That was disappointing. Since the pandemic's effects on the supply chain began to ramp up -- who expected bread or paper toweling to get short? -- I have worked hard at being provident. At stocking staples in depth. The habit has persisted even as stores have returned to something near normal. If it's not quickly perishable, I keep a couple of month's supply -- coffee beans, UHT milk, paper goods, sugar, canned vegetables, canned meat, dish soap, even butter (the good stuff will keep for about a year in the fridge -- check the expiration dates).
When I used up the last of the powdered coffee creamer* this morning, I wasn't worried. I knew I had more. I'll just get the next one one and-- Pulled out the backup and it was hazelnut-flavored. I'd bought two containers of the stuff some time ago when none of my usual sources had the normal kind. I'd tried it back then and loathed it, but kept it around just in case. I'd been glancing at the remaining plastic container and thinking it was plain. Well, it was all I had. I tried it again. Still wretched; the hazelnut flavoring drowns out the coffee with cloying intensity.
So there I was, a nice big mug of fresh-ground, freshly brewed Tanzanian Peaberry with Sugar In The Raw in my hand, ruined. Looks like the next cup will be black with sugar.
Almost. Second item on the list of the things I keep around is "UHT milk." It's shelf-stable, though it tastes better cold. I normally have a pack of eight single-serving cartons on the top shelf of the fridge. I don't like it as well as richer additives, but it's better than nothing -- and it's a lot better than excessive hazelnut.
* If you take your coffee with cream, preferences can be weirdly specific and using different forms will seem "off" in taste or mouthfeel. My Dad used Coffee Rich as far back as I can remember, and wasn't fond of other options. I started using CoffeeMate not long after I started drinking coffee (after I moved out: my parents did not allow children to drink coffee other than as a very rare treat, 50/50 with milk, even at the age of 19. Coffee was free or crazy cheap at most radio stations I worked for, which beat fifty-cent soft drinks by a considerable margin) and came to prefer it. Liquid creamer, half'n'half or different powdered brands are okay but as a regular thing, I want my choice of stuff in my coffee. (About that free coffee? It was a big shock to go to work in television and discover we had to pay full vending-machine retail prices for coffee! On the other hand, they paid considerably better than radio. On the other other hand, the vending machine coffee was not very good.)
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
2 years ago