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Let’s talk about coffee and life — two of my favorite subjects.

When I’m at home, I’m a creature of habit. I have a general routine that I stick to — roasting my own beans, alternating between my pour over and an Aeropress. The last thirty years of coffee drinking have been a constant pursuit of a better cup of coffee. I also liked the coffee we used to have in the office. Thanks to brewing equipment from New York companies for coffee machines, coffee was really good.

Traveling, of course, throws a monkey wrench into habits. Whether it’s working out or preparing a great cup of coffee, traveling makes it harder to stay on course. Many good habits have lost steam (did you catch that) when traveling.

If it’s a short trip, I’ll usually skip the hotel coffee and head to a local coffee shop. While reducing my overall consumption, at least I get one good cup of coffee — which is always more preferential than mass quantities of crappy coffee. Most of my trips fall into that category. Occasionally, I’ll have a longer trip and my options will be limited.

In Jamaica working at Robin’s Nest, I took Opal single serve pour overs with me and the result was surprisingly good.

For the past week, I’ve been serving¬†at Opportunity Camp, a camp for kids in the foster care system in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a journey I’ve made every summer since 1996. Like I said, I’m a creature of habit. It’s a very rewarding experience that nearly 100 people volunteer for every year. We stay onsite with the kids and try to ensure they have a great experience.

In terms of camp food, the food is outstanding. Our executive director believes in treating the kids well and that includes the food we serve. A number of years ago a few of us starting giving him a hard time about the coffee he was purchasing for the staff. I believe it was Kirkland (Costco) coffee that was cheap to buy in bulk. Since we were joking, we were surprised when he upgraded the coffee the next year. It’s still from Costco but it’s a better grade of coffee. We still mass produce it in a Bunn machine.

But no one cares.

In fact, we would have been fine sticking with the old Kirkland brand coffee.

The reason is simple: we aren’t there for the coffee. As we say every year, “camp is for the kids.” That’s true of the games we play and the coffee we drink.

Since I talk and write about coffee so much,¬†it would be easy to conclude that I believe the most important thing in life is coffee. I don’t. And I recommend you don’t either.

I do recommend you find something so compelling, so significant, that you would be willing to drink sub-par coffee — even for a whole week!