We laughed out loud


My wife and I share many tastes, and we both have a well-developed sense of humor and the ridiculous.  One of the comic strips we both like is Jennie Breeden’s “The Devil’s Panties“.  Yesterday’s cartoon made us guffaw out loud, because we know exactly the reaction she portrays – even though we wouldn’t trust that particular brand of coffee to be strong or flavorful enough to deliver it.  Click the image to be taken to a larger view at the comic strip’s Web site.

We don’t like Starbucks coffee.  We find their products over-hyped, often too hurriedly prepared (at the expense of flavor), and not nearly as tasty as other, less mass-market coffee houses.  Nevertheless, we know the “over-caffeinated syndrome” well.  Our friend Old NFO achieves it through brewing “Navy coffee“;  those of you with a service background will know exactly what that means!  (Think depth charges.)  We rely on a light- to medium-roast blend of really flavorful coffee (we keep several in stock), made fresh every time using a pour-over cone or (for larger quantities) in a Chemex.

I have to give a shout-out to one particular coffee house chain.  Those of you in Alaska and a few other fortunate places will know Kaladi Brothers Coffee.  Miss D. introduced me to it when we were courting.  They even have a special “Barista Academy”, through which all their trainees have to pass before being turned loose on their customers.  Kaladi’s is still the most flavorful coffee-house brew I know.  You’d better believe that when we get to a place that has one of their outlets, it’ll be on our list of must-visit places.  (No, they’re not compensating me in any way for recommending them – we just loooooove their coffee!)



  1. I have tried everything from Kona to JBM and always come back to Don Pablo medium roast whole bean ground at least weekly and brewed through a Keurig in refillable carafe pods.
    Will admit that my palate may just not be able to discern the added benefit of the fancier beans, but my wallet can appreciate the lower price point my choice is at.

  2. Oh I can tell you all about Navy coffee. My City Marshall was a retired Navy officer. One cup of his coffee would keep you awake all shift, clear clogged drains and dissolve rust.

  3. Ladies Brothers! Long time since I heard that name. When I lived in Anchorage, I went there daily. They are great.

  4. I will not drink Starbucks as I find it to have a burnt flavor and idiot employees. I like strong bold coffee. I usually make my own with espresso ground Don Pablo or vacuum bricks of Bustelo. If I do buy coffee from a coffee house it is usually a Duncan or Waffle-House dark brew.

    BTW: I am retired USAF and I had a high deploy career field. I had a tactical French Press and alcohol burner. The 99% alcohol fuel for my burner was a required cleaning agent for my equipment so I always had burner fuel.

  5. I have never heard of Kaladi Brothers. On the off chance I am in Alaska, I will look them up.

    The coffee/non-coffee reaction in the morning is funny because it is completely true.

    Starbucks coffee is, on the whole, rather acidic and too hot (and I like hot coffee). Go to at home is Cafe Du Monde, although I am reliably informed that Community Coffee also has a Chicory/Coffee combo that is smoother.

    1. When I lived in Louisiana, my friends and I drank Community Dark Roast exclusively. You needed to use a stainless spoon if you didn't want it to melt. Too strong for me now.
      We use Costco Jamaican Blue Mountain blend in an ordinary coffee maker with a vaccuum-insulsted pot. Not too acidic, great flavor, and mid afternoon, what we didn't drink in the morning makes great iced coffee.
      John in Indy

  6. I like Starbucks coffee. Never understood the "burnt" criticism because I never got that. Different taste buds I guess. Maybe cause I'm not usually getting coffee but a latte the milk dilutes the flavor. Maybe.

    The main reason I like Starbucks is that I can get the same cup of coffee everywhere I go. Every once in a while, driving around my fairly large county for work, as well as traveling for pleasure, I stop and get a cup at a local drive through. Anecdotal evidence suggests that random coffee shops will result in decent coffee approximately half the time. So I can either get the same pretty good cup everywhere or roll the dice on better coffee half the time.

    As far as "at home", Fidalgo Bay (local roaster) Island Espresso whole bean purchased at the Cash and Carry Grocery Outlet (name changed recently though), ground one cup at a time in my Breville burr grinder, pressed through an Aeropress. Mmmm!

  7. The best coffee I've ever had I used to get at a Colombian coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY when I was a truck driver. Called "Pueblo Querido" it is located on Greenpoint Ave. I only got to stop there when there was a place to park my truck. The Colombian girls that work there are freakin' gorgeous.


  8. Starbucks is like McDonalds, not very good but you can be sure it won't be a bad surprise, same every visit, everywhere.

    I've had to cut back on caffeine which was difficult, both because of my need for it and the lack of taste in most decaf coffees. What I've found that is a decent option is CO2 process decaf. Not easy to find and limited varieties. I get mine from Coffee Bean Direct.


  9. Well, there's Navy coffee, and then there's "Submarine Coffee".

    (OLDNFO probably wouldn't know. He was an airdale.)

    So, submarine coffee – how can it be made at home? Well, it can't, but the following will get you close.

    First you start with a standard USN coffee urn and the aforementioned Navy issued grind. (a drip coffee maker will do in a pinch.)

    Brew a pot using about half again more grinds than you would normally use.

    Once the pot is done, first you add a pinch of salt. (…because the evaporators never quite get all the salt out of the seawater.)

    And then you add just a *tiny bit* of chlorine bleach. That's because a boat's potable water always tastes like it came from a swimming pool.

    Last but not least, you need to add *one drop* of diesel fuel. This gives it that particular submariner taste along with the extra special surface sheen.

    Drink half the pot and then you let the remainder sit on the warmer for at least a full watch – 4 to 6 hours.

    All of this together makes a tasty brew that will keep you awake all through the mid-watch and the mid-morning drills. And, as a special bonus, it will grow hair on your chest.

    PS: If you want that exceptional "nukular" taste, add a drop of amine to the mix.

  10. I had a blast reading these comments. As simple as it sounds, here's my preference: Gevalia French Roast, made a little extra strong. Five "cups" in my drip brewer, which actually makes about one and two-thirds big mug-fuls of really nice morning eye-opener.

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