When I returned from Europe after about nine months attempting to earn money teaching English as a second language I stayed briefly with a college friend of mine named Ridg. He was living with his girlfriend Cathy, a tall, Buxom aspiring opera singer, in Baltimore. One day, while Ridg was away at work Cathy and I were at the house, she had a hankering for coffee, but all they had were whole beans and no coffee grinder. I looked through their kitchen and came across a mortar and pestle used for crushing spices and decided that I could use that to grind coffee for Cathy. I set down with a handful of beans and then started pounding them into smaller and smaller bits. I probably spent over a half hour pounding those beans, which amounted to only about enough to make about two cups of coffee. Finally, after I could barely pound anymore, the beans were ground down as much I though they needed to be. They weren't as finely ground or as uniform as the ones one gets from a proper coffee grinder but I figured they'd work fine nonetheless. We made a cup from my hand-ground beans in her coffee machine, and I must say, though I'm not much of a coffee connoisseur, the coffee tasted awful. The problem was probably that the beans were just way too coarse. So things happen sometimes.