I am a Coffee Drinker (a serious one, thus, the capitalization). I started drinking coffee during high school, in Madame Leethe’s first and second period French classes, which I took my junior and senior years of high school. Like many of you, I’d guess, I began by drinking gateway coffee… you know, the kind of coffee that was probably half milk, with generous sugar. Regardless, I felt très Continental.
My relationship with coffee continued after high school. By that time, I no longer required half a cup of milk, or any sugar. I made my own at home in my Proctor-Silex 4-cup maker. This was well before the days of the Keurig.
Years later, following a break-up, I moved to an apartment complex that was right next door to a coffee shop. To say that I was a frequent flyer in their drive thru line is a bit of an understatement. I went there four or five days a week, always in the morning, always on my way to work. I unfailingly ordered a venti iced coffee, unsweetened. Some days, I paired that with a slice of banana nut loaf, and some days I paired that with a vanilla scone.
Even after I began eating a strictly vegan diet, my coffee shop order didn’t change. Surely banana nut loaf and scones have milk and eggs in them, but the power of my pre-coffee denial is strong, and I kept up this breakfast ritual in spite of how I ate the rest of the day.
It didn’t take very long before the lady who usually ran the drive thru window recognized me. She appeared to be about my mom’s age, and was even named Linda. She could have been my mom. I may have even sometimes pretended she was my mom, sending me out into the world with my favorite breakfast.
I haven’t lived in that apartment for over a decade; in fact, I don’t even live in that town anymore. There are several lovely coffee shops in my new town. I indulge myself with a visit once in a while. My favorite coffee in town is the Vietnamese-style coffee at an Asian restaurant called Zen Zero. The coffee is stout with chicory, and mixed with creamy, sweetened condensed milk. They serve the coffee hot or iced. I admit, I always choose hot, because I know that if I choose iced, I will gulp the decadence down in two or three heaving swigs.
I love everything about coffee: the smell, the taste, the feeling when it’s in my mouth. I can live without it, but I prefer not to. Brewing up a carafe of “Jamaican Me Crazy” is my favorite way to start the day.
Last November, I decided to go caffeine-free, in a bid to try to be a bit healthier. After three days, my body went into a tail-spin. It was just a few days after that when my “stroke” sent me to the hospital — it’s possible that my sudden caffeine cold turkey sent my nervous system into a shock of sorts. Who knew?
Months down the road, I am supremely glad that I didn’t have to break up with coffee.
Are you a coffee drinker? What’s your favorite coffee?
If you’re not a coffee drinker, what’s your favorite indulgence drink?