If you live in the Pacific Northwest, it almost required that you should be a coffee snob. Most folks throughout the country think this means that we get our morning cup o’joe from Starbucks, as it was pretty much born and raised in Seattle. I’ve never been a Starbucks fan, mostly because I think their coffee tastes burnt and horrible (just my opinion), but because I really hate having to stand in line (or sit in the drive-up queue) while everyone orders their mocha-frappa-machiato bullshit. There. I’ve said it. ;P My favorite cup of coffee is a nice richly brewed Columbian with just a dash of cream. What makes a great cup of coffee is in how the coffee is prepared. I have several coffee makers in my house. I have the simple plastic Melitta Cone filter holder, an espresso machine, a french press, a Braun automatic drip, and even a Senseo coffee maker. They can all deliver a fairly decent cup, but the most important part of brewing the morning pick me up is the preparation of the beans. Admittedly, I generally get my whole beans from Costco. 1) They selected a wonderful Columbian brew before they stamped their name on the bag (as they generally do), and 2) buying the three-pound bag is very cost effective. Good beans and proper roasting are essential to a good cup of coffee, but so is the grind of the coffee. For the last few years I’ve had a very frustrating relationship with my coffee grinder. Not only is it extremely noisy, but it jams frequently, and it’s overall design ends up getting ground coffee all over the countertop in my kitchen. I am a very untidy person, but when things start to get downright dirty, I get highly annoyed . . . sometimes even enough to have to do a thorough clean up, which annoys me even more. So, I have been on the lookout for a new coffee grinder for a while. This means of course, that I was waiting for Costco to get in a shipment of coffee mills, since I rarely shop anywhere else (just a fact that, unless it’s for quilting supplies, I hate shopping). I’d really love to have an old Spong hand-cranked coffee mill, but they are nearly impossible to find these days and, if you do find one, they are prohibitively expensive. Also, I really don’t have a space in my kitchen where I could affix it to the wall and still have the freedom to turn the handle. So, on Friday, when I went to get my new smartphone, Costco happened to have a Cuisinart Coffee Mill for a wonderful price and I bought one. Not only is it quieter than my old coffee mill, but its design prevents the mess created by my old one. The coffee flavor is remarkably better, as the Cuisinart is achieves a much finer grind. So, here I sit on a Sunday morning, really savoring my morning coffee and realizing that perhaps the finer grind delivered a better jolt of caffeine which may have spurred yesterday’s productivity. Let’s see what comes of today’s brew. If it can get my out of my humdrum slothfulness, it really is my elixir of life.