I’m drinking my coffee black this morning. It’s not too bad this way. Usually, I have cream in it. If I could eat anything I liked, I’d have cocoa in it. Which reminds me that I bought cacao nibs and need to figure out how to brew drinking chocolate…
My lifelong flirtation with the black stuff in a cup started in college 1.0, when I was 18. My hot beverage of choice up to then was cocoa, or tea. But I was hanging out with the rock climbers and river rafters and they all drank the bitter black stuff. So I did, too. It was easy and it grew on you. Besides which, I was one of the very few (ok, usually only) females in that group. Most of the girls at that college were there for their MRs degree. I was not, but I got it anyway. Shows you what the power of suggestion will do on even an ostensibly intelligent person.
Pregnancy pretty much killed my ability to drink coffee, and as I had four babies over the course of 6 years, that meant I was back on tea and cocoa and milk for… a long time. I started up again when it was just my Dad and I, and I was a single mom needing all the help she could get to try and keep up with work and kids and all the things. Coffee became my new best friend. That’s when I started drinking a lot of mocha. Or at the very least milk and sugar. Dan came home with a Bunn that had a leaky seal (ready fix with silicone caulk) and we had coffee all. The. Time. I miss that coffeepot.
And then the First Reader came into my life. He can, on his own, drink at least a pot a day… there’s a reason I wrote a love for the ‘black elixir of the gods’ into Pixie Noir, after all. The First Reader used to take only sugar in his coffee. He took a cup from Dad and I’s pot and asked… ‘how much coffee do you put in there?’
I pointed at the measuring cup in the coffee can. ‘Two scoops.’
Turns out, I was putting double the necessary grounds into the pot. Well, no wonder I couldn’t drink it black… And Dad had to have some dairy in his due to a stomach ulcer ages ago. For that matter, Dad had to drink half-caff for a long time. However, we figured out that when I was using the ‘correct’ amount of grounds, I could drink the stuff black again. And a friend introduced me to Death Wish Coffee. That stuff is smooooth. But I can’t indulge in it every day.
I still took a little cream and sugar in my coffee, because I like it that way, until this last year when I was doing intermittent fasting. You can have it black, but the sugar and fats will mess up the fast. So… And then I cut all the sugar out. Because my body Lurves sugar. Yeah. Wants to make it all into a nice fluffy protective padding layer. I can do without that. Working on getting rid of all the fluff.
So I’m sitting here drinking my coffee black, and remembering when I was young and carefree and had the camaraderie of a great group of people around me, and challenges to climb in front of me. Memories are sweet, and so is life. My coffee doesn’t have to be.
(Header image: The old Bunn, with a farm kitten warming himself on top of it. He wasn’t allowed up there, but coffee has a warmz!)