“There was always something funny about the coffee when my mom made it. You take a sip, and though you don’t make a face (it’s not that bad) your tongue cringes a little bit behind your teeth because it just tastes… not how it usually does.
“Mom doesn’t make good coffee…” My dad confessed to me one night when mom wasn’t around. “I don’t know what she does, but it never tastes good.”
Because of this my dad has usually made the coffee. He wakes up earlier than us all and I can hear him with sleepy feet walking down the stairs until they touch the cold tiles at the bottom. The first thing he does every morning is make the coffee. And he makes a fine cup of coffee.
So fine, that when I was very young, I asked him how he does it. It was no secret. Just a perfect proportion of cold water to coffee grounds- Chock full o’Nuts only. 10 cups of water- 5 scoops of coffee. Always half.
My Nana calls it “Mikula Mud,” and usually doesn’t drink it when we make it. If she does, she treats it like an Americano; she fills her mug up almost halfway and then fills the rest with water.
We do like strong coffee here.
“I don’t think Dad makes it strong enough,” my mom confessed to me one night when dad was in the other room. We were drinking wine after dinner one night and finally I learned of how someone could mess up these easy proportions. Well, my mom was on a whole other level of proportions. She confessed (and I could picture her doing this perfectly in her sleepy state), “I scoop five scoops of the coffee. Then, I look into the basket and I think to myself, ‘that’s not very much…’ so I scoop another to make it stronger! And I scoop another for good luck! And then one more for a good day!”
Mystery solved:
Coffee, luck, and a good day are all about proportions.”


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