October 26th, 2010
There are two kinds of people in this world:
Coffee drinkers and losers.
There’s is nothing like a piping hot mug of freshly brewed coffee on a chilly, overcast western Pennsylvanian morning. It’s like a miracle drug. Pre-setting my coffee maker to minutes before my alarm goes off insures that I arise to little fairies dancing in my senses saying, “the morning is going to be BEAUTIFUL once your lips grace that perfect mug of steamy, black (and strong) brew.”
That’s right, I’m a coffee drinker. Or at least I was.
It’s a sad tale, but I feel as though I have to explain…
Let’s start at the very beginning: summer of 2005. I was home for college and looking for a job. There was a cute coffee shop that opened around the corner from my parents’ house and needed help. Of course I wanted to work there. There’s something slightly poetic about working as a barista at a locally owned coffee pub. It’s like I was the little fairy, and instead of dancing on your senses, I manned the espresso machine down the street. No one’s day would begin on the right foot if they didn’t come see me. Eventually I would know everyone in the town and how they liked their coffee. I knew the differences between a latte and cappuccino, between a macchiato and an Americano. Skinny, double, red eye…you asked, I delivered.
The problem was that when I started that job, I didn’t like coffee. Not at all. In fact the closest thing to a coffee beverage that I ever had was a Cup-O-Cino from Sheetz—basically premixed hot chocolate with “cappuccino” flavoring (whatever the heck that is).
Well, you can imagine my boss’s dilemma trying to teach me how to make the perfect espresso shot when I really don’t know what a perfect espresso shot is. So—you guessed it—I had to drink every single shot that I made to differentiate between them. I was so wired by the end of the day—but even more dangerous, I was hooked. I fell in love with coffee, well espresso.
It was a slow relationship in the beginning. I started drinking vanilla lattes (which I made to my liking—lots of vanilla). I eventually dropped the vanilla, but stuck with plain lattes vowing I would never drink a pure cup of coffee.
Then I smelled it. It was like heaven was calling my name. The poison was called Highlander and it was from a little mom and pop coffee and tea shop in the Pittsburgh strip district, where my boss bought his coffee beans. It was amazing with it’s little hints of Irish cream and butterscotch.
I added cream at first with a packet of Sugar in the Raw, but shortly the sugar was too sweet and it masked it’s natural flavors.
Then I went back to college and coffee creamer was just too darn expensive because I was putting it in my drink every morning. So I stopped and I never looked back. Black coffee is like black magic—bewitching, intoxicating, and oddly enlightening.
For the next five years I had a cup of black coffee almost every single morning. I wouldn’t say that I was hooked, because I am convinced that I didn’t need it. I just wanted it.
But then the unthinkable happened. This summer, I realized that I was feeling sick around the same time every day. Like I wanted to puke. I’m not pregnant (trust me), but I couldn’t figure it out. Well, one morning I was in a rush and didn’t have time for coffee—funny, I didn’t get sick. The next morning, same thing. No time, no coffee, no nausea. The third day I poured myself just a tiny cup and around 3pm, BAM! Nausea. I haven’t had coffee since then. And that was in the middle of July.
Friends, it’s heartbreaking. Coffee has become the enemy. It’s like I have lost a friend. I can drink lattes, but not straight up coffee. I haven’t try adding creamer to my beloved Highlander, because I’m afraid it will adulterate the coffee. So I just don’t drink it! David has suggested tea, but tea is for losers. I am not only a coffee drinker, but I drink my coffee black. I’m as tough as they come. I ain’t drinking no stinkin’ girly water! In fact, I also claimed that tea was grass pee.
But now that it’s getting cooler, I’m seeking for the comfort of a warm friend. I’m ashamed to say it, but mint tea isn’t so bad. It has it’s own kind of fairies. They dance on my tongue and say, “we’re warm and refreshing!”
I like the morning coffee fairies more, but for now the mint grass-pee isn’t as bad as I thought.
But I’m still not a loser, ok?!