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Topic: Navy Coffee -> was Re: +Whot'll They Think of Next? (14 msgs / 467 lines)
1) From: Aaron
OH god, the mess coffee cups.... please don't bring up that thought again.
When I was a fledgeling CPO going through the abus..... err i mean 
initiation.  One of my stunts to get even with them was I washed all 
their coffee cups.  Talk about blasphemy, man oh man the screaming... I 
ended up paying dearly for it but I was gonna pay no matter what I did 
so why not...
I believe the mindset of the 'ring around the cup' thick enough to make 
a 12 ounce cup hold a solid 8 ounces of coffee is that, it actually 
improved the flavor.  Until I learned what real coffee was, I have to 
agree to that.
You have to remember that, sometimes navy coffee was well... not very 
fit for human consumption.
Picture a like 200 cup urn, kept at 195 degrees, sometimes at a low boil 
if it was one of the older pots that used steam as a heat source.  (oops 
did I just give away an aging clue about me).   They had a few of these 
side by side, and would make the coffee in the morning, and NOT make 
more until both were empty.   Well the morning rush pretty much killed 
them so youd get new coffee around 9 to 10 am, which would last well 
through the midwatch and to about 4am ish when theyd dump the last few 
cups of tar and refill the pots.
THIS  means that when you are standing the midwatch the coffee could 
very well be 14 hours old or more, and has been sitting at 200+ for 
those hours, or actually boiling.  When you poured it out, it had a kind 
of umm.. I can't describe the smell.  and taste to be honest. it was 
sort of metallic / burnt and not very coffee like.  Therefore having 
this huge ring of 'aged dried' coffee in your cup that was deposited 
there on days when the coffee was a bit fresher, it would offset the 
horrifficness of this stuff... kind of leech some of the oils out or 
whatever you want to call it and mellow the stuff out....... Or maybe it 
would absorb some of the toxins from the original cup, I am not entirely 
sure, but according to lore, it did make your coffee taste better.
Luckily the engineers are a bit smarter than this and we had our own 
pots in more than one space with local messes.  I had my own private 
mess in the Central Control Station and the pot was hooked to emergency 
power via the console UPS' and the water hooked in behind the william 
valve so no matter what I had power to make the coffee and water to brew 
it with. Given I was the General Quarters Engineering Officer Of the 
Watch, I had full control over the coffee at all times.   :P   At the 
time we'd buy the 'fancy stuff' from the stores, and from a lot of the 
foreign ports we'd hit, we would goto the local coffee houses and pick 
up bags of beans and make our own mixes. 
All in all the CCS coffee was much superior to the rest of the ship but 
still nowhere near the quality of roasting your own.  This was actually 
a watch turnover item.  you come on watch and the offgoing BETTER have a 
fresh pot of coffee for you, if not, well you didn't have to take the 
watch until it was there.
Aaron who kind of misses those days in some odd sort of way.

