Ah, coffee. Beautiful, and at times controversial that becomes a staple somewhere between school and work. One recent morning, as I was enjoying my first cup of the day and gazing at the milk swirling among the dark brew, I found myself thinking back to how I first came to love coffee.
As a child, my parents made Turkish coffee, like most Romanians would enjoy, made in a pot on a stovetop. The strong aroma would fill the air, and the finished cup was rich, dark, and had the grounds settled at the bottom. I loved the smell, but don’t remember if I ever tried it as a child.
Coming to Canada, they searched high and low for a coffeepot like it, and to no avail, so they switched to the far more well-known coffeemaker, but still enjoyed small cups of coffee, as opposed to the large mugs so many of us sip from. But surely enough, I saw them transition into the larger mugs.
Somewhere around age 13, I remember them suggesting I try a mocha instead of my normal hot chocolate when we went to Tim Hortons on a Saturday morning, to see if I would like it. It was basically half coffee, half hot chocolate, and I loved it. So, at a relatively early age, that became a once a week treat for me, and I loved feeling more grownup sipping my mocha. Of course, the mocha was a gateway. From mocha, I graduated to flavoured cappuccinos (which is really a step back, since those are made with powdered mixes instead of real coffee).
However, as I entered my mid and late teens, two things happened. First, I started noticing calorie and sugar intake in an effort to watch my figure – and the mochas and cappuccinos were not helping. Second, the demands of a very full schedule began to lead to late nights and fatigue – I was regularly taking more than a full course-load at school, involved in plenty of extracurriculars, and volunteering, plus the occasional part-time job – fun! So one day, I bit the bullet and tried a coffee, with milk and a touch of honey to sweeten it. That first taste was almost a shock, a strength of flavour that I was not familiar with. But by the second sip, it was like a love story. I still wasn’t a regular coffee drinker, but enjoyed a hot cup after a particularly late night, and for 75 cents I could get a decent cup in my high school cafeteria.
By the end of high school, I had happily joined the ranks of the one cup per day club, having a coffee every morning to get me going. This habit continued throughout university, where on very rare occasions (big projects, exams), I have had 4 or more cups in a day.
Nowadays, I require one cup in the morning, as a warm gentle way to fully awaken and be a fully functioning human being. Besides, who doesn’t love waking up to the smells of fresh coffee? At home, we have our beautiful Keurig coffee maker, which I like to use with either flavoured K-Cups or some delicious Lavazza in a reusable K-cup pod. Sometimes I may have a second cup later in the day, but that one is usually sheerly for pleasure. I’ve tried Coke, and I do enjoy Diet Coke quite a bit, as well as XS Energy Drinks, but neither of those is really a regular part of my day. Neither of those has quite the magical touch of a nice hot (or iced!) cup of coffee. In fact, after writing this, I think it’s time for another cup 🙂
Are you guys coffee drinkers? Or tea, perhaps? How did you acquire the habit?