Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I Had A Dream There Were Clouds In My Coffee

A ritual that adds a little slice of heaven to my day is about to come to an end. Forever.

Melodramatic enough for you? (If not, stick around. This is my blog, after all. You won't have to wait long.)

Still, that opening statement is hideously true. Pull up a chair, pour yourself something drinkable, and listen a spell.

Here's the sitch: I am not a coffee drinker. At least, not a respectable coffee drinker. I'm like the people who have to scarf their Hostess Sno Balls in the car because they don't want anyone to know they hugely prefer them to creme brulee or tiramisu. (Not me, of course. Moving on.) I do start each day with coffee. Yet the Krups coffee maker I received as a wedding gift is gathering dust. I find Starbucks totally resistible. I don't frequent 7-11 (unless I need Sno Balls. But why would I need Sno Balls? Seriously, Readers.)

So where is this going, you ask? Here's my confession:


I had to put that in bold caps because that's how prominent the stuff is in my life. I mean, I LERVE it. Sometimes, as I lift the cup to my lips and inhale, I close my eyes and smile like those ladies in the 1970s Folgers commercials. Only, ICK on the Folgers. I can tolerate actual brewed coffee...if I drown it in milk (no sugar for me, oddly.) But like Bartleby, "I prefer not to."

What I want is four teaspoons of smooth beige powder that dissolve instantly when the boiling water hits the inside of the mug with a decided splash. I want the stuff that looks like a sun-kissed sand dune, smells like the glaze on cinnamon buns, and tastes like hot ice cream. I WANT I WANT I WANT.

And I may have to go on wanting, craving, YEARNING, unless you, Dear Readers, can think of a way to help me. Don't be a hater now. There's a bony finger pointing the way out of paradise, and I don't want to go.

Not long ago, I noticed that my beloved beverage had a fancy new label. It does sometimes. Upon closer inspection, though, the new label contained a couple of alarming details. First, the words "Maxwell House." Isn't that actual coffee?

Then, the ominous phrase "New Great Taste!" Oh, no. That is not a phrase a fan wants to see. "New" and "Great" side by side are generally an oxymoron. Imagine how serious Coke drinkers felt when they first saw the ads for New Coke. Then I opened the new tin. The powder was...darker. Chunkier? I made a cup. The taste: some sort of monstrous hybrid of real coffee and my beloved vanilla. Sort of metallic. Sort of aspartame-y, even though it doesn't contain aspartame.

THIS. IS. NOT. GOOD. I started Googling to find the revolt that must be brewing. I typed "International Coffees French Vanilla New Disgusting Flavor" and "Instant Coffee Revamp Causes Massive Uprising" and "Life Suddenly Without Meaning." The internet was heartbreakingly silent. The closest thing to community outrage I could find was the comment section of Amazon, where a scant couple of posters said the "sickly sweet and bitter at the same time" taste of the new French Vanilla meant they would no longer buy it.

Clearly, these people aren't in as deep as I am. I don't have that choice, Readers. I've been trembling in supermarket aisles, feverishly perusing the shelves, caving in desperation, piling the tins into my shopping cart, knowing it will taste like poison, needing it anyway.

Not long ago, I discovered a few precious tins of the original formula at my local CVS pharmacy. I bought them, rejoicing, but they are almost gone. Each day, I'm edging inexorably closer to a future with no sweet vanilla happiness in it.

And that's why I need you. You are clearly smart, resourceful people. You read my blog, after all. I need you to focus your sharp, eagle eyes and your multivalent faculties on finding me an untapped stash of Original Recipe. There may be a reward if you do; at the very least you'll have my caffeinated gratitude.

And if you can think of a way to convince General Foods/Maxwell House to stop this life-wrecking folly sooner rather than later, that would be a plus. Because it has to end, right? It just has to.

These are dark times, Readers. Let's restore the (creamy) light.


Carrie S said...

They did the same thing to the blend I drink: Swiss Mocha.

Sucks, but there is no other alternative!

Trish said...

Shucks. I LERVE it too! It's more than love.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I'll keep my eye open. You ought to contact the company and see if they have any leftover crates to send to you. Then demand that they stop the madness.

