Daily Perk

I’m not what you’d call a coffee person.

Oh, I drink coffee.  But I’d say that I appreciate it more than love it.  I need caffeine, & coffee provides.  It’s no Diet Coke, but it does the job, and without chemicals I can’t pronounce or digest. 

So, yeah.  Coffee & I have reached an understanding.

Coffee makers, though?  Those are still a struggle.

Mr. Sey has a Keurig one-cup brewer, & he loves it.   He only wants a single cup for the drive to work every morning, & the convenience of just throwing a pod into the maker delights him.  I’m not thrilled with the waste & the expense, but I guess it beats stopping at the coffee shop.

We also have a cranky old coffee pot that we press into service when we have company & need a whole pot.  But it doesn’t work all that well & I haven’t been happy with it.  Recently, however, I visited my sister & was reintroduced to the good old plug-in percolator.  No filters, no programming, no buttons.  Just fill the pot, dump the coffee in the basket, throw on the lid & plug it in.  Some musical bubbling later & viola!  Coffee!

I’d forgotten it used to be that simple. 

I had to have one. 

IMG_6861It took some searching but I persevered.  And I am now enjoying a lovely, hot cup of freshly perked coffee with my morning paper.  And it is delicious.

How about you?  Do you have a caffeine habit?  How do you feed it? 

Mouse over images for photo credit.  Most images courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net



  • Jane says:

    Hello Susan,
    I just ordered my mom one of those 3 cup coffee percolators from Amazon. It costs $30, but it was exactly what my mom wanted. No plug needed, it works on the stovetop. I want one of those Nescafe expresso machines, but right now I’ve been using the plain old coffee pots. If I’m lazy, I’ll just reach for the instant coffee.

    • Jane, the rooster says he has his strong and black – with lots of sugar!

    • Susan Sey says:

      Congrats on snagging the Golden Rooster, Jane! And congrats also on finding exactly what your mom wanted! I was very attracted to the stove-top percolator myself, honestly. I seriously considered it, especially because it would happily go camping with us. Eventually I decided that I wanted to keep the stove out of the situation, & just plug it in on the counter, but I think what you got for your mom is an elegant little solution. I may end up getting one after all. Because is there really such a thing as too many appliances that provide caffeine? I submit that there is not.

  • Cassondra says:

    Susan I have a nice Cuisinart coffeemaker, and a grinder to go with it.

    I also have my grandmother’s little 3-cup percolator in the cabinet, and every now and then I get it out and perk coffee. Because the flavor is so freaking fantastic.

    Starbucks and the other coffee snobs can have their french presses.

    I’ll take my old fashioned percolator. That’s some seriously good coffee.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I have never understood the French Press thing, Cassondra. I really don’t get that. It’s so messy & time consuming. I guess if your coffee is all about ritual, then you love your French Press in the morning, but me? I just want the joe, you know?

      I might could get into grinding my own beans, though….

  • Cassondra says:

    Incidentally, I should say that my percolator looks astonishingly like yours.

    It looks exactly like yours actually.

  • Susan, I used to be a coffee addict but I got sick and for a few months I couldn’t eat any dairy products (I was a milky coffee woman) and my caffeine tolerance wore off. These days, a cup of coffee keeps me buzzing for a week so I tend to drink tea or decaf instead. Decaf, by the way, ensures a sneer from any Italian waiter you ever meet. I used to have one of those little one-cup Italian jobbies that sit on the stove and work like a percolator. That made WONDERFUL coffee. I also had one of those Harris sets like you get in the conference hotels but I was never very keen on that. Mum and Dad had a percolator just like the one in your picture – they were quite the trendy accessory in 1955!

    • Susan Sey says:

      Anna, I was off caffeine for several years due to pregnancy & nursing, & was perfectly happy about it. I kind of wish I were still that pure, but sadly I’m a caffeine fiend again.

      But once, when I was absolutely pure in mind & body (in regards to caffeine, anyway), I ordered a cup of decaf tea & discovered the hard way that it wasn’t decaf at all. In fact, it was hard-core caffeinated. I thought I was having a heart attack. It packs a powerful punch when you aren’t expecting it…

      • Susan, once I felt OK again (took a surprisingly long time), I went back to my usual coffee habit and just couldn’t sleep at all. Sleep has always been a problem for me so the coffee had to go, sadly. 🙁

  • ki pha says:

    I’m not a coffee person but I am a caffeine addict in the form of sodas and soft drinks. I find that if I go without it for more than a week then I go a bit crazy and deprived of energy. Withdrawal you know, so I either will have to go buy a pack or supplement it with juice or another beverage.

    Oh, I shall to you, I find that coffee makes me very tired and sleepy. Totally the opposite of what it usually does for others.

    • Going for a week without soda or soft drinks????
      I would die, seriously. I get caffeine headaches if I go for more than a day.

