I’m not gonna lie. I hope this post attracts lots and lots of attention. I hope beyond hope that somehow, someway, Keurig sees it, and like any other great food blogger, I’ll be contacted and offered mucho free product to review for them. I’d love a stinking huge Keurig gift basket to show up on my doorstep with a “Thanks for thinking of Us” card attached. Yeah… I sure can dream, can’t I?

In order to understand my love for Keurig, you must understand my love for coffee. It all began when I was a junior in college and staying up late with my friend in the dorms. Now she was a coffee drinker. She knew Starbucks before they were on every corner. And during one particularly long study session which kept us up already past a decent hour, she said, “I need coffee. I’m going to the cafeteria.” I didn’t drink coffee much back then. Sure I’d had it as a kid with lots of milk and sugar. But as a regular, Mmm-mmm good! Gotta have it! thing, notsomuch. It was too hot and strong for me, so I added a few ice cubes. That’s the ticket!

And thus began my love affair with coffee. A few years later, a former boyfriend came to town and since it was close to my birthday, he took me to lunch. We drove to the outskirts of the neighboring town, to a quaint little restaurant off the freeway that garnered much attention for it’s 50’s-era style. The food was great, and the coffee was decent. We started talking about really good coffee and he suggested we make the 30 minute drive to the nearest Starbucks. I’m game! So off we went on an impromptu coffee run.

Now, when I say I live in the Southern California desert, that’s not exactly true. I live in a residential suburb that’s planted in the desert. But you don’t really understand the meaning of the word desert until you start driving toward Barstow. And how it is that Barstow got a Starbucks long before we did is still a bone of contention around here. So. You get my excitement at driving just for good coffee. I was thinking this would be a really great birthday!

We were so busy chatting and getting caught up that we missed the first turn off. Hmm. No worries. There’s another one in a mile.

Missed it.

So we kept driving. It’s not easy to get lost on the 15 North. It’s not like there are any sidestreets to get in the way or mislead us. So we just kept talking, driving, figuring we could turn back once we reach Calico Ghost Town. A darn good birthday drive.

Missed it again. We were just about to turn around when I saw it. The first billboard indicating Sin City lay ahead: Las Vegas! And what, you ask, did the billboard advertise for that fine town? David Cassidy in Concert.  Ohhh, babyyy….! I’m pretty sure I drooled. Or squeeled. Or both.

I pointed and said, “Ooh, let’s go there!” I was just joking. He wasn’t. And he said, “Wanna go?” Just like that. Uhmmm… WHAT?!?! Five dollars in my back pocket. Never been to Vegas. Hair and makeup not quite done properly. We were only supposed to be getting coffee. So I made a quick phone call to my family and said, “Hey, I’m gonna be home seriously late… like, tomorrow morning!” and it was settled.

Two great things happened that night. The first is that David Cassidy stood ten feet in front of me with his microphone, looked into my eyes and sang, “I Think I Love You”, to the dismay of all other females in the audience. The second is that I had a really great cup of coffee.

Now that’s a birthday!

Flash-forward over a decade, and I’ve become quite the coffee snob. I make Folgers when I have to, but prefer the Starbucks drive-thru. Especially since it’s literally a block from where I worked.

Last spring, I treated my mom to a birthday celebration at The Mission Inn in Riverside. It’s a beautiful, historic Inn. Just 35 minutes south of home, I used to drive there often to see the sights and surrounding areas, but never stayed there. This was the first vacation with all three of us: Mom, Me, and Dot. And it was the best. Our concierge was so helpful. She was in constant communication with me by phone and email. I explained to her my personal ideas and she threw in some marvelous touches that I never thought of. Once we were settled, she came up to personally introduce herself and wish my mom a wonderful birthday. [If you ever get the chance to stay at the Mission Inn, do so! And let them know I sent you!]

I’m so in love with the history that the Mission Inn has. I’m particularly fond of Author’s Row, where I hope to vacation some day. Many wonderful authors have not only stayed at the Mission Inn, but written books while there. I’m pretty sure there’s a Magic Pen around there, and I just need to find it.

Years ago, at one of the Inn’s corners, was this great place: The Mission Inn Coffee House. I was so looking forward to grabbing a Starbucks-quality coffee. But it has since been replaced with the Bella Trattoria, which is a fine Italian dining establishment where we suffered under heatlamps in 20 mph winds and rain just to eat my first ever veal (lasagna, it was superb!) and a true tiramisu; all while listening to Bocelli in the background.

Our room was tucked into a corner and we had a grand door overlooking the Spanish Patio, Author’s Row, and windows overlooking the pool. It was exquisite. The first morning we woke to find the coffee pot was a Keurig.

I’d never tried a Keurig before. I considered it a flashy gem, a gaudy ring on the hand of the rich and famous. A bling-bling that unnecessarily flaunted snobbery. I knew nothing. The Mission Inn had printed wonderfully simple instructions. They could have called
it “Keurig for Dummies”: Pour water. Select K-cup. Brew.

Voila! Keurig + Molly = Coffee Snob.

It was so simple. So easy. So flavorful! It took me only two weeks to get my own. Just like the one at from our room at the Mission Inn. The only difference is the color. Theirs is black. Mine is red.

You know how all roads lead to Rome? That’s how it is with me and coffee. Whereas every significant coffee moment in my life holds a great memory, there is nothing, nothing, nothing like the enjoyment I have with my Keurig. Each day, the perfect cup of coffee awaits me. I enjoy a variety of flavors without worrying about one bag of beans going stale before I finish it. When I need an extra boost, I brew a short cup full of caffeine. If I’m looking for a casual day at home, a full 12 ounces fills my cup.

And we’re not just talking coffee, here, either! Cocoas and ciders and teas, oh my! I also love brewing a clean cup of hot water for my instant oatmeal breakfasts, or regular tea bags. And let’s not forget that when I want to use my regular gourmet coffee grounds, I have the replaceable My K-Cup. With over 200 flavors and so many ways to brew, there is absolutely no possible way to make a bad cup of coffee.

All roads may lead to Rome, but all coffee leads to Keurig.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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