Coffee - Good, Bad and Ugly: II

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the extremely bad coffee I have experienced - almost universally - in hotels in this country over the past 25+ years. Yesterday, I was driving from St. Louis to home (about 7 hours in transit) and I wanted a cup of coffee to help me get through the fatigue.

I stopped at a rest area just across the Illinois border from Missouri and took a chance on the vending machine's coffee. Yeah, I know, I would normally be better off eating dirt. This was quite a sophisticated machine. Between varieties, strengths, sizes, flavors and options, I could have selected from between more than 150 different steaming fluids.

I selected the most "robust," extra-strong, large cup size. It arrived very hot, I placed the cover on top, returned to my truck and drove off. 15 minutes later, it was cool enough to attempt a sip while moving. I took that sip, contemplated it, took another and raised my eyebrows.

The coffee was drinkable. It was not as strongly flavored as I prefer nor am used to, but it was smooth and, at the risk of repeating myself, drinkable. Hotels around the country should take note - if a roadside rest area's vending machine can produce a good (yup, I said it) cup of coffee, there is no reason that any hotel can provide a drinkable cup of joe to every room in its location or chain.

My thanks go out to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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