      Donna, seriously addicted to diet soft drinks.

      • Susan Sey says:

        I was right there with both of you, Ki & Donna! Diet Coke was my master, & I was happy about it. I still miss it, honestly. Addiction is an ugly thing. But I’ve decided that the chemicals are just too iffy the older I get. Not sure I’d have been able to take the high road on that if I hadn’t managed to switch over to coffee. Because life without Nutrasweet? Okay, fine. I’m cranky but whatevs. Life without caffeine? No, thank you. I’d rather just die early.

  • Amy Conley says:

    My caffine habit is Pepsi One. I LOVE coffee, but it usually puts me to sleep and/or gives me awful heartburn,so I keep it to a minimum. The Kurig would be perfect for me since they now also have teas, but I can’t see spending over $100 for a cup of coffee every few days.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Thank you! It’s expensive, right? Let’s not even talk about the environmental impact of all those little pods! Mr. Sey is tired of hearing about it, so I’m shutting up now but I’m just saying. I wouldn’t mind the extra hundred bucks a month to spend elsewhere, you know?

      • Cassondra says:

        Susan, those pods seem INSANE to me. And I don’t think the coffee is as good. Same reason brewing just a cup or two does not taste the same as brewing a pot. Everywhere I go now, those pods are the way–even in some coffee shops. I’d just as soon pass.

        One of my friends opens each little pod and dumps the grounds into her compost, then throws away the little “cup” because it’s not recyclable where she is, apparently.

        I’m like…no. Just…no.

        I’ll take my copper mesh filter, rind my beans and savor my POT of coffee, thank you. Less energy, less money, less damage to the planet, less hassle. Hey, as a writer, I’m not exactly planet-friendly what with all the paper and such. I gotta make up for it somehow.

  • Helen says:


    I have a coffe in the morning but sorry I use instant LOL I have had a few perculators over the years and we did have a great coffee maker that used pods and had a jug to froth the milk as well but it broke down and we really don’t have the room in the kitechen for it so instant it is at home but I do buy a nice coffee once a day as well 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Susan Sey says:

      See, Helen, that’s just it! Those fancy-schmancy coffee makers ALWAYS break. They leave you high & dry right in the middle of a party, or just when you need your caffeine the most. Give me my simple little plug-in percolator any day.

      Oh, & I don’t judge instant coffee. Whatever you like is just fine by me.

  • Shannon says:

    I’m a winter coffee fiend. Now I have one coffee in the morning and switch to ice tea. I splurge on a daily latte. I’m supposed to drink milk for bone strength, but I hate milk. A latte disguises the taste.

    One days when I’m in, I make a pot in the regular drip coffee maker. I then add one of those hazelnut creamer mix. Too many calories but so satisfying.

    I never got the appeal of french press.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I also switch to iced tea, Shannon, but I wait until noon. And I make sure the iced tea is decaf so I don’t jitter my way through the day. I’m good with caffeine right up until noon, then it’s all about the iced tea. Eventually I’ll switch to water but why be TOO healthy, right?

  • My Mom has one of those percolators and it is her preferred method of brewing coffee. I got her one of those pod coffee machines and she does use it from time to time especially if she finds a flavored coffee she wants to try. I think my nephew uses it more than she does when he visits her. I need to get him one for Christmas so he can take it back to Bama with him.

    Most Southern children learn to drink coffee around age 9 or 10 (Half milk / half coffee) I was in England at that age and I learned to drink tea which is still my caffeine of choice. I don’t own a coffee pot. I own several tea kettles and tea pots. In the summer I drink more iced tea, but I still like to start the day with a hot cup of tea.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I will never abandon tea as the drink of my heart, Louisa! Whenever I’m sick or sad or cold, it’s tea I want, not coffee. Coffee is merely a means to an end, & it’s helpful as an adult in America to have a taste for coffee. Otherwise, it’s all tea.

      That said? I do love my cutie little percolator….

  • Susan,

    I’m glad you’ve found your substitute caffeine for Diet Coke.

    Despite what most people think, I worked night shift for 25 years, (That’s a quarter of a century, y’all) and only tried coffee twice. Besides the nasty-ass taste of the stuff, it gives me major…MAJOR, panic attacks.

    So, no coffee for me.

    I do enjoy a nice cup of Earl Grey or Orange Peekoe with spices in it tea upon occasion. Otherwise, I do have to have a DC in the mornings to get moving.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I hear that, Suz. Coffee’s not for everybody. It took me a concerted effort to develop the taste, & I was lucky that it suited me. Eventually. 🙂

      If Diet Coke does the trick for you, most power to you!

  • I LOVE the smell of coffee in the morning. I HATE the actual taste (unless we’re talking coffee or mocha ice cream – that – I can stomach).

