (@workingmomfence)
    June 1, 2010 | 4:11 pm

    this is something I would totally do. yes! it saves coffee! of course! (And if it's any consolation, coffee reheated in the microwave doesn't taste nearly as good even if it is super duper scorching hot.)

  35. Issas Crazy World
    June 1, 2010 | 4:57 pm

    I own a microwave that I refuse to use. Hate the smell, hate frozen and re-heated food, don't like popcorn. I own it so that in the winter, I can warm up a cup of water in seconds, just to hold something hot. My house gets cold, yo. That's it, that's all it's for.

    So in theory I get this. Sorta. But re-heated coffee makes me kinda sad.

  36. Connie Weiss
    June 1, 2010 | 7:43 pm

    I should really only drink ONE cup a day because after the first cup the coffee tastes burnt to me and it's not as good as the first cup.

    I think you should get a second coffee maker just for you…you deserve it.

  37. just making my way
    June 2, 2010 | 12:32 am

    I'm not into coffee unless it's got chocolate syrup and whipped cream in it.

    Or Frangelico, but that's another story.

  38. Deb
    June 2, 2010 | 12:45 am

    DUDE. Just buy a $80 microwave! How come you don't want one? HOw do you make popcorn? How do you melt butter? How do you heat up leftovers?

    Sorry, but the mind boggles.

  39. Deb
    June 2, 2010 | 12:47 am

    Oh yeah, definitely get a cup warmer. If you go to Amazon and read the reviews, they will direct you to the best one. I got my husband one for Christmas one year and apparently it's the best thing I've ever gotten him.

  40. Manic Mommy
    June 2, 2010 | 12:51 am

    My God! He painted everything?? I can't (won't) count the half-finished projects around here! Give him the coffee and go to SB! It's a win/win!

    Again with the exclamation points…

  41. Denise
    June 2, 2010 | 4:51 pm

    Love your idiosyncratic coffee heating ritual. And now that you mention it, I think I really only like the first 6 or 7 sips of my coffee (which everyone in my family kids me about since it's really milk and cream with a little coffee…). Anywhoooo, I think our hubbies might be kindred spirits. Good handy men.

  42. Anonymous
    June 2, 2010 | 4:57 pm

    i am glad i am not the only non-drinking, coffee drinker in the world. i DO have a microwave and i watch my mug spin round and round for at least a minute at a time at least 4 or 5 times in the morning before i move on to the next project and my mister comes home and gives me a hard time for not drinking my coffee… its more the idea of coffee (and the smell). I do wonder what the nutritional content is after 10 nukes – can you have negative nutrition???

  43. Carolyn...Online
    June 2, 2010 | 7:08 pm

    A. Buy a microwave for the love of god.

    B. Scott has started working from home this summer. FROM. HOME. It's just not fair.

  44. Elaine A.
    June 2, 2010 | 7:15 pm

    I like my coffee the same way. But then I have a microwave… :)

    Hope you had a great weekend! Oh and that the week is going well too!

  45. for a different kind of girl
    June 2, 2010 | 7:31 pm

    We don't own a coffee maker. I wouldn't know how to make coffee at all. I do, however, hear you loud and clear on the chaos of your husband's current work schedule and the habits you have. On the one day off I get (at least until school ends this week), I sort of relish it madly because I'm the only one home. When my husband surprises me by still sitting around the table at 8 a.m., on those days, I get very antsy. I have some painting projects I keep dreaming off, so maybe I should get him on those?


  46. dearheart
    June 2, 2010 | 9:26 pm

    Funny. I'm the same. If the coffee did not cost me more than $2, I'm no snob and I might as well be drinking black tar from the gas station on rural route wherever.

    Just wondering – did you mention the cream/white thing to Matt before you bought the otherwise awesome in every way, shelves?

  47. Nanny Goats In Panties
    June 2, 2010 | 11:35 pm

    OK, why don't you have a microwave again? Oh yeah. The smell. OK, how about one o' them cup warmers. You know like a little tiny stove hot plate but just for cups to keep them warm. I used to keep one of those on my desk because I can never drink my hot coffee fast enough and this kept it warm. Or maybe they don't even make those things any more.

  48. ivymae
    June 3, 2010 | 3:14 pm

    Wait, you didn't have this in your vows? "For better or worse, or coffee slobber"? You have to cover all your bases. I bet you also didn't have dogs with explosive shits in there.

  49. Robin
    June 3, 2010 | 6:07 pm

    For the love of god, get a second pot. Don't subject your poor husband to horrible burnt spit-ified coffee. Gak.

    I love you, but ewwwww… (yes, I do have coffee snob leanings, how could you tell?)

    Thanks so much for all your stars and your support. Now the waiting game begins.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  50. Anonymous
    June 3, 2010 | 10:23 pm

    Why don't you use the microwave in the garage?

  51. The Beaver Bunch
    June 4, 2010 | 2:49 pm

    Because of this post I have savored every sip of my piping hot coffee this week.

    And, thanked God that my husband goes to work at a normal work time so I can have MY mornings as normal.

  52. anymommy
    June 4, 2010 | 3:22 pm

    Come on now, Grant.

    I can't be tramping all the way out to the garage and all the way upstairs every 15 minutes. The children would take over the house and bar the doors. ;-)

    Excellent suggestions. You all rock. But, the coffee cup warmer that plugs into the usb port is pure genius.

  53. ~Laura
    June 4, 2010 | 9:27 pm

    Oh!! I love my chai tea lattes. They save me during the week. Starting in fall and going through (oh still going strong in June) I rely on these to wake me up, comfort my heart and give me that pleasant warmth for my hands and a wonderful aroma that seems to say RELAX… Sorry, I was day dreaming about one again…

  54. Maggie May
    June 5, 2010 | 5:45 am

    i am the same with coffee. we. are. weird.

  55. Stephanie Meade Gresham
    June 5, 2010 | 1:21 pm

    I always get here so late and figure I won't leave a comment because do you really have time to do all that scrolling? And do I want to be "that girl"?

    All paranoia aside…

    I choke down room temp coffee at three o'clock nearly every day because I haven't thought of this brilliant idea of yours. I ain't too proud to drink the dregs.

    We can be gross together.

  56. Pseudonymous High School Teacher
    June 6, 2010 | 3:37 am

    "They gang up on my ass and use that shit against me" Yes they do. Just wait until they are teens ; -)

    Loved every bit of this.

  57. prashant
    June 12, 2010 | 8:11 pm

    he can haul it all over his work radius. That will leave the actual coffee pot free for your own personal use.
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  58. Staceytat
    June 14, 2010 | 6:38 am

    One day you have me slapping my knee with laughter and the next day I am reaching for my tissues. Thanks for opening my eyes to issues that I would otherwise not be aware of and reminding me that none of us are perfect and in not being perfect, we should all give each other and ourselves a break! And I love coffee too!!!

  59. Rachel
    June 23, 2010 | 1:09 am

    What a riot. We've never had a microwave either, but more to save counter space and a vaguely unsettled feeling about radiation. I do the SAME THING all morning, but using a pot on the stove. I never read anyone saying something like this — it just kind of captures so much about mommyhood. BTW, I love the sentiment on your blog, mourning time passing. I am always nostalgic in the moment, too.

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