The End of an Era

The year was 2009. Yooper Stewart and I purchased our first home together. We packed, painted the house, and moved the week of Thanksgiving. Then, the night before turkey day — when both sets of parents were coming to our house — we discovered a tragedy.

No. More. Coffee.

It was late. It was dark. And, because this is Michigan, I’m sure it was snowing. We not only needed coffee to help us unpack, we knew we’d need it for the weekend, and there wasn’t anywhere close to buy coffee on Thanksgiving day.

No problem. Our new house is only two blocks from the grocery store! We headed over only to discover that our small grocery store offers the same disappointing coffee selection as most grocery stores — limited decaf selection.

You see, Yooper Stewart and I are a rare breed. We drink coffee because we like the taste; we don’t actually like the caffeine. Unfortunately, we like the taste of good coffee. In a perfect world, we could pick up Swiss water processed French roast decaf at any corner market. In reality, we’re lucky if most places have anything better than breakfast blend Colombia beans (bleh).

Back in 2009, we bought club-sized organic bags of decaf from Sam’s Club, but we couldn’t wait 36 hours to buy coffee, so we did it. We bought Maxwell House.

I don’t know why we bought such a large container, but we did. And it was terrible. I think we may have dumped the grounds after we were able to make it to the Club for our regular brew. The club bag didn’t fit in the cupboard, however, so we made a decision — keep the Maxwell House tub and refill it with our favorite beans.

For the past decade, we’ve done exactly that. There are now so many more decaf options available that we’ve never run out, but our coffee always comes in a bag, and the plastic air-tight tub is much more convenient (and clean!). The Maxwell House tub has been good to us, but it’s time to move on. We got a new couch and new toilets — it was time for a new coffee container. It was an unexpectedly emotional goodbye for Yooper Stewart, so we captured the moment on film (he has pictures of his shirts from high school too — the guy is so sentimental).

There’s a happy end to this story, though. Our coffee finally has a new grown-up home, and the Maxwell House container shall live on in the garage as Yooper Stewart’s new nuts-and-bolts box. It’s a good ending for everyone.