Found at Wirecutter’s place:

I’d say many of the former military servicemen I’ve met – particularly former Navy personnel – are poster children for the first group.  I can still remember the retired Chief Petty Officer who informed me (very loudly) that coffee wasn’t coffee unless you could stand your teaspoon upright in it, without support.  Also, it had to be as strong and as bitter as possible, “like me!”  As for milk, sugar and that other stuff . . . the less said, the better!

It does help one understand why so few millennials, comparatively speaking, will consider military service.  If they tried to order, in the chow line, the alleged “coffee” described in the second half of the above image, I think Armageddon would break loose!



  1. I seldom go into Starbucks. This is exactly why. All I want is sixteen ounces of bitter caffeine. But I’m always behind someone with a candy store order like this.

    Every single time.


  2. I was the one to clean the pot periodically, just so boiler scale didn’t accumulate. Otherwise, the Chief is right (as always).

  3. Ma takes her coffee black. She learned to when working nights at a hospital. There just wasn’t time for anything else.

    Me? I’ll take it black, if it’s good enough. Cream or such if not. If it needs sugar, it’s not worth the attempt to drink it, IMO.

  4. Never did understand the first group. I once had a crusty, old aircraft maintenance type explain to me I was, “washing out all da flavah” when he saw me rinsing out my coffee cup. Some people like to make a competition out of anything. For that group, the more bitter and knife-in-the-gut painful to drink, the better. They think it shows the are he-men or something. Weird.

    The second group likes to snobbishly order the weirdest thing they can. They think it shows they are demanding customers with rather discriminating tastes. Weird.

    A pox on both their houses!

  5. Dad was a WWII Navy Vet, Boiler Fireman to be exact, The Truce between him and Mother was who ever made the coffee was how that pot tasted. Sometimes Mom’s cup was half milk to thin it enough to drink it. Personally I like my hot chocolate with coffee overtones.

  6. I normally take mine black with just a little sugar, but if someone is bringing me coffee, then it is straight black. When I was in the Army, the C-Rats came with sugar and powdered creamer, but having coffee in the field was a privilege, so I wanted to drink it not play with it.

  7. The second best coffee is from the MRE instant packet, mixed with the packets of sugar, creamer, and hot chocolate, with just enough water to turn it all into a paste.

    The best coffee is three days old, from the mermite can on the first supply truck to make it to your position in two months.

  8. I started working on my uncles crab boat when I was ten. He made coffee with a pinch of salt in it nothing else. Still do today.

  9. I’ve had my share of mess hall and c-ration coffee back in the day. Still go with black. I don’t mind a bit of Bushmill’s in it now and then however.

  10. Like Jim, I served on active duty for over 20 years and to this day, still go with black, and that shot of Bushmill’s from the bottle you you managed to bring onboard ship was doubly delicious. And I heard a sea story once that the Navy Recruiters sent the tea drinkers to the Air Force.

    SCPO USN Ret.

    by Cdr. Rod Mooney, USN (ret)

    For Greeks, ambrosia was OK,
    But used up all a sailor’s pay.
    Tars worked for grog instead of wage
    But as for me I love to hug
    A good old Navy coffee mug.
    Its fragrance cuts the salty air
    and Wafts me far away from there
    It’s best when made so it can stand
    Without the mug, just in your hand,
    And crusted mugs from watches back
    Are germ free if your coffee’s black.
    Beware the canned milk on the bridge,
    It’s likely never seen a fridge,
    And if it fails to pour or run,
    It’s left from World War Two (OR ONE).
    But don’t spill coffee on your boots
    Your socks will soon start growing roots,
    And if it penetrates the deck,
    The panicked crew could cause a wreck.
    Way down below, the engine crew
    Prefers an even stronger brew,
    And sometimes as they ply their craft,
    They use the stuff to grease the shaft.
    When Navy coffee’s thick and black,
    It guards against a heart attack,
    And if it’s strong enough, I’m sure
    It functions as a cancer cure.
    But best of all, it makes the days
    Pass quickly in a caffeine haze.

  12. Hey Peter;

    I just take my coffee black, nothing fancy. I have occasionally put a bit of cream and sugar in the cup. I have had to slow down my intake, when I was in the service, I would drink pots at a time, my coffee mug was a beer stein.

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