2) From: Scott Marquardt
Great stories. Of course, sailors always do have the best stories. Surface
sailors, anyway.  ;-)
I was SONAR, and we had a drip up in the shack on my second ship. My first
ship didn't have a serious enough system to warrant staying awake, and my
third ship had hardcore enough ASW that there was no time for coffee (those
were the last days of the cold war, and we were always on the edge of our
seats watching the Ruskies try to run over our "tail" (successfully on a
couple occasions). No coffee needed at all, trust me.
I can't recall, but I think we did the same thing -- offgoing watch made a
fresh pot.
I can remember leeching off the percolator they had strapped down out in th=
e
CIC from time to time, and as I recall those lunatic OS's let it go into
worse dregs than you describe for the messdecks. That's the kind of stuff
that led me to abandon coffee altogether while underway. Only if it was
totally fresh would I venture some. And the moment I smelled burning dregs
from anywhere, I was gone.
Didja ever have any interesting coffee ashore anywhere? I can't recall a
darned thing about that, myself. Just wasn't thinking too much about coffee
in those days.
- S
On 4/5/06, Aaron  wrote:
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3) From: Aaron
actually, italy had some decent coffee,  we were in naples  (for the 
umpteenth time)  what a pit, at least by the base it was.  anyways we 
found this little coffee shop about a mile or so out from the piers and 
the guy had the greatest coffee.  He'd do espresso, cappucino, and of 
course regular cups for us 'americanos' if we asked for it.
I do remember the espresso being scalding hot and burning the ever 
living crap out of my mouth one day, but then at the time my bac was 
probably pushing close to my age so it didn't really register till the 
next day when I woke up wondering WTF at the blisters on my lips.  He 
had a commercial grade coffee that he got from a supplier in 5 pound 
bags that he used for his coffee.  He did however turn us on to a 
'specialty shop' further up in town where we could get some better (at 
least by our standards at the time) coffee.  It was probably the italian 
equivalent to a starschmucks or whatever.. it was located in a mall but 
the coffee wasn't too bad.  
The thing was,  I had a lot of 'friends' who'd come down to get my 
coffee.  Heck, the captain would come down to ccs more times than not to 
get his morning coffee, he'd claim he was just 'checking on how the 
plant is running' but we knew it was to get a good cuppa joe.    
Anyways, folks would either pick stuff up themselves .. sometimes, and 
give it to me to add to the mix, or they would give me a few bucks to go 
and get the coffee we were drinking.   I kept all my stuff locked up in 
a file cabinet. well not really locked but stored there, and probably 
had about 20 pounds of coffee beans and we'd mix and match tastes by 
what we wanted.  If you want a wake me up NOW, ok grab the espresso / 
french roasts.. if you wanted something a bit mellow and decent for 
morning, grab some of the 'general beans' and the breakfast blends..
I remember one time, one of the booter ensigns came down and said, I 
hear you make coffee that is strong,  I don't think you can make it 
strong enough for me, i want the strongest stuff you got.
I blew him a two tap cappucino that had enough grounds for probably 4 
pots of coffee into a 12 ounce cup. frothed some milk and let him have 
it.  Later on that morning I am getting yelled at by doc because the guy 
is shaking and bouncing off the walls in sick bay,  and it's all my 
fault now... hehe...
another thing we did find, they made milk,  nestle made it, and another 
company called lily.  it was UHT milk,    Basically I called it Nuclear 
Holocaust milk because I figured it, and cockroaches would survive a 
nuclear holocaust.  .  It is in cardboard boxes and can sit on the shelf 
at room temp for close to a year or more.  This stuff actually frothed 
up very well and tasted pretty darned good in coffee amazingly enough.
Other than that, no real stories that would be interesting I don't 
think.  Most the times we were not really going out to go tour the 
coffee shops, but the bars instead.
Aaron

4) From: Scott Marquardt
Yeah, I remember that. My first ship in '81, we took some on in Australia.
First time we'd ever seen the stuff -- and it was the last time most of the
crew ever drank it. Oddly enough, though, I have this bizarre memory of
something about it that makes me think that yeah, it wouldn't be bad in
coffee.
I have some photos of crossing the equator, where shellbacks basically stuc=
k
cartons of it between their legs, with straws inserted, to simulate peeing
on the wogs while they bobbed for Babe Ruth bars in a toilet bowl. Just
tighten up the thighs and a steady stream would flow.
LOL
I also have a great shot of one wog's head on the tribunal's table, with
someone squirting a steady stream right in one of his eyes. The ,milk made
this flawlessly symmetrical starburst splash pattern spreading outwards fro=
m
his eye, crystal clear with the fast shutter speed in the bright equatorial
sun.
Those were the days.
;-)
On 4/5/06, Aaron  wrote:
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5) From: Rich Adams

6) From: Tim TenClay
I think you guys ought to be careful...if I were on homeland security
I might consider you're e-mails a breach of national security ;-)
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
On 4/6/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
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e
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 [snip]
--
Rev. Tim TenClay, IAPC
Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org)
Knots & More Tatting Supplies (www.knotsandmore.com) NATA #253
Personal Blog:http://www.tenclay.org/blog

