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My most recent grocery delivery came with free samples. Among those samples lurked a couple of packets of ground coffee. The supermarket chose a bold strategy. Avoiding swapping air during the pandemic, I've ordered many many grocery deliveries from this supermarket over the last year and a half. In that time, I have ordered zero (0) coffee filters. I have ordered some (some) instant coffee because I can make that without using any coffee filters, a choice I made because I don't have coffee filters. (People who have known me a long time might think Wait, doesn't Larry have a Hello Kitty French press pot? But that broke long ago.)

Before the pandemic, I only rarely ordered groceries delivered. I joined no supermarket loyalty programs. I paid for groceries with cash. Why? Because I value my privacy. I didn't want some creepy heuristic drawing creepy conclusions about me just because I eat more than a pound of carrots a day. Ugh, I can just visualize some computer making an annotation like 18.7% chance subject is not a human but is in fact three rabbits in a trench coat. But apparently, I don't need to worry about the rise of the machines quite yet, seeing as how the brilliant supermarket supercomputers decided to send me coffee that I'm not equipped to prepare.

So anyhow, I had all this ground coffee but no coffee filter. You're thinking Oh, you can ersatzify your way around that: just fold a paper towel into quarters and use that as a coffee filter. But my paper towels are themselves ersatz: I accumulate heaps of paper napkins with takeout food. I'm not sure why restaurants give me so many napkins. I guess the food servers look at me and think This guy teeters as if he were really just three rabbits in a trench coat. If he sways like that while eating, I bet he spills a lot. Better toss in another handful of napkins, just to be safe. I've accumulated plenty of napkins useful for drying things. But I wouldn't trust them to hold together filtering coffee.

So I've been drinking unfiltered coffee. I pour grounds into my coffee cup and then pour water on top. Then I drink it like an even-groundsier version of Turkish coffee, straining out most grounds between my front teeth (but plenty of grounds make it past that barrier). If the purpose of coffee is to wake you up, this works great. Drinking coffee this way requires involvement. If you're just blearily trudging through your morning, drinking sludgy coffee forces you to shake off the cobwebs and concentrate. After you're done drinking the coffee, you can't just sit there: you get up to rinse out your mouth. Despite the rinse, some grounds will still lurk. As each dislodges, it irritates you, brings you back into the moment.

I finally made it through one packet of coffee. It was OK, but I think I'll give away the other packet to someone with the gear to use it properly.

Tags: cuisine paper