i’m sure everybody’s introduction to coffee went a bit differently, but here is the coffee continuum along which i became addicted:
- folgers instant – like everything good, it begins with that gateway through which we all enter. that thing which tells us, “this is home. you’ll like it here.” my dad had no idea that the tiny puddle of folgers instant he left in the bottom of his cup every morning would be that gateway for me. usually, my sister and i would use it to play “secretary” or “office”, because people smoked cigarettes (ok, his butts may have played a role, as well) and drank coffee in the office. there was something deliciously cold and grown up about the remnants of the folgers instant. i could probably drink it now.
- diner coffee – pretty much any diner cup, full of weak-assed brew and plenty of cream and sugar. that’s what i drank in high school with my theater friends. right before we sang “chapel of love” in three part harmony, or some shit, right there in the restaurant.
- crossword coffee – i had to take a “break” from my 4 year college and move home for a bit and, when i did that, i learned the art of coffee-and-crosswords. both weekend mornings, my mom and step-dad did the crossword and drank coffee at the dining room table. they drank decently strong coffee and used liberal amounts of coffeemate, to which i became addicted. no sugar, because the coffeemate felt like a liquid meal blended into the coffee. this is where i was irrevocably hooked. where drinking coffee became a behavior. a habit. something i looked toward like a hot date. you know, a hot date you could have in your pajama pants and unbrushed teeth.
- driving coffee – driving coffee (which sustained one while driving from albany to monmouth) was black and strong. end of story.
- grown-up coffee – after i left college and moved back to portland, coffee people was rising and, subsequently, falling. before the fall, i was able to fully realize the difference between passable and FUCKING GREAT coffee. even now, i don’t really give a rat’s ass how good a joint’s breakfast burrito is if their coffee is bad. (IMO, there is a difference between weak coffee and BAD coffee. i will take weak coffee with a decent flavor over strong coffee that tastes like it was brewed with a dirty dishrag.) bad coffee is a dealbreaker, yo.
- now coffee – i can – and do – drink coffee every way. seriously. the blackest espresso you can imagine. a macchiato. black drip. drip with cream. a dirty chai. my most common order is a large extra room americano. occasionally, coffeemate (seriously. i wish i knew how to quit you, coffeemate.) today, i tried a trick i learned from sunday that was really good (raw sugar in with the grounds), that probably has legs in my household.
the point is, it’s part of my life now. not to be melodramatic, but if i had to quit coffee somehow, i’d feel like i lost a child. (well, a lesser child. or a pet. probably a hamster or gerbil.)
i like the stuff ok.