Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Neo Faucet Coffee

From the moment I began drinking coffee in Austin, TX, I was suspicious. This stuff tasted "off", but not as bad as instant coffee. My first cup came from the continental breakfast room at the (not-so-) Super 8. You push a button, the machine makes a pumping sound, and hot coffee flows into your cup. No pot, no grounds. If you watch closely at the end of the stream, you might see a brown viscous swirl. This is coffee's equivalent to the soda fountain.

I was comfortable with the idea, confined as it was to cheap motels. Then, jones-ing for caffeine, I stopped into a Fudruckers. They share a parking lot with my new digs, and I did not want to sprint across highway 35 to find a cup. No, they can't sell me brewed coffee, because their machine is not working. No, they can't sell me a pound of ground coffee, because they use a concentrated liquid.

Que?

Did I fall asleep for twenty years, to discover that fresh brewed coffee was extinct? Or am I just a spoiled Seattle java junkie? My people, from Illinois, drink Folgers crystals, or, as I call it, "faucet coffee." I used to try and keep some instant around, in case I ran out. It did not work. My stomach rejects faucet coffee, responding with an all-morning acid bite. I've tried haranguing, subsidizing with gifts (coffeemakers! pounds of ground!), to no avail.

Imagine my surprise when a famous and sophisticated city such as Austin seemed to have adopted the latest version of faucet coffee! Could it be that others are adopting this technology? Achh! A Google search produces several brands of coffee concentrate machines! I'd sooner switch to a caffeine patch.

Restaurateurs, be apprised: here is what happens to those who tamper with my coffee: Chris Farley is served instant coffee.

9 Comments:

At Thursday, February 01, 2007 8:15:00 AM, Anonymous SM said...

Monte, quit complaining about the coffee and get down to the business at hand! You're not in Seattle anymore w/ the rest of the addicts trying to forget about the rain. And another thing, we have graduated to Folgers+, our Springfield culture is more sophisticated than you remember- it's gourmet coffee everywhere you turn now. So quite whining and start trying to fit in! Walk around the university, stop in a real coffee shop, go check out some live music, hit a bike trail or go hiking! I would imagine the people are pretty cool and laid back, maybe a little artsy too. Kind of like Tucson on steroids. My only concern about Austin is what the job market is really like since it's been flooded w/ people moving there. But I was speaking to a friend from Rochester recently and he said he would have never come back home after a visit there if he didn't have obligations in this area. So come on, Monte, keep moving forward and tell us about your exploits!

 
At Thursday, February 01, 2007 7:51:00 PM, Blogger Monte Hayward said...

As a matter of fact, I got an excellent haircut and mocha downtown today. Connected with a mortgage broker that had some good news for me. Also paid off the thugs at the IL DMV. So, I should have a clean driving record ... in three to five days. Now, any organization that needs $75 and a business week to update a database record -- that's who's in trouble.

 
At Friday, February 02, 2007 8:16:00 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Monte, if you are still staying in that Super 8 check out one of these- http://www.extendedstayhotels.com/ That was comfortable affordable long term lodging for me in Dallas.

 
At Friday, February 02, 2007 8:27:00 AM, Anonymous SM said...

See that, Monte?- http://www.world-guides.com/images/austin/austin_tx_state_museum3.jpg Get used to that star, longhorns, and bbq. My favorite thing about the southwest and TX is the Tex-Mex. I suggest learning how to make your own salsa and guacamole. Also, drop the Montini (http://amateur-mixologist.blogspot.com) for beer, it goes better w/ spicy food.

 
At Friday, February 02, 2007 9:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.austinexplorer.com/hiking/ Hike trails.

 
At Saturday, February 03, 2007 8:54:00 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Monte, after looking at the landscape photos of the hiking areas around Austin, I'm pretty disappointed. I thought it was greener and more beautiful there. Another downside is the weather from May to Nov., 5 months out of the year it's going to be hot and humid as hell. I took Tucson's weather and beauty for granted when I was living there. If I were you I wouldn't blow my wad on a condo/house in Austin unless I had a job lined up that I was going to be happy w/. I suggest looking at more cities, perhaps Portland, Tucson, maybe even Hawaii if you think you could get a decent job there. It's a tough road to happiness but you have freedom and independence to do anything you desire. Austin isn't the end of the road and I don't think it lives up to its hype.

 
At Saturday, February 03, 2007 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous Jimmy said...

What about the bay area? I know it's expensive but you get what you pay for.

 
At Saturday, February 03, 2007 12:44:00 PM, Anonymous Steve-O said...

Monte, here are time-lapsed videos from the University of Arizona in Tucson where I got my undergrad- http://www.cs.arizona.edu/camera/vault It makes me think that Tucson is more diverse in aerial and landscape beauty than Austin. 9,000 ft. mountain range to the north and small ranges on the other 3 sides of the city. Colorado landscape and 30 degree difference in temp only an hr. north, equipped w/ ski slope. Hiking, mountain biking trails everywhere. And it's a dry heat, if you don't know what that is it makes all temps feel a lot more comfortable, both summer and winter. Great arts community and academic community like Austin. Cost of living is about the same as Springfield. Construction costs are cheap out there and a lot of housing has pools and hot tubs. Maybe time to get Zen and relocate to AZ.

 
At Saturday, February 03, 2007 1:00:00 PM, Anonymous Steve-O said...

Hotel Congress is waiting for you. http://www.hotelcongress.com I've stayed there a couple times coming from IL. It was also a great spot for nitelife and dining in the city. Recently, Rachael Ray brought her show into the Cup Cafe. When I lived in Tucson, from 89-93 I heard about Austin and the cultures were often compared, like the music scene, the arts, etc.

 

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