The Very Worst Missionary’s Very First Giveaway!

Whenever I walk into my home church and see the line at the super nifty coffee bar, I think about how coffee is like a drug, and on Sundays we all get to take it together. And then I start thinking about how funny it would be if you walked into a suburban church and instead of handing out coffee to the masses, they were passing around a blunt or lining everybody up for bong hits. And then, the pastor, instead of quipping about whether or not everybody had had a cup of coffee, he could be like “Good morning everybody. Hey, it’s kinda quiet in here…did everybody smoke a bowl this morning? Ok, nice…alright, ushers please pass the Doritos.”

Don’t get me wrong, I see why it couldn’t be done. I mean, the people at the back would NEVER get communion cause all those little crackers would be gone by the end of the third row. And the hot-box effect would have the pastor standing in such a thick cloud of smoke that by the end he’d be far too blitzed to speak…or maybe stand. And there’s the whole “weed is illegal, and bad for you” thing. So, no. No weed in church.

I’m NOT in any way suggesting that we serve marijuana in church. But I still think it’s funny that we feed some peoples addictions while we scorn others.

I am addicted to coffee.

Addicted. Not even kidding. I am a slave to it. I love it… sometimes more than my children. I make time for it. I use it. Need it. Jones for it. Withdraw from it. Highly reminiscent of a crystal-meth addict. Except I don’t have to hide behind a dumpster to drink a cup of coffee. I can do it anywhere I want. And I have dealers on every corner… and at church…

A few years ago, my friend Tom taught me how to make coffee over a campfire. We’re talkin’ no filter, no percolator, just water and coffee. It’s incredible. What you do is you throw the coffee directly into a pot of boiling water, then take it off the fire, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then – this is the key – you sprinkle cold water into it, which, by some miracle of God, causes all the coffee grounds that are floating around in this undrinkable murk to settle to the bottom of the pot. Now all you have to do is gently ladle the hot coffee from off the top and into your cup.

And the thing is, this makes a super good cup of coffee. I don’t mean, like, I’m freezing cold and up way too early after getting zero sleep cause there was a rock jabbing into my ribs/ass/back/calf in the forrest where there are bears and other scary things that want to drag me off by my head so if somebody doesn’t put a cup of coffee in my hand in the next 40 seconds I’m going to curl up in the fetal position and cry, kind of good. Although, it is good like that. But there is a richness to this coffee, and it has a kind of, like, silkyness?, like a texture, that you would not believe. And, because of the campfire permeating everything, it’s kinda…smokey, or something… and Oh sweet Jesus, it is soooo good! It’s true that you can’t ever drink that last bit in your cup, there will inevitably be coffee grounds in it. But who wants the spit-sip, anyway?

It’s kinda like french-pressed coffee. But better somehow.

Here in Costa Rica they filter coffee through a sock. Well, it’s not an actual sock (although I would not doubt it has been done on many a desperate occasion), but they call it a sock, and it looks like a sock, and it’s like a little tube of cotton or something, like a sock. Ok, so it’s a sock. And the sock goes through a hole in a wooden stand where it hangs over an individual cup. They put the dry grounds in the sock, and then stand there and slowly pour hot water over the grounds as the fresh coffee drips from the bottom of the sock and into your cup. Sounds inviting when you describe it like that, huh. It makes for a decent cup of joe, though.

My point is that I’m not the only one. Not the only coffee junky. All sorts have come before me, all over the world, and perfected the art of imbibing under any circumstances.

So here’s the deal. I’m not even gonna pretend that I’m going to stop drinking coffee. It’s my only publicly acceptable vice. But, I want to need Jesus every morning MORE than I need a cup of coffee. So. I’m going to be making a concerted effort to change a few habits in order to get to that place. For me, that means going to bed eeeearlier, eating breakfast, and not touching the coffee pot for at least an hour after I get up.

Also I’m going to GIVE AWAY a bag of Britt! I know. You’re thinking way to go, VWM, give the drug away. But, the thing is, I’m not vilifying coffee. Coffee is good. The problem is me. I’ve turned it into a drug. I’ve put it too high on my list of priorities. I understand that not every church goer on a given Sunday is a user. Like me.

You may love and enjoy coffee in a very healthy and reasonable way, so I’m just gonna give this beautiful, aromatic, delicious unopened bag of Britt Costa Rican coffee, to one of you. To enjoy. The way it should be. Not to use it and discard it like a dirty hooker, the way I would. It deserves better. I’m doing it again, huh….

Ok. So, leave a comment (with your name or email address) if you want the coffee. And on Wednesday at noon my time (google it), a winner will be chosen at random by me asking one of my kids to pic a number from 1 to whatever. It’s all very scientific. But please, no coffee fiends – only regular non-coffee-addicts need apply. Mkay? Cool.




  1. Cathimommy on January 18, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Are missionaries eligible or only gringos de EEUU.?