7) From: Michael Wascher
Yea, Navy coffee could be considered a weapon! Though I must say, the Air
Force generally had worse, at least in the air. You'd get your pots filled =
&
pick up your box lunches at a commissary usually run by a contractor (lowes=
t
bidder). The pots plugged into power on the aircraft, and either the heater
didn't work & you drank bad lukewarm coffee or the heater was overactive &
you drank bad coffee that had been on a boil (on the flights I worked that
meant 10 to 20 hours old). Army coffee was so-so. I never worked for the
Marines, unless you count Jean.
The worst, though, was working for a Telephone Company in Ohio. A horrible
pot of coffee in a big urn. We worked days to prep for the cutover. Then
came in at night, when traffic was at its lowest, to cut over the new
equipment. There was hot coffee in the pot when we got in. I took a sip,
spit it out, almost hurled. At the end of 1st we'd just unplug the pot. 2nd
shift guys brought their own. A 3rd shift guy, the only one who drank
coffee, just plugged the pot back in. A 30 cup urn, with maybe 5-8 cups
left. Cold after sitting for 8 hours, and he plugged it back in to reperk t=
o
old cold coffee through the old grounds. UGH!
--MikeW
On 4/6/06, Tim TenClay  wrote:
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--
"Life is just one damned thing after another."
  - Elbert Hubbard

8) From: Dan Bollinger
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I can tell you about my one experience with Marine coffee.  Worked for a =
manufacturing company right out of high-school.  Shortly after I was =
hired, the president hired his Marine retiree buddy (until his =
retirement pay kicked in). He hated our coffee.  So, on his second day, =
he brings in this huge can of coffee painted O.D. with the words U.S. =
Marine Corp plastered on the side and proceeded to 'make coffee like it =
should be made."  This consisted of filling the filter basket on a 30 =
cup perk and striking it off level.  This took about half of the =
two-pound can (when we made coffee it was less than half full).  
He was beaming with his cup of joe.  I wouldn't say we drank his coffee =
as much as tentatively sipped it.  About a tablespoon gave you a buzz. =
The prez almost gagged.  After break the president comes to me and asks, =
"Dan, when do you get in in the moring?  You get in early, right? I'll =
give you a 25¢ raise if you get in early enough to make coffee before =
my buddy does."  
You could say my first raise was due to making better coffee!  Dan
  Yea, Navy coffee could be considered a weapon! Though I must say, the =
Air Force generally had worse, at least in the air. You'd get your pots =
filled & pick up your box lunches at a commissary usually run by a =
contractor (lowest bidder). The pots plugged into power on the aircraft, =
and either the heater didn't work & you drank bad lukewarm coffee or the =
heater was overactive & you drank bad coffee that had been on a boil (on =
the flights I worked that meant 10 to 20 hours old). Army coffee was =
so-so. I never worked for the Marines, unless you count Jean.
  The worst, though, was working for a Telephone Company in Ohio. A =
horrible pot of coffee in a big urn. We worked days to prep for the =
cutover. Then came in at night, when traffic was at its lowest, to cut =
over the new equipment. There was hot coffee in the pot when we got in. =
I took a sip, spit it out, almost hurled. At the end of 1st we'd just =
unplug the pot. 2nd shift guys brought their own. A 3rd shift guy, the =
only one who drank coffee, just plugged the pot back in. A 30 cup urn, =
with maybe 5-8 cups left. Cold after sitting for 8 hours, and he plugged =
it back in to reperk to old cold coffee through the old grounds. UGH!
  --MikeW

9) From: Mike Chester
<Snip>
I have been holding back for telling this story because it is not mine. 
This was told to me by a friend who was assigned to one of the last 
functioning WW-2 vintage diesel subs, which they referred to as a "Pig 
Boat," in the late 60's.  Their ship's captain was in fact a full captain (I 
understand that is a very low assignment for a full captain.  He must have 
POed someone in authority.)  They had a Pilipino steward who would bring the 
captain his cup of coffee when he was on the bridge.  He had to carry it up 
two ladders and through two hatches to reach the bridge, but when the cup 
arrived, it was always full.  My friend wondered how he carried it that far 
up the ladders without spilling some until one day when he saw the steward 
top off the cup with coffee he was carrying in his mouth just before going 
through the hatch to the bridge.  My friend never told the captain, but 
never again accepted when the steward offered to bring him a cup.
Mike

