Sunday, October 08, 2006

Now java enabled!

At the age of 38 and ¾ I am, for the first time, a coffee drinker. I think it was taking scalding hot sips of my mom’s black-as-coal Hills Brother’s in my formative years that had delayed this for so long. It’s hard to shake the sensecerebral scarring of those first forays…the burnt tongue, the scalded roof-of-mouth…the urge to spit it out…the bitter taste, so sharp and biting, and so less sweet than what kids normally drink.

Despite that memory, I’ve been thinking about drinking coffee for a couple years now. I know the Coke I’ve been drinking as a morning pick-me-up—and I find more and more that I need such picking—with its massive sugar and carbonation is just not good for the body…or the teeth. And it tends to give me belly aches as well. It also doesn’t pair well with bananas which I really like in the morning.

I’ve also felt a certain amount of social ineptitude because of my lack of coffee comprehension. I still don’t know a mocha from a monkey, nor could I brew my way out of a paper bag…or filter as the case may be. I started drinking chai tea a few years ago, just so I’d be able to not feel like a complete dweeb when I accompanied co-workers on coffee runs. And while there is comfort in the chai, it lacks the caffeine punch and is really no more than a differently-flavored grown-up hot chocolate.

So how did the big switch happen? Serendipity, of course. On the final day of a week-long business trip to Vegas, a co-worker got my chai order wrong (no blame there; we were all pretty spun out at that point) and bought me a latte' instead. Even before it hit my tounge, I sensed something was substantial nose drank in the coffee scent microseconds prior. Too tired to protest or bring it back for a switch, I just rolled with it. And it was good. It didn't taste a thing like that tar that mom drinks...nor was it nearly as hot. The soy milk took just enough of the bite out of it, making it mellow but not too sweet or milk shakey.

So it's been one-a-day ever since and I'm diggin it. Since the switch, I've been encouraged to try all kinds of variations with interesting names...Americanos, au laits, espressos, Mexicanos, Cubanos, etc., etc. And while I'd like to think I'm multiculturally enlightened, I'm not yet ready for the United Nations in my cup. And I will never submit to speaking Starbuck's—it's a MEDIUM dammit! But next time you offer to buy me a coffee...I just might take you up on it and actually get a coffee.

PS - Thanks Andy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

re: the "tar" your mother drinks,
I suspect it's a lot like the mud my father drinks.

~ lou