Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coffee: A Love Letter

I can still remember my first taste of coffee. I was probably four years old, and my mom gave me a tiny cup of what she called coffee milk - a splash of sweat creamy coffee mixed with ice cold milk. I was hooked even then; and it was only occasionally that she would indulge our pleas for the creamy drink.

Coffee got me through college - and helped write some damn good late night art history papers. Coffee was there when I met my future husband, and I was appalled to find that he preferred his with only a watery splash of nonfat milk. He used to laugh and call my concoctions of cream and sugar my 'coffee milkshakes.' Coffee was there every morning soon after each of my sons was born. Sitting up in the middle of the night- cold and exhausted and wondering how on earth I would get this baby to stop crying- I was comforted knowing that at some point, when the sun came up, I could at least soothe myself with the ritual of a cup of coffee.

My love affair with coffee was so deep, that I seriously contemplated how people could possibly make it through life, and especially life with a newborn, without it. And now I am one of them. For some reason, my stomach no longer likes coffee - it actually detests it, responding with the angriest heartburn I've ever met.

So for the past two years, I've been trying to embrace a new life, one without coffee. Though I'm over the caffeine thing - its the aroma, the taste and the ritual that I long for. I've been known to sniff the coffee grounds as my husband prepares his coffee. I've been known to blabber on and on about the joys of coffee to anyone who will listen. I even took a photo of my last cup of coffee (above). It was fairly un-sexy in its Styrofoam cup, but the Hawaiian hazelnut (from Bagel Rock in Ventura) still lingers in my taste memory.

I've been searching for a replacement, but to no avail. Zhena's Gypsy Tea Firelight Chai is the closest I've come to a delicious morning ritual (with cream and sugar of course). Hot chocolate plays a pretty good understudy when I'm out to breakfast and want something steamy in a mug. And a chai latte is what I settle for when I feel the need to stop in at a Starbucks.

So, I just wanted to say to coffee, I love you. There's nothing like you. I enjoyed the time we had together, but life is pretty bleak without you.


Laurel B. Connell said...

Love what you wrote. Breaking up with coffee does leave a heart quite tender...

DK Crawford said...

Ha! I feel your pain! On my blog, I wrote a goodbye letter to tea in my morning sugar (ok so in reading my comment back, I so see there's a problem with what I wrote but I'm keeping it because it just SHOWS you my passion!!). And yes, the ritual, the mouth-feel, the longing...the being told not to or realizing it's bad for you! the "it's not fair! I want what I want! tantrum-throwing, fist-pounding floor fit my inner sugar-aholic wants to have! I get it. Perhaps we should set up your morning coffee and my morning sugar on a blind date. Surely there are sweeter, richer options for us :)

Ventura Food Happenings said...

Glad to know I'm not alone...and, yes, I've been tempted to have a toddler style tantrum a few times over this. Its funny, the more I talk about it, the more I run into people who have similar issues with coffee:)