I realized when I started to write about caffeine withdrawal that I needed to back up a bit and talk about my life with coffee. What’s your earliest coffee memory? When I was about 4 or 5 my mom shopped at the local A&P supermarket. In those days, there was a coffee grinder at the end of the checkout counter. I loved watching the machine noisily grind the beans and even then loved the aroma! I don’t remember my folks being big coffee drinkers, but my Aunt Anna? I can not picture her without the ever present cup of coffee in one hand, a cigarette burning in the other. My Aunt Margie is permanently connected in my memory to her aluminum coffee pot. I can still see it percolating on the stove, boiling over, the liquid turning a dark brown in the glass bulb. It was the strongest and best coffee on the planet!
I’m not sure when I started drinking coffee. I know I drank it at 19 because I remember an older guy I dated telling me I shouldn’t put sugar in my coffee, it wasn’t very “grown-up”. (ya, really..er DOUCHE) Anyway, I laugh at that now, but I take my coffee with cream, no sugar.
College and coffee go hand and hand. Another vivid coffee memory I have is of a professor leading me by the arm to a large silver buffet urn as he said, “Kelly have you had coffee? Come and get some wake up juice!” This probably would not have stuck with me all these years had he not also been a Catholic priest! It wasn’t prayer he was offering or to take my confession, it was a cup of joe and it was very much a “come to the dark side Luke” offer, said with a hint of excitement in his voice.
For every friend, I have a corresponding coffee memory. My buddy in grad school took his coffee “light and sweet”. Our morning ritual coffee run brightened up so many days. Richie? Richie is waiting in line on a hot summer day for cups of cappuccino and drinking them in the sun. Mike is a crisp white cup of espresso. Anne, my bff, is pots of coffee, lipstick stains on the cup and sugar all over my kitchen counter. Kathy, Starbucks and Tevas in the Seattle rain. And my climbing partner? He’s a tall skinny mocha, no whip. He has a gorgeous home espresso maker and ….an at home roaster.