I like drinking coffee. I didn’t always like the taste. When I was young, the aroma was enticing, but the taste was disgusting. It was only in college that I learned to appreciate the bitter flavor of a nice, hot cup of black coffee. Especially with a bit of whiskey in it…

I start most work day mornings with black coffee (without the whiskey). I’ll have a cup with breakfast before I leave for work, and, if I’m tired or just in the mood, I’ll brew a pot at work. Yesterday, I had just gotten back from vacation. I flew in late on Monday night and was eager for that first cup at work on Tuesday morning.

I almost cried when I saw that not only was the coffee pot not cleaned out from the day before (a sadly common occurrence in my office), but there were no grounds left. Nothing from which to brew the caffeinated elixir that would get me through the long work day. Nothing at all.

I urgently texted my husband, begging him to bring some grounds by. He promised that he would, but then salvation appeared. One of my co-workers actually brought in coffee. I was saved.

Then I heard the tink-tink of beans being poured into a metal hopper and I flinched.

At home, we use a burr grinder. It is a quality grinder and produces uniform grounds to relatively precise sizes. My co-worker had brought in a spice grinder. Those tend to do things like make half your beans into powder while not touching the other half, but she insisted it was okay that she put whole beans into the coffee maker because that’s what she did at home.

I’m pretty sure she didn’t explode her coffee maker at home though.

No, I exaggerate. The coffee maker didn’t explode. The coffee did.

She overfilled the filter, which caused the hot water to flow up and over the sides of it, resulting in a splash of grounds in and on the carafe. The maker was valiantly trying to pump more hot water into the filter area, but it couldn’t, because the powdered grounds had formed an impenetrable mud, sprinkled with whole beans.

I called this fact to her attention as calmly as I could, all the while wanting to scream at her for depriving me of coffee in such a cruel fashion. No grounds I could have fixed, but this delay, combined with a 9am meeting, would mean no coffee for me until nearly lunch time.

I told her I would buy myself some coffee, so that she would either not make any more or not make much.

She made half a pot, didn’t drink a drop (and neither did I).

The pot was also let to sit overnight without being rinsed out.

I brought my own grounds in this morning. I’m here to do my job, and since I’m not a barista, grinding coffee beans is not part of that – especially not with a spice grinder.

If I can’t do something fancy like have whiskey in my coffee at work, then I don’t want to do anything complicated with the coffee making, thank you very much.

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