Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Coffee time.

Yeah, at 23:00.

Would you believe that I'm the only one at my P.D. who drinks coffee? What the hell kinda po-leece they got in this town, anyway?
My old memories of being a little boy include being bored and scampering around the knees of boot-clad, gun-toting cops who smelled of tobacco and well-used leather and coffee and perhaps the whiff of aftershave and Hoppe's. My dad was a County investigator who seemed to know every cop in North Texas, and who would drone on and on at length with them about cases (which had nothing to do with shootouts like on TV), and guns (which were interesting for all of a second or two, and then uninteresting to a kid who shot little but grew up surrounded by them.). They would drink lots of coffee during these bull sessions. I recall visiting my father's office in the old courthouse, seeing those old paper or styrofoam conical coffee cup liners in their dumb-looking brown plastic holders, on old scarred walnut desks. That doesn't look like a very enjoyable cup of joe to me, in retrospect.

Now, when I want coffee at the PD, I have to bring in my own. I found an old Sunbeam coffee maker high in a cabinet by the evidence prep counter, so I sometimes pull it down, rinse it out, load it, and make coffee for myself before cleaning it up and putting it back up in the cabinet. It's kind of a pain, and the ritual is only for me. But in the middle of the night, when you're short on sleep, you feed your one addiction, and are glad that it's a socially-acceptable one.

What the hell?
These are Good Guys that I work with. I couldn't be happier. They're a fine crew, and they really are interested in putting bad guys in jail.
But they'd be even better cops if they drank coffee with me. I guaran-damn-tee it.

[Note: LawDog gets a pass, because he never fails to appreciate a cup or three of fresh hot tea.]
Coffee is social. It's functional. It's often (though not here) provided gratis by employers and businesses. It's completely acceptable to drink in almost any environment. I'd sure take my coffee served in those silly cup liners, if I could enjoy a cup now and then with my cohorts.

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At Saturday, March 10, 2007 8:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you've hit one of my hot-button issues here. I'm a bona-fide caffeine addict and have been for years. Remember, we owned a coffeehouse so I know of whence I speak. I was always on cordial, if not downright convivial terms with my local constabulary in my hometown and yet they NEVER dropped by our place. The only two times they did were to do a walkthrough because we had an inordinantly large crowd that night and once when the alarm went off during the initial remodeling. We had let it be known that our local PD/SO/FD fols were absolutely welcome and that they were comped any time, for anything we had, but still no takers, except when the ambulance drivers would make a granita run for the nurses at the ER at night.

When we relocated over to the 'big city' up the road, things were no different, with the exception of one Sgt. who would drop by around closing time/shift change a few nights a week. We got to be good friends and he even brought a few bottles of his homebrewed ale to swap for coffee.

It's weird. I don't get it. Maybe it's the proliferation of energy drinks or something, but I'm surprised at how many LEO's and EMT types mainline swill like Mt. Dew and Red Bull.

Ugh. Give me a nice Panamanian or Guatemalan any day. Or night.

I've been known to take a little espresso to relax before going to bed. Helps me relax. I've cut way, way back these days. Used to be, I could finish off two airpots of coffee before noon, but SWMBO was complaining I'd twitch in my sleep.

I still don't know how you tolerate the taste of that Starbucks Italian roast, though. :D


At Saturday, March 10, 2007 1:34:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Fixit said...

Come by my firestation anytime. If there isn't a pot hot and ready, there will be in a few minutes.

I have to have the caffine too. My choices are coffee, Dr Pepper, or sweet tea (iced tea). Coffee is good anytime, anywhere.

But yeah, that starbucks stuff....pass.

Mr Fixit

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Rabbit, I think that you must've gotten a bad batch of the Starbucks stuff.

Look, I laugh at the whole craze. I much, MUCH prefer a locally-run coffee house. Freshman year at UT Austin, I spent a fair amount of time that I should have been studying over at Captain Quackenbush's Coffee House on Guadalupe (AKA "The Strip"). Then when I went to UNT as a sophomore, I attempted to bankrupt my poor friend Kurt (RIP, buddy) at the EPA Coffeehouse, with his free refills.

About this time, I bought my first espresso machine, a crappy Salton pressed sheet metal job that came with an electric grinder. The grinder was the real benefit. I started buying bean coffee, and found that grinding it yourself could give you a better cup of drip. Then I began experimenting with infusions and percolators, becoming quite excited when I realized that there was not a reason in the world why one couldn't use a camp percolator coffee maker on the stovetop.

I began to play with home roasting already-roasted beans, finding that they seemed to be shinier if I bought light roast and made it my own dark roast. About this time, Starbucks and a couple of other companies began selling roasted beans in a bag infused with nitrogen, and sealed. This made a huge difference in the taste-- coffee ages quickly after it's been roasted.

