On Coffee

I have started my day with a hot cup of coffee for as long as I can remember. Literally. I have memories of sneaking into the kitchen after my mother has left for work and finishing what's left of her coffee - she only ever drinks half, until now. And one of the things I learned from my grandmother is that pandesal is best dunked into black coffee.

I have gone through several phases since then. High school was Taster's Choice I stole from home, college was 3-in-1 packets and flavored creamers, and when I got my first job I slowly but surely developed a relationship with Starbucks - at the height of it all I was guzzling half a liter of brewed Verona beans per day.

And then there were flings. The crazy strong canned coffee from Japanese vending machines (one step away from directly inhaling coffee grounds). Kopi-C in a plastic bag from Singapore hawker centers. The Aerobie Aeropress, which I loved but at one point I realized hand-grinding beans was not an ideal way to start the day. Eventually I resorted to pre-ground coffee, but it wasn't as good. There was the momentary allure of the Nespresso, that sexy machine that promises wonderful coffee with next-to-nothing effort, but after their trying the strongest brew they had and going "eh?" I decided it was not meant to be.

These days I like my coffee uncomplicated - just with sugar and plain, non-dairy creamer (milk in the morning = migraine). I have had my fair share of lattes in the past, but I have come to realize that I really, really, really do not like foam. It's like an extra layer I have to sift through to get to my caffeine. And the only flavored syrup I like in my coffee is mint, because it's interesting. I've also grown out of love with Starbucks. Something changed - either their brew or my tastebuds - but their coffee these days just tastes burnt and watered down (to me, at least). And then there's the price, which just compounds my disappointment.

Anyway, the whole point of this whole ramble is thus: I am crazy addicted to instant drip coffee packets from Muji.

They come individually wrapped, and the through some creative origami sorcery you end up with a basket on top of your coffee mug, like in the picture. You pour in some hot water, and voila! Five-minute drip coffee with zero cleanup. It's a bit on the strong side, but not as acidic as most Japanese blends, and very smooth (I don't know if that's a proper term for describing coffee, but that's what it feels like).

They are quite difficult to get ahold of, though. In fact I was just in Muji this afternoon to stock up hoard and they only had two packets left *sniff*. I guess I'm not the only one addicted to them.

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