I made an accidental discovery while running errands with my toddler last week.
First, we stopped at the grocery store for bread and coffee, plus an impulse buy of sparkling pomegranate juice. (I definitely didn’t need the sugar or calories, but I’m 9 months pregnant and it’s 90+ degrees in Texas, so there.)
I dumped the grocery bag in the front seat, then wrestled Bailey into her car seat. In that short time, the smell of freshly ground coffee already permeated the car.
Next up on our errands list: get diapers from the baby store, deposit a check at the bank, and meet my 7-year-old at school for lunch.
Nothing out of the ordinary. But on this particular day, the smell of that coffee was a welcome distraction from the mundane errands.
To be expected after limiting myself to one cup of coffee a day for nine months.
But Then I Noticed
We live in a decent-sized city, so running errands typically involves traffic – and everything that comes with it. Getting cut off, slowpokes in the passing lane, and the car next to you drifting into your lane because the driver is texting.
Halfway through a day of running errands, I’m done. I turn into an inconsiderate driver myself, I find myself snapping at the kids, and I just want to collapse on the couch and watch shameful TV until bedtime.
But on this day, something was different.
When someone stole the parking spot I was waiting for at the baby store, I laughed it off.
When someone sped up to block me from merging onto the highway, I shrugged.
Then after waiting and waiting for an opening to pull into traffic and missing a chance because someone didn’t use their turn signal, the worst I said was: “Oh, you turkey.”
And trust me – I’m capable of a lot worse than that.
My Eureka Moment
Later that day, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across this retweet:
"The smell of coffee actually makes people nicer to one another" http://t.co/v5E5rcGJ4d
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 25, 2015
The reason I was so chill in traffic that day? The smell of coffee overpowered my crankiness.
So basically, I discovered the cure to road rage: Keep some fresh coffee beans or grounds in your car at all times.
How to Eliminate Driving Pet Peeves With a Simple Car Gadget
I am the least crafty person in the world, so I’m thankful for these instructions on how to make your own coffee air freshener for the car.
Here are the basic steps:
- Find a small semi-porous bag. They used nylon stockings in the tutorial above, but see below for some other ideas.
- Fill the bag with coffee beans or grounds. A couple notes:
- Tie the bag in a knot.
- Hang the bag with some string, if you want.
However, the thought of buying nylon stockings just to cut them up makes me feel a bit like Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona. Here are a few more ideas for how to store your coffee beans or grounds:
- Use coffee filters to make DIY scented sachets.
- Drill a few small holes in the top of an old mint tin, and put your grounds or beans in the tin. Then when you need a fresh batch, just clean the tin and load it up again. (p.s. A mini Altoids tin is the perfect size to fit in one of the little cubbies in our car’s console.)
- Use miniature cotton drawstring bags or empty tea bags to hold the magical scent.
- Repurpose a mesh tea ball or tea strainer – bonus points for a hanging chain you can rig up to your rearview mirror.
I discovered all this last week, so I don’t know yet how long your anti-road rage car gadget will last before you need fresh beans or grounds. If you try it out too, let me know how long it lasts for you!
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Tell me so I can live vicariously through you: How many cups of coffee do you have every day? Share in a comment below!