Cup O’ Joe

It’s 3:00 in the afternoon on an overcast Saturday, we have been working at and on the house all day, and I’m now sitting down and enjoying an afternoon cup of coffee.  When my kids read this, they will think, “oh boy, she really is turning into Grandma.”  If my mother does not get her shot of java around three in the afternoon, well, you don’t really want to be around her.  Don’t worry kids, I’m not like that at all.  I prefer mine at noon.  That being said, this blog post is dedicated to, and sings the praises of, Juan Valdez ’s favorite beverage.

I have been drinking coffee since I was five years old.  Every morning, along with my sugary cereal, I was given a mug of café con leche: one part brewed Colombian coffee, one part milk, one part sugar.  Way to jazz me up for the half mile walk to school, ma.  Ever since then, the smell and taste of coffee and even the sound of a percolator brewing make me feel warm inside.  The first sip feels like coming home.   The last sip, the draining of the mug, is a bit sad.  Unfortunately for me, I am very sensitive to the caffeine and cannot drink coffee all day and all night the way some lucky people can.  So I have to savor each sip because I know I will have to wait until morning for more.  There are worse things,  I’m aware; I just wish I could enjoy this pleasure 24/7.  I’m greedy that way.

I am also admittedly anal about how I take my coffee.  I really prefer to make it myself at home. That way it is perfect.  I cannot tell you how many times I have had to ask the Dunkin’ Donuts people to remake a cup of coffee.  I’m not sure why “dark and with a tiny bit of sugar” is so hard to do.  I know a lot of people are picky about how they take their coffee, and have trouble at DD or Starbucks.  Some of us get so frustrated, we even throw the mistakes in disgust at the plate glass window as we drive away (ahem, you know who you are).   I think most of us coffee drinkers just want to enjoy our java juice when we want it, the way we want it.  Is that asking too much?

Coffee is enjoyed in most parts of the world, but some places just do it better.  In New York, you can walk into any deli and order a cuppa regular or a cuppa joe and it will be just the way you like it.  In Colombia, and also in my uncle’s kitchen, the percolator brews a full-bodied, eminently satisfying liquid warmth.  I love Jamaica’s Blue Mountain brand too; its tasty but low-caffeine coffee  is one I can drink all day with no problems.  Greek (and Turkish) coffee is a tiny nip of hi-test heaven, followed by the reading of the grinds.  And there is little as fabulous as a café au lait in the late morning in Paris to go with your steaming croissant. 

Don’t get me wrong…I love tea too.  I could, and maybe will, write a blog post about herbal pleasures.  Green tea for cold afternoons, chamomile tea for hurting tummies and dream-filled sleep, the choices for tea are endless and growing by the year with new options from around the world.  It’s wonderful.  But right now, I’m savoring the last drop of today’s caffeine fix and feeling the love.  Mmmmmm.

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