  2. Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras on January 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Okay – so I'm an in-betweener. Not a coffee addict, but I do love my joe! And we have a stove-top espresso maker. It's the bomb. Now…I started drinking coffee when I was in the Army. Worked on the radio receiving/transmitting Secret/Top Secret messages – my shift was 24 hours on shift, 24 hours off shift – for an entire year I did this. This is when I first started drinking (coffee that is – although German beer is incredible!) – for self preservation 🙂 Then, 3 years later I was in nursing school, and got a job (for 12 years) working night shift, raising a child, home schooling, etc. Needless to say, I think I've lost about 5 years of my life working nights. I did think too hard about it one time, and looked at my time at the hospital and calculated it out that I've lost almost a YEAR worth of sleep…but I digress. Count me in – I would love some Costa Rican coffee, but if you think I fall into the addict category, then you can put me on the "stand by" list instead 🙂

  3. K.T. on January 18, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Hi, I'm Karysa and I have an addiction. Like, I have a coffee plant growing out of a mug tattooed on my arm. And, when people tell me I can't have caffeine because I'm with child, I bark back "I can have 300 mg a day back the eff off!!!!" So…I guess I'm disqualified?

  4. Anonymous on January 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

    How 'bout a NON drinker who has a Hubby who's a drinker??? 🙂 Now, don't get me wrong, I can probably be considered an addict, just not a coffee drinking one. My drug of choice is Dr Pepper! And talk about NOT fair. Coffee/tea drinkers can still get their "fix" if on a diet or eating healthy. But NOT me!!! Soda is BAD, they say. Therefore, I have to give up my caffeine, but coffee/tea drinkers get to keep on getting their fixes. Now, that's something to cry about. 🙂
    triplett dot heather at gmail dot com

  5. April on January 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Heard about your blog through another missionary here in Thailand and am enjoying the LOLs 🙂 I would say we are responsible coffee drinkers, although my husband on occasion has drank (drinked? drunken?) too much in the evening and after a sleepless night will swear off the stuff… that never lasts long, though 🙂

  6. Zac on January 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I used to be addicted to coffee, but then I switched to Tea. However, that being said, I have had Costa Rican coffee before and it was awesome! So perhaps you could switch me back to Team Coffee by giving me some of your delicious sock filtered Joe!

  7. UncleHarry on January 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Believe it or not, this is my first visit to your blog. Anyway, I like coffee (I won't admit being addicted) and would love some from Costa Rica.

  8. Dad on January 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Pot in church? You're too young…you missed it, Jamie. Back in the 60's, we had churches that gave "glory to God" in sanctuaries filled with blue haze. Called em earth ministries or something organic like that. All the members looked like Jesus wannabes…sandals, long hair, skinny, usually bearded and wearing an assortment of full length robes. Pretty embarrassing when you walk up behind a girl with a cute figure and compliment her on the neat shade of paisley in her gown…she tosses her waste-length blond hair to one side, turns around and says, “Dude. Thanks.”…Adam’s Apple jumping with each of his words. Ouch!

    They took turns giving sermons. It was not uncommon for the entire "flock" to get the giggles…never knew if they were responding to humor from the pulpit or just a thicker haze than normal. Informality and beanbag chairs took the place of pews and weekly predictable routine. Worship services happened spontaneously, not just on Sunday…after coffee.

    I'll bet you're thinking I'm making fun of your religion. I'm not.

    These unique Christians were genuine. Coffee was not their choice of worship-aid, but they read from the same bible and quoted the same Lord that you do. Most eschewed antiperspirant and some refused to use toothpaste…instead, they bathed frequently and scrubbed their teeth in natural stuff like salt or baking soda. Strange people, but devout. Even performed marriages in defiance of local ordinances about marriage licenses and blood tests. Some people castigated them as a dirty hippie commune, but I knew better. Their belief in a very fundamental form of Christianity transcended all else. Even though they knew of my disbelief, they welcomed me to worship with them. We openly discussed our differing views and they were never off-put by my skepticism. Good people. Good weed. Genuine Christians.

    Please don’t add my name to the draw for the coffee. As you know, I don’t drink it. Leave it for those who enjoy coffee…see that…Christian-like charity from a heathen! LOL

    Luvya, Dad

  9. Jeff on January 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    De la Iglesia Catolica de San Isidro de Heredia 50 mts. este y 1 km norte de la calle chavez. Una entrada de lastre con porton negro despues de los lotes de cadequez. 75 mts. oeste y 25 mts. sur. Casa con techo rojo a la mano derecha. Ten cuidado, hay un perro bravo.

  10. Scott Baker on January 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Coffee, please. Me likey. Also, your blog is my new favorite read.

  11. Rob on January 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Britt coffee … yummmmm!

    I think I've told you that my 17 year old daughter lived in Costa Rica for a year. She went there when she was 15, turned 16 in CR and came home last summer, just before her 17th birthday.

