I am friends with a bunch of coffee fiends. Our shared addiction is most evident on group camping trips. As we unload cars or canoes and set up camp, someone always poses the question: “Who has the coffee?” Panic spreads as the person who was supposed to have it inevitably empties her bag and can’t find it. The next twenty minutes are spent flinging around sleeping bags and rain gear, frisbees and bags of chips until someone–THANK GOD–finds the double-ziplocked bag of freshly-ground coffee beans. In the morning, the earliest riser takes on the painstaking process of building a fire and setting up the special coffee pot over the flames. The rest of us trickle out from our tents, each one asking, “Is there any coffee?” The slightly testy reply is always “Not. Yet.” The circle of folding chairs grows as we sit around the fire, all of us waiting for the goddamned water to BOIL already. And when it does, and we hear the sweet sound of the coffee percolating in the big metal pot, the day has finally begun. Then starts search for the half & half. Powdered creamer just won’t do.
If you can identify with this scenario, then you, too, are a coffee addict. As with most addictions, like smoking for example, coffee comes with certain accouterments. Maybe you have a fancy bean grinder or an espresso machine that cost more than most people’s first cars. Maybe you load up your pre-paid Starbucks card in increments of one hundred. Not all nifty coffee-related items are expensive, though. My friend Michal makes adorable fabric coffee sleeves that you can buy, to replace those corrugated cardboard ones, for a mere $5. And, since they are handmade from recycled fabric and will prevent you from having to throw away dozens of the disposable kind, you can feel cute and virtuous when you use one. They are available on Fiverr.com, which is a site “for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5.” And get your mind out of the gutter. $5 isn’t going to get you very far in terms of those kind of, ahem, favors. So buy a coffee sleeve.