You Do Need Electricity to Make Coffee

Posted by: on Jul 25, 2011 | 2 Comments

Some days stuff happens right in front of you that just makes you shake your head and “say what the f*&^ are people thinking.”  Today was one of those days. At about 5 AM this morning, a transformer in Millburn decided it had enough of this heat and humidity leaving several thousand customers without electricity, including Monarch Communications (that’s my business in case you are wondering) in beautiful downtown Millburn, New Jersey. I knew there was a problem with the traffic lights in town but had no idea had widespread the issue was until I arrived at my office at the usual time… 8:30….OK, 8:45…well maybe it was closer to 9….but come to think of it there was a bit more traffic than usual because of the lights being out so let’s just call it 9:15.

Anyway, once I realized there was no electricity in the building (hence no AC or internet), I decided to park myself at a table in front of Starbucks at the corner of Main Street and Millburn Avenue, along with some of friends and co-tenants. Let me paint a perfectly clear picture for you. When I first arrived at Starbucks there was no electricity anywhere in town. Millburn Avenue was 100% dark as was Main Street (although many merchants had there doors open). There were no traffic lights operating in town and police barricades were up to prevent the cross flow of traffic. People were out walking, sitting, milling around.

A few minutes after I took up residence at the table in front of Starbucks, someone walked by and pulled on the door to get in for their morning latte. They actually seemed quite surprised that Starbucks was closed. In the next hour or so, this moment was repeated on a fairly regular basis, maybe 10 – 12 times. Each time our group just looked at each other and smiled. I guess the relationship between coffee and electricity never really dawned on these people. That or maybe they thought Starbucks would have electricity when everyone else in town didn’t. I know that some people say that Starbucks coffee gives them gas but I really doubt it’s enough to power the cappuccino maker, let alone the whole store.


  1. Martin Bearg
    July 25, 2011


    While electricity is needed for lights, A/C and other equipment, not being a latte drinker I have no idea if electricity is required for the foam. Gas, on the other hand, may or may not be used to brew coffee, but electricity would no doubt me needed to grind coffee beans, unless Starbucks uses ground coffee. Therefore, it may seem logical and ridiculous to you that others tried to get coffee with a blackout, but it may not have been as silly as you thought. Glad it gave you time to pass the period you had to wait and that you could appreciate the humor.


  2. russklettke
    July 25, 2011

    Brilliant, Ira. Not to quibble, but I admit I have a brother who could probably power up an industrial-scale percolator.