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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

“Funny, he never asks for a second cup at home!”

Those who remember this line from the 1960’s / early ‘70s-era Folger’s commercials will also remember that this was Mrs. Olsen’s (played by Virginia Christine) cue to teach the young housewife the secret to getting her hubby to ask for a second cup: Folger’s Coffee…“It’s mountain grown, the richest kind!”

[wistful sigh]

Well, I never thought I’d hear myself saying this… but I've only had one cup of coffee this morning and I’d gladly settle for a cup of Folger’s right now! Yup, you heard me… freeze dried coffee, and I’d drink it with a smile! At the moment I'm scowling over a cup of [shudder] herbal tea!

That’s right…it’s that time again. In preparation for the Yom Kippur fast I’m once again weaning myself off of caffeine, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Now, before the usual suspects start posting alarming comments again, let me state unequivocally for the record that I have never, and will never use suppositories to get my caffeine fix! Nu-uh, don't even start with me people…not gonna happen!

Anyway, to help divert my attention from this latest caffeine dilemma, I am embarking upon a quest of sorts… and to accomplish it, I need to ask for some help from my loyal readers:

As most of you know, my daily commute takes me through one of the most beautiful, but desolate, parts of Israel: the Judean Desert. Along the way I pass a couple of extremely isolated Israeli Army checkpoints, and I've gotten in the habit of occasionally bringing them cold drinks during these scorching summer months. Standing out in the middle of the desert in full battle gear is hot (but vitally important) business, and I know these young men and women deeply appreciate it when commuters remember them.

However, now that the weather is beginning to change, I realize that these soldiers will now have to prepare to spend the late fall and winter months manning (and womanning) the same exposed checkpoints… in cold, damp and windy conditions.

I got to thinking that I would love to occasionally drop off some hot coffee and/or tea for the soldiers... but getting it there presents a logistical challenge. I could always invest in some kind of thermal carafe… but then I’m faced with the issue of getting it back (I don’t always take the same route home… and quite frequently, the checkpoints are re-staffed, relocated or even temporarily abandoned).

What occurred to me is that Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts (and other places too, I’m sure) have these nifty foldable cardboard boxes that are lined with a plastic. They hold 8 or 10 cups of coffee and have a convenient pouring spout. Most important, the cardboard keeps the coffee piping hot for well over an hour and can be thrown away after it is empty!

What I need from you, dear readers, is help in locating a source for these foldable coffee boxes. I have called a couple of Starbucks, and have been told by the minimum wage baristas that they aren’t allowed to sell the boxes empty and in large quantities…. Only one at a time filled with coffee.

I tried a couple of different ways to convince them of the merits of my request, but I let's face it... these are the same people who think that by calling it a 'tall' I won't notice that they have just sold me a $3, micro-sized serving of coffee. Whatever.

Anyway, if anyone out there can help find a source (it doesn’t necessarily have to be Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts) that will sell me a case or two of these boxes, please shoot me an e-mail with the details and I’ll take it from there.

The young men and women of the IDF who will be serving in the chilly, windswept hills of the Judean Desert this winter will deeply appreciate your efforts.

Posted by David Bogner on September 21, 2004 | Permalink

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I seem to recall that Starbucks was on a list of companies that did things to support U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their families back home. Maybe send an email to the head office and ask if they can authorize the sale or point you to their supplier.

You might also try the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlet (I think there's one in Tel Aviv).

Good luck. This is a great mitzvah.

...and it was great meeting you at the blogger meetup in Raanana.

Rev. Huatou

Posted by: Rev. Huatou | Sep 21, 2004 3:38:31 PM

Rev. Huatou... Thanks for the suggestion, but I tried that route. Starbucks corporate was less than helpful... especially when they heeard I wanted them shipped to Israel. Apparently one of the reasons they closed up shop here is that their Israeli partners scre... um, I mean 'were less than honest with them', so they have little patience for Israel these days.

Oh, and it was a pleasure meeting you, as well. I hope it isn't to long before someone suggests another get-together.

Posted by: David | Sep 21, 2004 5:41:46 PM

Dave, I am on it. I spoke to someone at Peet's corporate, who is going to try and get the manufacturer info.
I hestitantly told her your story, peet's being a Berkely concern and all that goes with it, but at the end of the call, she finally told me her name...

Michal

I thought I recognized the accent.

Posted by: Jordan | Sep 21, 2004 6:20:11 PM

Hi David, I remember Kibbutz Ein Carmel used to have a factory of isolation materials to keep food warm or cold. Maybe they have what you need? Or at least they could tell you where to ask?

Posted by: Lila | Sep 21, 2004 7:25:13 PM

You are so nice it scares me.

How about just using a big thermos? When you get to the checkpoint, break out some disposable cups with lids on them. Pour out some coffee, ask if they take cream and/or sugar, etc.

Is there not enough time for this? Good luck with this! I'm sure you'll find a way.

Posted by: Jim | Sep 22, 2004 12:00:03 AM

You can dry swallow caffeine tablets. I'm pretty sure it was T'shuva of Rav Moshe.

Keep us posted on your quest.

Posted by: Marjorie | Sep 22, 2004 2:15:29 AM

Jim... I briefly considered the thermos bit, but the time factor makes it cumbersome. The soldiers are often busy doing things that might prevent them from sitting down and drinking a cup. Also, at least to my mind, I prefer not hanging around while they prepare their coffee... it seems to somehow lessen the thoughtfulness of the gesture - like I'm hanging out for extra thank-yous or something.

Anyway, a few really thoughful people shook the Internet tree and some promising leads fell out. Another thoughtful person went straight to the source and is checking on that. And still others came up with creative places to check. In short, I seem to be in good hands! Thanks to everyone who took time to help.

Oh, and Marjorie... Zahava can tell you that pills are sort of a funny thing with me. I can't swallow them, even with water! I end up chewing everything from Advil to Zinc! I know... just one of the many things that makes me, um unique!

Posted by: David | Sep 22, 2004 8:40:39 AM

This might be a solution:

http://www.idcdispensing.com/FR_PS_carafe.html

More info here:

http://www.idcdispensing.com/articles/gadgets.pdf

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Sep 22, 2004 3:29:10 PM

I have no leads and it seems like a few other people have things well in hand, but I just want to say, what a fantastic idea. You are a very cool guy.

Good luck with that!

Posted by: Carol | Sep 23, 2004 9:38:56 PM

I emailed Bogie one link but while in dunkin d's today I peeked under their 'box of joe' and found 'LPG manufacturing'- jackpot. Here's the link: http://www.lbpmfg.com/JTG/slug/slugjtg.html

Posted by: Jake Palefski | Sep 24, 2004 3:21:58 AM

Carol... I've been called a lot of things in my life, but I believe this is the first time I've heard 'cool'. Thanks. :-)

Posted by: David | Sep 24, 2004 1:16:35 PM

Try this: http://www.lbpmfg.com/JTG/stock/stockjtg.html

Posted by: beth | Sep 26, 2004 6:48:53 PM

David,
Have you tried emailing sysco, they deal with food and food containers!
kol tuv,
Faye

Posted by: Faye | Sep 28, 2004 1:02:28 AM

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Posted by: Sandra-mi | Jul 31, 2007 12:58:57 AM

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