The thing I like about coffee is that I can drink it and not have the urge for something sweet with it (although I often do). Give me a cup of tea and I am heading for the biscuit tin or “just one” square of dark chocolate. I blame this fondness for things sweet on childhood when afternoon tea was often accompanied by treats brought home by Dad.
The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
I was not an early devotee of coffee. In my childhood home, I remember the aroma of Blue Mountain coffee emanating from the kitchen and wafting up the stairs. Little brown paper bags of the beans were purchased and just the right amount went into the hand grinder clamped on the kitchen bench. Milk was heated gently in a small aluminium saucepan. The intense brown liquid was poured from a little enamel pot. But back then it was a parent thing and I was not remotely interested in drinking the stuff. Perhaps the intense aroma seeped into my skin, for years later here I am savouring the stuff and revisiting coffee memories.
It’s not that I drink a lot – maybe only up to two or three cups in one day and I never have coffee at breakfast. It’s just the anticipation for that moment when you can have one. I fret if I have got to midday without one. Coffee has an addictive pull which tea does not possess. A cup of tea can be had anytime and it is neither here nor there, but coffee is an experience to savour. It fills me with anticipation whether I am making one at home or having one in a café. As long as it’s a good coffee, with that first sip I feel like I am enwrapped in contentedness.
When we moved from the city to the country, I was distraught about being so far from coffee culture. As I was “coerced” into living a rural life, my friend reckoned that my partner ‘owed me big time’. A small, inexpensive coffee machine was purchased to compensate for lack of city life. Over the years, this little machine has been used daily and still produces a pretty damn good cup of coffee. Oh, and I still get my regular city fixes!
Coffee is a welcome break in a working day. It’s a treat to come home to. It’s a pleasure to share with friends. It’s time out with a magazine in a city café.
Just don’t give me instant!