10) From: Mike Chester
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
  The worst, though, was working for a Telephone Company in Ohio. A =
horrible pot of coffee in a big urn. We worked days to prep for the =
cutover. Then came in at night, when traffic was at its lowest, to cut =
over the new equipment. There was hot coffee in the pot when we got in. =
I took a sip, spit it out, almost hurled. At the end of 1st we'd just =
unplug the pot. 2nd shift guys brought their own. A 3rd shift guy, the =
only one who drank coffee, just plugged the pot back in. A 30 cup urn, =
with maybe 5-8 cups left. Cold after sitting for 8 hours, and he plugged =
it back in to reperk to old cold coffee through the old grounds. UGH!
  If the subject is now worst coffee, I would have to say that the worst =
I had was from a community pot that someone ran at work.  They started =
in the morning with a regular brew in a Mr. Coffee.  If you were lucky =
enough to get some of this pot, it was OK (by work coffee standards) =
When that pot ran out, they would add a scoop of fresh coffee to the old =
grounds and brew the next pot.  For each subsequent pot, they would just =
add a fresh scoop to the old grounds.  This went on all day until near =
the end of the day when the basket would not hold any more.  I saw them =
dump the basket at the end of the day and the grounds from the morning =
had been bleached white from all of the extractions.  Just thinking =
about that makes me shudder.
  Mike

11) From: Woody DeCasere
talk about ugh coffee
On 4/6/06, Mike Chester  wrote:
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--
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

12) From: sean
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I had a Gunny on one deployment that made it that way – and drank up =
to
20-25 cups a day (no exaggeration)…and smoked 3 packs a day also.
 
He was amazing.
 
Sean  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Dan =
Bollinger
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:34 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: Navy Coffee -> was Re: +Whot'll They Think of Next?
 
I can tell you about my one experience with Marine coffee.  Worked for a
manufacturing company right out of high-school.  Shortly after I was =
hired,
the president hired his Marine retiree buddy (until his retirement pay
kicked in). He hated our coffee.  So, on his second day, he brings in =
this
huge can of coffee painted O.D. with the words U.S. Marine Corp =
plastered on
the side and proceeded to 'make coffee like it should be made."  This
consisted of filling the filter basket on a 30 cup perk and striking it =
off
level.  This took about half of the two-pound can (when we made coffee =
it
was less than half full).  
 
He was beaming with his cup of joe.  I wouldn't say we drank his coffee =
as
much as tentatively sipped it.  About a tablespoon gave you a buzz. The =
prez
almost gagged.  After break the president comes to me and asks, "Dan, =
when
do you get in in the moring?  You get in early, right? I'll give you a =
25¢
raise if you get in early enough to make coffee before my buddy does."  
 
You could say my first raise was due to making better coffee!  Dan
 

13) From: Michael Wascher
Jean rarely drinks coffee, didn't drink it at all when she went into the
Corps. On her first duty assignment she was told to take charge of the
coffee mess, and mess described it well. So she stayed late,  took
everything over to the sink and scrubbed down the stained table, floor &
walls. Then she attacked the urn. She used skills she recently learned
during boot camp. She made the urn shine. Then she attacked the cups, made
them shine. She came in in early the next morning and made a pot of coffee.
Then the Gunny came in for his first cup, and threw a tantrum. Followed by
the Colonel! And the Colonel knew just who to blame. She told the Colonel
that she was told to make the mess ship shape and she did, interspersed wit=
h
the results of boot camp vocabulary lessons. And she remembered to end it
with "Sir".
The Colonel paused. Realized that she had done a tremendous amount of work
though the result was not what he had in mind. He thanked her for her hard
work, told everybody in the office, there was a crowd by now, that if they
didn't like the way their cups looked they shouldn't leave them in the mess=
.
Of course, by the next week she was removed from mess duty, and there was a
midnight raid to steal a proper urn from the motor pool (leaving the one
Jean had cleaned behind).
--MikeW
On 4/6/06, sean  wrote:
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e
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s
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rez
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¢
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--
"Life is just one damned thing after another."
  - Elbert Hubbard

14) From: Scott Marquardt
LOL!
"Steal a proper urn"
I love it. Creative procurement in action.
- S
On 4/6/06, Michael Wascher  wrote:
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