I found that Whole Foods in Austin sells green coffee beans to roast yourself or they'll roast 'em while you wait. Dear Gawd that fresh roast is good.

I like a Guatamalan, but I like Kenyan AA, Blue Mountain, real pure Kona (rare), Costa Rican, and...

Hell, I like good coffee.

Just don't leave it on the burner long, make sure it's fresh roasted, fresh brewed, and made in a clean pot.

Leave the fru-fru of cream, sugar, and all that rot, generally. (Oh, I admit that an occasional latte hits the spot.) Give it to me black in any container. The stuff I'm sipping now is in a 32 oz. styrofoam recycled Sonic cup. (with a lid, the better to transport it.)

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:11:00 AM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...

I like coffee. Quite a bit. It goes well with any food except for sushi. It also helps when you are hungry, and have no food.

Perhaps my life as a student, and also numerous security gigs have helped, and I know that my time in the Army made me appreciate a cup of joe even more.

I brought a little metal espresso pot (not knowing if I'd end up living in the field while in A-stan), but think I must have left it at Phoenix.

Anyway, I've gone to more tea than coffee in the last month, because I've got plenty of tea now, and the extra caffeine may have been part of the reason I had trouble sleeping some nights.

I like coffee black. I like coffee with milk. I like, probably most of all, coffee with a dash of whiskey and powdered milk and amaretto. (Lazzaroni Amaretto is a good brand that is affordable.) Go ahead, call me a girly man- I can take it.

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 8:40:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

A cop shop without a coffee pot?


I believe you only because I know you're an honest man, Matt.

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Fixit said...

Yes you're right Matt, the Starbucks coffee is good. It's all the extra crud they put in it that turns me off, like the hazelnut or vanilla or whatever-the-heck extra flavors. I want coffee flavor. If I want nuts I'll go to the store and buy them.

Mr Fixit

At Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a Dunn Bros. near the office where I've been picking up my Central AMerican beans lately. They roast fresh daily in house. Occasionally I get there while it's still warm.

If I'm gonna drink it with cow squeezins I get a breve. If they are out of Half&Half, then I'll have them throw 4 shots into steamed heavy cream. It's like a heart attack in a cup and worth the noise of your hardening arteries. Try it some time.

I've got to get an electrician out to the house to run 220 over to the bar so I can get my 2-group Rio espresso machine up and running. I trust myself with 110, but 220VAC is a mystery to me.

John, do you need a Moka pot? I can probably arrange for you to get one.


At Sunday, March 11, 2007 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Rabbit, I don't know if our local Whole Foods (Arlington, for instance) does it, but at the one one in downtown Austin, they've got a counter where you can choose the green beans and have them roast 'em for you on the spot, using a nifty hot air roaster that makes the beans float in a lucite tube. You can watch 'em turning, though you don't get to hear 'em pop, as when at home. The girl who takes care of your orders is a pleasure to look at and talk to, as well, so it's a drink and a show. :)

At Monday, March 12, 2007 1:04:00 AM, Blogger OldeForce said...

My experience with the PD was going to shooting matches with my uncle, the county cop, after fishing. I was 4 or 5 when this started. Afterwards, we'd stop off and I'd have a burger, Coke, and fries, and listen to their stories. Amidst the smell of burgers, fries, beer, and whiskey! Oh, I loved it!
Gave up on coffee after practice teaching some 43 years ago. Got so I'd have 10 -12 cups a day, heavily laced with sugar. Had to pin my eyelids closed at night! Now it's Dr. Pepper and dark chocolate M&Ms. [Brother owned a small bakery and had about the best coffee in town. All the local cops would stop by. And tell stories!]

At Monday, March 12, 2007 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want even better coffee get some better greens -
They've got roasters, brewers, reference stuff, a pretty good email list, friendly folks, and (literally) some of the best coffee on the planet. Tom started his business as a hobby, an indulgence allowed him by his wife Maria (thus the name) and has gone on to become one of the most respected coffee judges there is.

While you can buy a very nice roaster from Tom (I'm now using the nifty GeneCafe) you can also roast with a hand-crank popcorn popper on the stove, a heat gun and a dog bowl, and lots of other ways to combine 'heat & beans'.

But: you'll have a tough time finding a drinkable cup of coffee outside your own home.

At Saturday, March 17, 2007 3:01:00 PM, Blogger J.R.Shirley said...


That's very kind of you, but my chain of command doesn't worry over much about silly things like ensuring we get our mail in a timely manner. Maybe someday we can share a cup. :-)



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