Love the pictures of Jarrah to illustrate the mood.


Caroline said...

Oops. Logged in with my other account. That's me up above in case you're wondering who that bridgetcarle chick is. :)


Anonymous said...

I'm on it, sister. I'll check the aisles at my local stores.

Joan said...

Sorry you can't get your favourite beverage. John probably would share your taste, but you are quite right --- neither of you are 'respectable' coffee drinkers.

Give me my coffee with milk, and NOTHING else. Forget the vanilla, mocha, nutmeg, hazelnut flavours.
Real coffee is the REAL thing.

Love Jarrah's expressive face.
Did you know "Jarrah" is a brand of instant flavoured coffees in Australia?

Love J&J

Jen said...

oh NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

I'm on it, too. Will report back.

Over and out.

Paul and Heather said...

I would try out of the way, less frequented, and kind of shady grocery stores. They tend to keep stuff on the shelves longer, not update with new products...and have old stuff other places don't have. Hope you find some!

Stephanie said...

Oh no! I will search out the central coast territory.

Lisa Gillespie said...

To reinforce Paul and Heather's comment: I live by just such a grocery store (known at Casa Gillespie as the "Third-World Vons" (no offense to the Third World....I know some delightful children from such regions ;-)). We have a smattering of the selection other nearby Vons' have, and we seem to cater to those of older generations (who do not like change either). I will be sure to buy any non-Maxwell-House versions I see there :-).

Maybe a 99 cent store?

Love, Lisa

erin said...

They did the same thing to this random Green Tea drink I used to get at a local health store. It was always all natural but NOW it tastes like fake sugar...you know, like Splenda or Aspartame. AND it used to come in lemon mint, pomegranate and orange and NOW it doesn't come in pomegranate. I hate them. Whoever 'them' is.

Caroline said...

Ooh! Ooh! (Raising hand)

Big Lots! They always get the close-out groceries. Give them a try.

Anna Smith said...

I feel your pain. I went through this with Bengal Spice many years ago. I corresponded with the Celestial Seasonings corporation, suggesting they rename the new crap Snow Lion Supreme or something else trendy and Tibetan-sounding. The losers weren't interested...

Lisa Gillespie said...


I believe I scored a single (believe me, I combed the shelf--and could only find one) can at "Third World Vons." I also grabbed a can of non-Maxwell House Cafe' Vienna ('cause the situation is desperate). I will bring to next FCs meeting (and we will drink the Cafe' Vienna if you don't like ;-))

Lisa :-)

Jen said...

Will look when I go to the store tomorrow (it's not a third-world Vons but it is in Maine, so that sort of qualifies). But I just wanted to add that I LERVE General Foods International Coffees, too, always have. As long as it's not artificially sweetened, I'm good for pretty much any flavor. ;-)

Jen said...

Would you believe it? Way up here in my corner of the world and they've already managed to replace the old version with the new one. Major bummer. So sorry!

Sam said...

@Everyone: You are too kind to indulge my pain! :) Thank you for the idea to check Big Lots, etc!

@Carrie: I've seen some "original" Suisse Mocha in CVS here--want me to get it for you?

@Joan: That's so fun! I would like some of that coffee for Jarrah to have as a souvenir. :)

@Lisa: You rock! :)

@Jen: You are so sweet to check. :)

Jennifer said...

I will check at a few of the grocery stores here in town. I understand how you feel. Well, not about the coffee, but candles. Everytime I find a Yankee Candle scent that I like, the discontinue it. :( It is a major bummer! I actually checked the Yankee Candle Outlet in Branson while we were there at Christmas and I struck gold!! They had my discontinued scent! I scooped it up like a mad woman!

I'll keep my fingers crossed that your readers can find lots of your precious coffee. Or maybe even better, they bring it back!

Anonymous said...

Shocking news! I remember you drinking that stuff for YEARS... it will be hard to find a replacement. Maybe making your own hot vanilla milk with just the tiniest bit of coffee? Lix

Sam said...

Lix, that's a good idea.

Jennifer, we have a Yankee Candle here...if you tell me your flavor of choice, I will keep an eye out, too! :

Mary said...

I remember you brought it to China, right?

I will check here at our CVS!