    Her name is Brit. She owns Britt coffee. Well, okay, she doesn't, but she thinks she does. And she would send us some whenever it was needed. It truly is great coffee.

    So, stop this silliness and send it to me. You see, I'm a biker. And we both know that drugs lords need bikers to distribute things. Jamie, we're on to something here.

    I'll be waiting.

  12. Emily. :) on January 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I am totally not a coffee addict. I have it once a week at church. 🙂 Pick meee!

  13. Lisa Anderson on January 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    First time reading your blog but I know I'll be back from now on! 🙂 Thanks for being real and for being funny!

    I'd LOVE some coffee!

  14. Sarah Murphy on January 18, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Jamie your blog is great! I have been reading for a while now but the offer of free coffee has finally got me to put a comment up here.

  15. deemus on January 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Jamie, you touched on something with me. Our church has that coffee bar thing, now with donuts and juice too. And THAT bugs the crap out of me. I guess I think Jesus would be hacked off if he saw it. You know, that "can't you watch and pray with me one hour…" thing.

    I have often asked my wife, "can't you go without something to drink for an hour?" She gave me a dirty look.

    But she is a dirty coffee lover. My daughter works at Starbucks. And as any SB employee knows, you get a bag free weekly. So my wife drink Starbucks from home, everyday.

    She is SO spoiled, that when the church changed from Starbucks to some other brand, she went and complained. No kidding. It was the source of many laughs, that my sweet little wife (she really is) would call the church out on what she deemed as "unacceptable" coffee. Poor volunteer coffee hawker…

  16. Anna on January 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Jamie! I really, really enjoy reading your blog (no kidding).

    And you know, if you want to send me some coffee, that's ok too.


  17. Theo V. on January 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Jamie… seriously… like 3 sundays ago I said the samething to a new guy at Church.

    I was talking to him about how NFL football was the new religion in America complete with hero worship, ritual violence, drugs (beer), and even cult prostitutes (cheerleaders).

    Then I though about how we supply stimulants in Church …

    Anyhow… i love coffee too!

  18. Laura Winter on January 18, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    So, I'm not sure if I'm an addict, but in the evenings I can't wait to get to bed so that I can wake up and have coffee in the morning. I guess it would be the 3rd thing that I do in the monring, first being getting Ethan up and changing him, and then putting him in his high chair and leaving him there while I make coffee. So maybe I'm on my way, but I can see how I might get there really soon.

  19. Kirk on January 18, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Yes I love Britt coffee and you already have my email address.

    BTW – even though I think God talks more to our hearts, sometimes I'm pretty sure the brain gets involved to. I'm glad we don't burn weed before church!!!!

  20. Brook Sarver on January 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Wait, what? No coffee fiends? Rules me out… We love sock coffee here in Thailand too…

  21. Alex Green on January 19, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I don't want the coffee. But your dad is a kick in the head. I dig it. And I see you're blood-related.

  22. Rick on January 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Jamie , our family enjoys you blog, however I feel there is something you should know, Rob is given office space in a large urban church DIRECTLY behind their high tech coffee addicts dream machine and therefore wouldn`t fully appreciate the magnitude of what you're giving away! Now how can I knock out the other hopefuls??? hmmm…. Rick

  23. JP and Jessi on January 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Wow, I had a conversation about "addictions" with my mom right before I moved to Mexico to "be a missionary." I told my ultra-conservative mom that her drinking 4 or 5 Diet Cokes per DAY was an addiction, and that I didn't think smoking cigarrettes was any worse than the Diet Coke addiction. I swear, I thought she was going to disown me and call I.T. to have them fire me as a missionary as soon as that conversation ended…

    I love your blog. Just saying.

    And, don't enter me in the coffee thing… I rarely drink it, and my husband is still working on th Britt that Suzie brought us in December! 🙂

  24. JessicaDuh on January 31, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Hi Jamie,

    Your blog is AWESOME! I'm so grateful to my dear friend, Kim, for introducing me to it!

    Thank you so much for being so honest! It really does make me feel like I'm not alone.

    Oh, and, um…coffee would be a-may-zing!

    Take care,

    Jessica (

  25. Christa on January 31, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Love your blog, as a fellow missionary in Mozambique I love your honesty. I am also a coffee addict too and although I am in the States now my favorite is french press when I am on the field. 🙂

  26. Melanie on July 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I've been wondering when to come out from my stalker hideout, but you've allured me with the smell of coffee 😉 I'm just impressed there are "others" out there who have enjoyed sock coffee and lived to tell the tale (though I'm not sure that mine was NOT a genuine, previously used sock…)…. Am lovin' your blog, but am thinking that between my somewhat delayed response, and desperation for caffeine, I'm disqualified from your generous draw!
    Awaiting more insights and (mis?)adventures from Costa Rica…

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