Rekindling love of coffee

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.

Postby mdmvrockford » Mar 13, 2019, 12:52 am

I am being intentionally vague because I will not violate HIPAA regulations. Penalty is fine and criminal. I work as a home care physician. In brief, I see patients at their residence (i.e. I go to patients' residence; patients do NOT come to my office/clinic). There are pros and cons of each work environment of primary care. Previously I have worked in all other types except prison and Indian reservation.

Recently I was making typical house call for a long standing patient. This person (IIRC) has been dismissed from multiple prior providers. This person is "rough-around-the-edges." Since I do not offend easily, this patient's roughness did not bother me. I worked four years in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FHQC) (layman term: low income clinic and many patients with no insurance). I also worked in primary low income areas with great majority of patients are public aid insurance. I have seen the best of the best and seen the worst of the worst. If a patient tells me to "f~%& off" I'll just respond "good day to you too." So this "rough-around-the-edges-patient" has something in their home that clearly demonstrates they know something about coffee/espresso. I just noticed it for first time after ~8 home visits. I will not state what it is to prevent even remote HIPAA violation. Like Rosebud in "Citizen Kane" the object is not important. I proceed to ask patient where they got that object from and I then find out patient owned a cafe and was its sole barista but it went out of business. Still assuming this patient probably had a crappy cafe, I proceed to ask patient what their cafe's equipment was. Patient told me "some Italian two group machine and some Italian grinder...both were commercial." I asked patient "LaMarzocco machine like Linea and Mazzer grinder like Robur or Major?" The patient's response was "yes" but they forgot names because it had been at least 25 years since the cafe went under and closed. Well, then I ask why did cafe go under? Some (then) small company called "Starbucks" started opening cafes in the Chicagoland area and very few appreciate quality. This patient also "Seinfeld-barista Nazi'ed" customers to Starbucks if they ordered drink that deviated from what they thought was historically regarded as best tasting preparation & ingredients. OK now I am thinking just because you have exceptional equipment does not mean you know your stuff. Well, we proceed to have conversation about fine coffee and espresso. My jaw was on the floor and still does fall there when I think about the encounter again. While the patient does not have vocabulary of another_jim (Team HB) nor other moderators, the patient clearly knows about exceptional coffee and exceptional espresso. It literally would be like Mike Tyson talking (in typical Mike Tyson voice and mannerism) about Stephen Hawking subjects relativity or quantum gravity.

This patient fell onto very hard times and remains in such financial state for decades. I asked patient for permission to discuss more about coffee and espresso and they agreed. When I realize I was turning them off about coffee and espresso b.c. of high cost, I then gave that person advice on exceptional coffee on the cheap. I told them about press pot (aka French Press), pepper grinder and bare minimum passable whole bean (Dunkin Donuts medium roast but one with oldest expiry date so it means roasted soonest to being on shelf). I think I made the patient's day that time. I could see the passion for coffee come back to someone who clearly likes all thing coffee. And not one additional medication needed to make person feel better.

On next follow up home visit, the patient did not get the press pot (French press) I recommended because they do not drive and they live paycheck to paycheck. $20 is big deal to them. Anticipating this, I gave them my 12 year old Bodum French Press (not used in >2 years as I instead use Clever Coffee Dripper) and 12 oz of whole bean Dunkin Donuts medium roast coffee ($6.80 at local grocer). One of their relatives makes peppermill and if this does not work to give coarse enough grind for french press, then I may buy them one of those $20 hand grinders.

My long suffering (due to hearing my coffee rants when he stated "Starbucks serves really good stuff") assistant accompanied me one time to above patient's home. When I told assistant of above story, he said "no way!" Assistant to this day still thinks I am lying or exaggerating the story. I am not at all.

And being patient's sole primary care physician and knowing all their medical history, <200mg daily caffeine will be safe for this patient. Though I told them, to be on safe side, to limit to one 8 oz per day coffee. After all we home-baristas know, good coffee is like a great potato chip: most cannot stop at one:)
LMWDP #568


Postby Marcelnl » Mar 13, 2019, 4:08 pm

great story, both of love for people and of love for coffee... I voted you for MVP just because I could (even if it means nothing since the draw was already done) :!:
LMWDP #483

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Postby HB » Mar 13, 2019, 8:04 pm

Marcelnl wrote:...even if it means nothing since the draw was already done.

Er, there are three rounds and the second ends this Friday. :D
Dan Kehn

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Postby spromance » Mar 13, 2019, 8:29 pm

Michael, my father is a P.A. so I totally get (and appreciate) your need to try and tell the story in a HIPAA compliant manner, but just wanted to say, very cool story (even with the personal details redacted)! And very cool to hear of you not only stirring the passion for coffee back up in your patient, but sharing that passion with them by helping them out with the French press and beans. I can only imagine how much your friendliness means to them. Very cool.

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Team HB

Postby another_jim » Mar 13, 2019, 10:40 pm

Great story.
Jim Schulman


Postby Marcelnl » Mar 14, 2019, 3:03 am

HB wrote:Er, there are three rounds and the second ends this Friday. :D

even better :D (thanks for letting me know, I completely missed that :oops: )
LMWDP #483

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Postby spressomon » Mar 14, 2019, 8:55 am

Good 'out of the box' read: Thanks for sharing!
No Espresso = Depresso