#128: The Contigo

man holding white teacup in front of gray laptop

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Speaking of the simple joys of life, I’d like to talk a little bit about Contigo, the brand that’s single-handedly saved my coffee-drinking habit and made me a coffee-drinking addict instead.

Contigo is wonderful, known primarily for its steel canteens and water bottles that hold liquids for incredible lengths of time without getting too lukewarm. It literally lasts for about 8 hours, which helps make sure it stays completely hot and worthwhile for drinking. The Contigo that I’m currently drinking out of is almost a foot tall, and it carries enough coffee to keep me hydrated (or, technically, not hydrated) throughout the work day. I can sip on my coffee throughout the morning and not have to worry about running out until the afternoon, when I pop in one of my Keurig cups and refill my coffee to the top.

Speaking of Keurig, it’s been an absolute joy to have the Keurig cups with me at work. It means that I don’t have to worry about ever, ever running out of coffee throughout the day; I am a machine powered exclusively by hyper-caffeinated energy and adrenaline during the day.

And guess what? I’m not exaggerating even a little bit. Not a half-hour goes by without my lips touching some caffeinated beverage. I have completely transformed from a coffee noob to an absolute coffee fiend. Work is incomplete without my Contigo coffee mug. I need it in order to survive the day, and sometimes it’s the only thing keeping me, let’s say, grounded.

Shout outs to Alex who regularly prepares coffee for me in the morning, knowing fully well that she has an exhausting day of work ahead but still does it for me. She’s a wonderful, amazing person, and I can already picture the smile on her face as she’s reading this!

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#105: The Coffee

white cup filled by coffee

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I’ve talked about the Keurig, I’ve talked about drinks and beverages, but I’ve never specifically talked about my fascination with coffee. When it comes to my favorite drink, coffee meets the criteria. I love drinking coffee regardless of what flavor it is, although I sometimes have a favorite flavor splash when I go to Dunkin for coffee. Hazelnut! Toasted almond! Caramel! No matter the type, I’m game. We don’t have flavor splashes at home, aside from the occasional sugar-free option. I don’t think we’ve had that in awhile, though. At least, it feels that way. I just love spending time with coffee.

But let’s talk about the beginnings of coffee in my life. It started in college, late in life, like most things. When I was in college, a friend of mine who I don’t really talk to any more introduced me to coffee. Prior to this moment, I had tried coffee in my mom’s cup once or twice and hated it. I hated how it dehydrated my mouth immediately upon my tongue touching it, I hated the icky, dry, tasteless feeling of iced coffee. But that changed when I tried hot coffee by myself, for the first time. My friend brought me to the cafeteria between grad school classes and we brewed a very simple, easy-to-make hot coffee from the machine. She taught me how to stir milk, the appropriate amount of milk in coffee, and how to sip coffee when it’s especially hot. Since that moment, I always stopped for coffee at the cafeteria station and filled up as high as it could go.

Some things don’t change from time to time, but other things grow and develop with you, changing like the weather. I like to think that the change I’ve experienced in my life, such as learning to enjoy coffee, is a sign that, with age, life changes just as much as it did when I was young.

#97: The Keurig

white cup filled by coffee

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Again, let’s talk about coffee. I’ve talked about this subject enough times on my blog that I think it’s gotten repetitive at this point, but this is centering on a different facet of coffee-drinking: the coffee-making machine. When I am waking up in the morning, the fresh, hot coffee Alex brewed from our fancy Keurig machine lifts me up and keeps me going throughout the long early morning of the work day. Shout out to Alex and her exceptional brewing skills, especially at 4:30am!

The Keurig we have now is fantastic. We got it for Christmas, thanks to Alex’s mom, and its variety of options still blows me away. It has options for literally all kinds of mug sizes, and a screen that changes color and design with the push of a button. As you can probably imagine, I’m easily pleased by these things! But honestly, after looking at the Keurigs at various work environments and offices, this Keurig blows the other ones completely out of the water. It feels like a 21st century invention, if you catch my drift. Like a hoverboard, except for coffee. I use it to prepare coffee at night for Alex and I, and I use it to prepare tea when I’m going to bed, so that I can relax with some nice chamomile sleepytime tea. It prepares every kind of hot or cold beverage you could ever need!

At work, I bring k-cups with me so I can refill my coffee in the office Keurig machine whenever it goes down. Another great resource.

I wish I knew the exact model of this Keurig so I could plug it here. Maybe I’ll go home, look it up, and update this post when I find out the model. Otherwise, just know that this is great!

#86: The Coffee Spot

blur business coffee commerce

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Coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. Let’s talk about coffee, the caffeinated greatness. I’m drinking coffee right now, enjoying the frothy aroma and its heat in the early morning. Fulfilling the early morning duty of keeping me awake, coffee adds so much to my normal daily routine. Alex wakes up before me and prepares some coffee for me to take to work, which fuels me for the first few hours of the working day. Coffee motivates me to get up out of bed and into a new day.

When we first moved to Stamford, there was a nice place nearby called Coffee Spot, which I visited frequently during the summer for an iced chai latte or a macchiato. I’m pretty basic when it comes to my coffee choices, but I can’t deny flavor when I taste it. I love the gingerbread latte at Starbucks, and I love the caramel macchiato at Dunkin. Like I said, pretty basic overall. Some time in the past two months or so, Coffee Spot shut down and without much fanfare or notice. It just slowly disappeared, like the result of a Thanos snap. One day, Alex said that she walked by the coffee shop and saw the seats and books gone. I thought it was nothing at first, but it turns out it was actually signalling the end of one of my favorite neighborhood spots. I wish I spent more time actually sitting and reading there, instead of just going for a coffee and then dipping quickly. There’s more to the place than meets the eye. Unfortunately, nothing has risen up to replace the spot yet, even though it’s in a prime position for commerce and activity!

It won’t ever come back, but it exists in our memories. Nothing will replace Coffee Break from Quincy, when Alex spent two and a half months living there. It was the perfect place to read and relax inside. Maybe they’ll swoop by and replace it! A man can hope.