I love coffee. Or I should say I love good coffee, rich and dark. I love the way it tastes and smells. I love to hold a warm cup and appreciate the feel of it. You have to have just the right cup to enhance your enjoyment of the drink. The edge has to feel right against your lips. The size has to be just right. The cup has to keep the coffee warm for a while. My sister-in-law gave me the perfect cup a couple of years ago. Even though I have a collection of about thirty coffee cups, it’s still my favorite.
I like to try different kinds, and brands, and flavors of coffee. I love those little booths at fairs and markets where you can taste different blends. Sometimes I buy mild coffee and mix it with a darker, richer roast to save money. But when I feel like a treat I bring out the good stuff- dark, whole Columbian or Kenyan beans- and grind them myself. Of course coffee can be bad…very bad. In my travels with my husband I’ve tasted old coffee, bitter coffee, bland coffee, and coffee I’d be afraid to pour down my drain. Then of course there is instant coffee…don’t go there.
You have to have good water to produce good coffee. I think that some city systems have too much chlorine or too many minerals. I’m comfortable with the slightly bitter taste of our water, and our coffee, but I know if I want to make the best coffee I need to use bottled water.
The coffee pot makes a difference too. I’ve owned a couple of brands that seem to scald the coffee. Yuk! I want to try one of those new pots that makes just one fresh cup at a time. My grandmother had a percolator that made a delightful popping sound when it was brewing. There was something elegant about the way she held the handle with one hand and used the fingertip of her other hand to hold the lid in place while she poured.
Coffee is an acceptable vice in most crowds. It falls in and out of favor with the medical community. There are a few people who object to caffeine for health or religious reasons. And I’ve encountered a few people who just don’t like the taste. However, most social occasions include coffee. It’s a staple in offices and schools and hospitals.
Coffee has an interesting history. There are legends and stories of animals and people eating the berries before someone got the bright idea to roast them and produce a drink. You can Google “coffee history” if you care to read more.
My grandmother drank gallons of coffee, but she tried to discourage me from drinking it. I remember visiting her church one day and observing a woman with a dark mustache. I was fascinated; I’d never seen a woman with a mustache before. “Why does she look like that Gran?” I whispered. “Too much coffee,” she replied sternly. I swear it was a month before it occurred to me that grandmother didn’t have a mustache despite her 8-10 cup a day habit.
One of my first bosses drank a concoction he called coffee, but by the time he added half a cup of cream and four teaspoons of sugar it was something else entirely. Maybe he was just before his time. If he had given it a fancy name and charged $3 for it he could have opened a little shop.
I’ve quit drinking coffee a few times. I’ve gotten in a dither over some medical report and weaned myself off it for a week or a month. I even drank decaf for a year. But somehow I always wind up at a birthday party or a church dinner with a cup in my hand. Pretty soon I’m back to my usual four cups a day. I suppose if I have to have a vice, it might as well be coffee. At least if I drink it black it’s fat free!