A Cup of Coffee by Any Other Name

I Like my Coffee Like I Like My Women…

We’re all addicted. Some people are addicted to chocolate, some to cute little kittens. I am addicted to hot water filtered through ground beans — coffee. I love the sound of it brewing, the smell, the taste.

Did you know that coffee first begins its life not as bean, but as a fruit? More specifically a cherry? Neither did I. Did you know that it was first harvested in the ninth century in Ethiopia? Do you even know where Ethiopia is? Yeah I had to look it up too. It’s not my fault though. My school teacher never turned the globe to the other side.

My love affair with coffee began at a very young age. I was about 13 years old and working for my father’s contracting business. Picture a crew of big, burly, bearded men clad in flannel and denim and sloshing around in the mud. And one small, blonde boy, wearing tan corduroys and a Knight Rider Jacket. (Which character do you think I am in this story?) One of these lumberjacks would inevitably make a morning coffee run and the order would be “Six cups of coffee and a hot chocolate for the kid.”

“Kid?” I thought. “KID??? I don’t see no stinkin’ kid here. We’re all lumberjacks! Coffee all around!” It was my first contact with coffee. At 13. And I have to tell you it left something to be desired. Actually, it was hideous. It tasted like hot gravy, brown crayons and motor oil. Yuck! But this was my induction into manhood. Swallow it! I had to consume all 10oz. while discussing halfbacks, fullbacks, fastbacks and scratching my bathing-suit area. It made no sense to me at the time, but I eventually grew  to love fastbacks and my bathing-suit area.

Flash forward 30 years later, my stomach is as tough as the hull of the USS George Bush. Lined with the remnants of thousands of pots of java, it could be used as in an emergency as Kevlar by Knoxville’s Finest…although I hope it never comes to that. I take my coffee black, strong and hot. Extremely hot.

Ideally, I would like it served with tongs at a rolling boil by a man in a fire retardant suit. I would also pay high dollar to have a cup of joe filtered through the hide of Juan Valdez’s mule. But, that’s just me.

Coffee (like Leonardo DiCaprio) is an acquired taste. No one takes their first sip of piping hot black coffee and thinks, “Wow! Where have you been all my life?”

Now yes, your first sip of a Caramel Frappa Mocha Hydro-chino Latte? Sure. I imagine you would go back for seconds. But to us this is not true coffee — more like pecan pie in a cup. (Oh, pecan pie in a cup…great business idea.) Drinking black coffee is like driving a 5-speed—our numbers are diminishing.

Unlike other beverages, coffee is a common thread in the world today, bringing people together with just a few simple words. “You want to get together for coffee?” Absolutely. “You want to get together for root beer?” I’ll have to check my schedule.

I don’t understand decaffeinated coffee, though. What’s the point? It would be like having a marine life preserver lined with tuna fish. You’ve missed the purpose.

Speaking of porpoise, I could go for a cup of coffee in a thick restaurant mug right now. Who’s got time?

2 replies
  1. Carol johnston
    Carol johnston says:

    A cup of coffee was one of the first things we shared. I Enjoy taking long trips and taking a thermos. Those are some of the best times!

    Reply

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