    I kick off the day with a can of ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper, my drink of choice. I can drink Diet Coke as well, but prefer the Dr. Pepper. Now I know this is bad for you. It causes flatulence and the formation of flab – even if the can says diet, but I’m too long gone to seriously quit now. I drink iced tea with lemon when in a restaurant to lessen the impact of so much soda, and my daughter is waging a campaign to get me to drink more tea at home. I like tea. But I like the convenience of going to the fridge and popping a can. Let’s face it – I’m a lazy slug 🙂

    We have a small and large coffee maker (Mr. Coffee) that we use when entertaining. It lives in the basement until needed. Starbucks gets nothing from me. 🙂

    • Susan Sey says:

      Oh, Donna, I have quit The Smack (Diet Coke) more times than I can count. I always go back eventually. It’s like a bad boyfriend I just can’t leave. I’ve been clean since Easter this time, & every single time I go to a restaurant or the movies, I’m tempted. Sooooo tempted….

      Check me at RWA this summer, & see if I’m not sucking it back. Sometimes I take a “what happens at RWA stays at RWA” approach to Diet Coke. We’ll see how my resolve holds out….

  • catslady says:

    I have a large coffee maker and a smaller one. I do love my coffee so the most important thing for me is grinding the beans fresh then it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of machine I use. I do drink it all day and even at night and since I drink it black I can drink it hot or cold lol. Once in a while I get one of those fancy drinks but they seem more like a dessert. My husband did buy me an espresso machine but I never cared for it – it never tasted like the espresso you buy out even when I bought the special beans.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Wow, all day & night?? My husband can do that, too. I don’t know if caffeine has no effect on him, or is his veins run pure caffeine at this point. One or the other, I’m pretty sure. But he sleeps like a baby, so I have no issue with it. 🙂

  • Becke says:

    Coffee? No thanks. It took years to get used to the nasty smell. My dh is insanely hooked and only to Starbuck’s bold. Therefore, I learned to deal with the yucky smell.

    I like tea in the morning, but not Early Grey. Eww. Irish or English Breakfast in the am and decaf in the evening. I was seriously hooked on DC, but could probably go it solo with the tea.

    As for caffeine and sleep? I can’t eat chocolate after 3pm if I want to sleep so I don’t go near caffeine in drinks.

    • Susan Sey says:

      I dislike Earl Grey too! It tastes like flowers to me! (Is that weird? What does it taste like to you?)

      I’m English or Irish Breakfast all the way! We could happily live in the same morning kitchen, I think!

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    I drink one mug of coffee every morning. It helps that my mug holds 18 ounces. LOL I also have to have flavored creamer to change things up.

  • pjpuppymom says:

    I gave up caffeine more than twenty years ago. I had reached the point where half a cup of coffee or half a can of soda had me shaking like a leaf. It was brutal going off (really nasty headaches) but I felt so much better once my system adjusted. I drink the occasional cup of decaf but that’s it. And no soda.

    I mostly drink water but my new summer obsession is Crystal Light Raspberry Green Tea.

  • Deb says:

    Susan, I loved my Keurig, but in recent months it only makes 1/2 a cup and sounds like a Lake Michigan lighthouse’s foghorn, seriously. Darned thing is only two years old. I only make a cup each morning. As convenient as the K-cups are I can’t afford them, so have my own filter. I used to drink at least 3 cans of Pepsi a day, but quit about 3 years ago. So far this summer, though, I have had a Mountain Dew (yuck on diet) every few days and am enjoying the bad habit.
    My husband used to have a percolator and it made great coffee. Maybe I will have to check around for one since The Foghorn is on its last brewing legs…
    I enjoy a cup of hot tea in the evening. English Breakfast or Constant Comment are my faves.

    • Deb says:

      I do like pumpkin spice cappuccino, too; especially in autumn.

      • Susan Sey says:

        Our Keurig does that too! Man! It’s a great machine but fragile! And is it really a great machine if it’s not reliable? I submit that it is not.

        Also, I have those little refillable cups, too. I just can’t take the cost or the environmental damage. Good on us. Mr. Sey should be ashamed of himself, because he does not care. At all.

  • Susan, my caffeine habit is one cup of coffee in the morning, like Mr. Sey. I occasionally supplement that with a Cherry Coke or, if that’s not available, a regular Coke.

    I also like the and tend to have that in the winter, either tai or herbal or green tea, so the caffeine varies. I’m not having it for the caffeine so much as for the warmth and the flavor.

    • Susan Sey says:

      Aw, Cherry Coke! That brings back the memories! I used to love that when I was a kid! I haven’t had one in years, & now that you mention it, it sounds pretty good….

  • Alyn says:

    I don’t have a caffeine habit. I drink some coffee or frappes every once in a while but I’m fine if I don’t drink it.

  • Lisa says:

    My daughter and her boyfriend are serious coffee peeps. They make single cups throughout the day, each grinding their own private blend first. I prefer diet coke or tea.