‘Another Cup Of Coffee . . .’

One of the simplest pleasures in my life is coffee. That’s been the case – as I once wrote – since early in my college days. Those of us at The Table would sometimes sip enough coffee during the course of a college day to creating a leaning sculpture of more than sixty porcelain cups in the middle of the table.

I no longer build towers of cups, but I still start each day with cup or two of coffee, and for several years now – and at intermittent times along the way – I’ve been grinding my own coffee from beans. One of my favorite blends for the past few years has been the Flame Room breakfast blend offered by McGarvey Coffee, a Twin Cities firm. Since the Texas Gal and I moved to St. Cloud a little more than seven years ago, I’ve been able to find Flame Room blend – named after a long-gone but still fondly remembered Minneapolis restaurant – at the grocery store down the street, a Cub Foods store.

The store – along with its sister store on the west side of St. Cloud – was sold during the course of the past winter, and both became part of the Coborn’s company, which operates grocery stores throughout Minnesota and the Dakotas. Both stores were transformed into Ca$h Wi$e stores. (That’s how it’s spelled – with dollar signs.) And the new management promptly pulled McGarvey Coffee from its shelves.

I was disappointed but not devastated. There are other coffee companies, other bean blends that I find satisfactory for my early morning caffeine rush. (It’s not just the caffeine, though; I enjoy the flavor of coffee in many blends, an enthusiasm that baffles the Texas Gal, who cannot stand the beverage.) So, without McGarvey Coffee as a choice over the past month, I’ve brewed coffee from Cameron’s Coffee, another brand based in the Twin Cities. I’d had Cameron’s coffees before, and they were fine.

But over the past week, as I worked my way through a fairly good French roast blend from Cameron’s, I began to yearn for McGarvey’s Flame Room blend. The nearest Cub Foods store is now in Monticello, a little less than thirty miles away; we could head that way sometime during the weekend. Until then, however, I would still need some coffee beans, so on my way home from running some errands yesterday, I stopped off at the nearby Ca$h Wi$e. And on the coffee shelves there, I found a bank of white packages with red and black trim: The McGarvey coffees were back. Without hesitation, I grabbed a bag of Flame Room blend beans and made my way to the checkout.

And this morning’s coffee tastes pretty damned good.

Here’s Osibisa performing “The Coffee Song” on a British television show in 1976:

Here’s Julie London with “Black Coffee” from around 1960:

And finally, here’s Bob Dylan with Emmylou Harris with “One More Cup Of Coffee” from the 1975 album Desire:

I’ll be back Saturday.

(Edited slightly November 12, 2020)

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6 Responses to “‘Another Cup Of Coffee . . .’”

  1. Paco Malo says:

    The minute I saw the title of this post, I thought of discussing “One More Cup of Coffee” by Dylan (w/ Emmylou). It’s one of my favorites from the Rolling Thunder Revue era.

    I was overjoyed when it turned up in the soundtrack of Todd Haynes’ excellent 1997 film on Dylan, “I’m Not Here”. For Dylan fans, “I’m Not Here” is a must see film, now out on DVD. For my discussion of the film at my blog Gold Coast Bluenote, the link is:


    Thanks whiteray for bringing this song to your readers’ attention and giving me a rush of memories of the magic elixir I can’t drink anymore.

  2. porky says:

    my mom was an elementary school music teacher and taught the kids a musical round that’s been implanted in my brain:

    Coffee is not for me
    It’s the drink some people wake up with
    That it makes them nervous is no myth
    Slaves to a coffee cup
    They can’t give coffee up

  3. Yah Shure says:

    whiteray, your mention of McGarvey instantly triggered memories of their ads on WCCO Radio in the early ’60s, when the brand was known as McGarvey-Atwood.

    Remember Butter-Nut coffee? One of their red-and-white, two-pound cans held the oddball nail/screw/nut assortment in our basement workshop for years. Maybe it was the perpetual threat of being “nailed” by reaching into that can that kept me from ever developing the coffee habit.

  4. whiteray says:

    Yah Shure,

    Butternut was the first coffee brand I bought when I moved out on my own. I drank it for years until I got a coffee grinder as a gift – a hand grinder – and began grinding my own. By the time I got to it, though, the brand had changed its cans to a red/gold/brown look that was perfect for the Seventies. It mimicked the colors of appliances, come to think of it, with the only thing missing being the avocado green!

  5. […] written several times about my love of coffee, most recently – I think – when I wrote about the McGarvey coffees leaving and then returning to the shelves of our nearby grocery […]

  6. Larry Lane says:

    I have drank coffee most of my life and still do
    i was wondering if anyone can tell me if McGarvey still makes the blend of coffee they had in all the resaurants back in the 80’s before farmer bros bought them out
    i have tried some of there blends but havn’t found the very distinct taste that i could tell rite away it was McGarvey
    thanks for all your time

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