We seem to have two groups of people in this office when it comes to making coffee; those who are convinced that the basket is too small to hold enough coffee, and those who treat each scoop as if it it was being carved out of their own muscle tissue. I don't mind strong coffee, but when people over-fill the basket it overflows and every cup comes with bonus coffee grounds in the bottom. This pot appears to have been made by somebody from the latter group. The brew is too dark to classify as amber in colour, but not by much. As an added bonus, it smells like it's been sitting on the burner since sometime early this century. Joy. I suppose I could have made a fresh pot, but that's too much like admitting defeat - and it makes the free coffee something less than free.
Once I got back to my desk, I took a few sips and realized that there are things in life that are worse than admitting defeat, but I didn't feel like walking all the way back to the oasis. I started digging through my desk drawers on the off-chance that I might have something that would make this coffee more palatable: sugar, stale creamers, ketchup, gin...
I found some packets of Splenda, and a canister of Coffee Mate that I bought some time back. As I was stirring together the noxious brew, it occurred to me that I've had this Coffee mate for an awfully long time. As I was sipping the coffee (it is not better, just bad in a more palatable way) I started searching the canister for an expiration date, or a half-life, or whatever measure they use for the lifespan of artificial coffee whitener. Eventually I found it; this product was apparently best before October 13, 2004. Oy.
On the other hand, I think I may have discovered something here. After I mixed in the Spenda and Coffee mate, this coffee now tastes exactly like the stuff I would get from those vending machines in rest stops across the mid west. If you poured this into one of those soggy paper cups with the playing card print on the outside and then shuffled it around with a coffee that had just come from one of those machines, I would be hard pressed to tell them apart. Weird. Not good, but weird.