- Food and Cooking»
The Case of the Flying Coffee Saucers
It was a dark night, dark as those ten cups of black coffee I'd had earlier in the evening.. I've always liked coffee, you see. Depended on it. Told everyone how terrific it was. But that night - for some reason - I just couldn't get to sleep. I was sitting there in the kitchen, just thinking: now why can't I get to sleep? And my brain said: well, maybe you should try going to bed and closing your eyes for a spell, mister.
So I tried that. Didn't do a thing for me. Kept seeing things in my head: coffee grounds dancing into coffee pots. Diner waitresses holding up coffee mugs and grinning bitter mocha java smiles. Sheep jumping over enormous cream jugs, then leaping up mountains made of sugar cubes. Say, I thought, maybe my problem's the caffeine! "Never again," I said. "No more coffee! Not ever. Farewell, o fiendish caffeine! Never darken my 1930s Fiestaware cup again!"
I guess I said that out loud. Because as soon as I was done with my Anti-Coffee Resolution, there was a loud rattling noise. It started out softly - like a spoon tapping on the table. Then the clatter of a couple of dishes in the sink. Then - more. More and more dishes banging and rattling and crashing. Coming from the kitchen. I sat up in bed, trembling; I was even more awake now than I had been at first. I poked Mabel and said did you hear that, woman? But she was fast asleep. (The next morning she said I just had a bad dream. But this was real, I swear.)
Then I saw them. Clear invisible they were, flying through the air slowly, the cups rattling in the saucers. They were aiming straight for my head. Started to fly around me, then they hovered. Just stayed there.
And they've been there ever since. I can hear their little piping voices too: Oh, so you don't like coffee, eh? Think you'll just switch over to something like Sanka? Well, caffeine doesn't just keep you up - it's always awake too. And it hears everything you say. So be careful when you're blaming hot drinks for everything. Make as many "No Coffee Resolutions" as you like, but we're here to stay. Just - brewing up a little something for you. You'll see...
Sanka You Very Much
Sanka was first sold in the US in 1909, and it was first named Dekofa or Dekafa (Wikipedia is not sure which, so let's go with both), and was the brain-child of Ludwig Roselius, who had decaffeinated coffee-lovers in Germany in 1903 by inventing Kaffee Hag (this was available in the US in the 1930s, too, actually). The name Sanka was short for "Sans Caféine" and was what they'd been calling Kaffee Hag in France.
And incidentally there is a little bit of caffeine in decaff - just not very much. It doesn't keep me up, anyway - so it can't be much. Because if I have one slurp of regular coffee after 12pm, I'll be up grouching around until 3am, for real. So I sympathize with the guy up there. Fortunately, though, I've never been haunted by transparent cup-and-saucers.