Jet Mermell, retired RN – The Boston Globe


Mermell, 65

Honesdale, Penn.

Retired RN

Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?

My husband, Bob, and I get up, and one of us (usually him!) makes the coffee in the kitchen and then brings it to the bedroom or the porch – wherever we are – and then we have that cup before we do anything else. It is our waking up routine. We’ve been doing it like that forever.

I like coffee, drip grind, made in my individual filters that I brought from Holland when I moved to America after Bob and I got married in the early 1970s. They’re cups, and there is an individual filter on top of each cup. I put the coffee in the filter, put the cover over it, put that on top of the cup and pour boiling water over it. It makes a drip grind coffee in an individual cup, and it is delicious. I have two cups of that in the morning.

We got these cups in Holland, where I grew up, and we’ve had them for over forty years. I think I even had them when I was a college student still living in Holland. We’ve made virtually every cup of coffee that we’ve enjoyed throughout our marriage in these cups.

On special occasions like our anniversary or my birthday, Bob will bring me a cup of coffee in bed, with a single red rose from him.

Make or buy?

Make it. I only really buy a cup of coffee if I’m out for dinner and am wrapping up a meal.

If make, what coffee do you use and how do you make it?

We use organic whole beans from Rogers Family Gourmet Coffee, and grind the beans ourselves before we make the coffee in our little Dutch filter cups. I think we own a coffee machine, but it is packed away someplace. I couldn’t tell you where it is.

What’s your order?

On the rare occasion that I do get a cup of coffee out, it is nothing fancy: coffee with milk and sugar.

How do you take it?

A teaspoon of sugar, and some milk.

Iced or hot?

Always hot.

Alone or with company?

I like my first cup of coffee either with my husband or alone. I’m not exactly a morning person. But later in the day if we have company I love visiting over a cup of coffee. It is very Dutch that when someone drops by the house to say hello you offer them coffee. At home, growing up, my mother had a pot of coffee going in the kitchen all the time to be ready for people who came over. People would stop in and sit around the table in the living room with my mother and have coffee, some cookies, and good conversation. Even though I’ve been in America for several decades now, I like the traditional Dutch hospitality of anyone being welcome in your home for a cup of coffee and a talk.

Where do you drink it? Seated or on the go?

Seated and at home. If we’re out and are having a snack, I’ll have coffee with it. But mostly I drink coffee at home. I like to be able to sit and enjoy it.

Any simultaneous non-caffeinated stimulation? (newspaper, radio, cigarettes, etc.)

In the morning when I’m having cup #2 I like to watch the news while I’m still in my pajamas (the joys of being retired – I don’t have to rush anymore!). Then my husband will toast a muffin as I finish that cup. I’ll have that, watch the news, and we start our day.

How many more cups the rest of the day?

About 3.

What time will you drink your last cup?

At around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. A few years ago I used to be able to drink it all the time. In Holland we’ll drink it right up until bedtime, but I can’t get away with that anymore.

What’s your stance on decaf?

I don’t like decaf, but I drink it when I have to. I’ve switched to decaf a bit because my body seems to be happier these days on less caffeine. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is.

When/why did you start drinking coffee?

I don’t know. Maybe when I was 12? It was just the thing to do. Everyone was drinking coffee. I mean, that was the drink of choice and it was good! It perked you up, and it tasted good. I don’t like all of the flavored coffees, I want to taste the beans. That’s the true coffee flavor I fell in love with when I started to drink coffee as a young teenager, and I don’t see any reason to change now.

There was a real social element in drinking coffee in my mother’s house when I was a girl. Everyone was offered a cup of coffee and a cookie in our home. It was about hospitality, and it was nice. I wanted to be included in that socialization, as a young girl seeing the adult women who would visit with my mother. Starting to drink coffee was a way to connect with that grown-up community.

Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

I like Irish coffee, and we had one after our wedding. All of the guests who were still there had Irish coffee, which was delicious. The wedding reception and dinner were finished, and they brought out this Irish coffee with whipped cream. It was strong, and they served it in a beautiful way in that high cup, with some coffee candies on the side.

To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at matt.viser@globe.com.

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