Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: Coffee


Yes, please. No sugar. Just a little milk. Not foamed, whipped, heated or fussed with. Just cold from the jug. Non-fat at home. Low-fat if you have it. But if not, regular milk is fine. I just won't make the mistake I made during my first trip to the States - wondering why their half-fat milk tasted so creamy, so, so creamy. Half-and-half had found its way into, not just my coffee, but cereal too!

But back to the coffee.
Mine these days is half-caff at home before dinnertime, decaff after that. That's my compromise. If I'm away or simply not at home, I take caffeine just fine. I found that if I totally deprive my system of caffeine, then even a little sends me loopy, so to take it in moderation seems a better idea.
OK, OK. I do like me my caffeine, but I limit it.

It's just instant with me most of the time. If someone comes in, and I offer coffee, I'll make it in the cafetiere, but if it's just for me, it's usually instant. That's the coffee I first had. It's what I thought coffee was for a long time - and then I started to notice on TV shows or in movies, people would say "I only have instant (apologetically)... is that ok?"

See, we don't have a tradition of coffee-drinking in Ireland, really. Ah... now, of course there are fancy-schmancy coffee houses all over the place offering this-achino and that-iato, but no. We are a nation of tea-drinkers, really, and when I was growing up, we were still trying to figure out where coffee was to fit into modern life. And coming in granules from a jar worked fine for us. I was about 12. I took 3 spoons of sugar in my coffee then. At 13, I accidentally discovered that, if I eschewed the sugar, I could actually taste the tea in my tea, and I experimented with leaving the sugar out of my coffee too. Never looked back.

You might wonder, if there is so little caffeine in my coffee-intake, am I really an addict? Well, there is just something about the taste of coffee. There are times I stand at the almost-boiled kettle, and my hand hovers between tea-bags and coffee-jar, but 99 times out of 100, it's coffee that wins out.

There have been 2 lengthy periods during which I've forsworn coffee. My sudden aversion to coffee was one of the first hints to me that my body had indeed become host to a new life. I couldn't abide the thought of coffee throughout my pregnancy, and as I was nursing my son, I didn't start drinking coffee for a long time after the birth. In fact, I made a very deliberate choice one evening, when I was about to collapse from the exhaustion that chasing an active toddler all day will cause, to have some coffee for the pick-me-up factor.

Never looked back. Until 8 years ago, when I gave up smoking, and realised I had no chance of success if I continued to drink coffee, as the taste of coffee was so inextricably linked in my mind with the joy of cigarettes (!!! I know!!!). I'm not sure what it was that caused me to return to coffee. Boredom with tea, I suppose. Perhaps a bit of a dare-devil "let's see what happens if I take a cup..." But I've managed to cut the caffeine/nicotine link for myself, happily.

I don't really mind what kind of coffee it is. I can take it "au lait"... I discovered when abroad that it's often just beyond the comprehension of some people that I might want black coffee with cold milk, and it is simply easier to drink it "au lait", or "con leche". I can take an espresso, but seldom choose to. There was a night in a restaurant in Haifa, when after our meal, a pot of mint tea, and a pot of turkish coffee were put on the table. Most of the people in the group of 10 or 12 chose tea, and I sipped away at that thick, sweet, cardamom-scented coffee for so long that when we left the restaurant, I was almost drunk on the caffeine!

So here I sit, Sunday morning, no breakfast yet (at 10.30 a.m.!), but a mug of coffee sits cooling beside me, and just as soon as I've hit the "Publish Post" button, I'll be headed to the kitchen to switch on the kettle and make myself another cup of coffee!

Join me?

This is today's offering foor Sunday Scribblings. Go on over and see who else has a cuppa to share!

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At 14/9/08 12:53 pm, Blogger Becca said...

Yes, thank you! Black for me, and I hope you make it nice and strong :)

Great post - it definitely made me crave another cup.

I couldn't abide coffee during my pregnancy either - in fact, I couldn't even look at the coffee pot without feeling sick! Aren't hormones strange??

At 14/9/08 1:30 pm, Blogger Caroline said...

Beautifully written - luckily I'm not a coffee addict or this would have had me rushing for a potful!

At 14/9/08 1:47 pm, Blogger linda may said...

Hello, over there in Ireland. Tea for me please.

At 14/9/08 1:50 pm, Blogger B. Roan said...

A new pot is brewing as I type. Wonderful, well written post. BJ

At 14/9/08 2:35 pm, Blogger Amberchlopaz said...

Ah, think I'll squeeze one in before leaving for mother's birthday brunch at a nearby restaurant. :-) You've done much for the coffee industry this a.m. :-) Joyce

At 14/9/08 2:50 pm, Blogger Laurie said...

Even something as simple as coffee - I love learning the differences between cultures and countries.

I love that you're writing a bit more.

At 14/9/08 2:52 pm, Blogger Laurie said...

whoops, forgot to say I've NEVER had coffee until a couple years ago and then only disguised as a mocha or a latte ... I still can never remember the difference.

At 14/9/08 3:56 pm, Blogger Tammie Lee said...

coffee is such a delicious addiction!
Though these days I reach for tea 9 times out of ten.

At 14/9/08 8:47 pm, Blogger Granny Smith said...

A nicely written blog, appreciated by one who vacillates between tea and coffee.

At 14/9/08 8:48 pm, Blogger Karen said...

I looked at the topic for Sunday Scribbling and my mind blanked--how do you do it? This was so good--I'm sitting here regretting having missed my afternoon cup of coffee, resigned to the fact that it's too late for one now, looking forward to the first cup I'll have tomorrow morning...

At 15/9/08 2:19 am, Blogger tumblewords said...

Nicely written, for sure! I, too, gave up coffee in order to give up cigarettes. Long, long ago. But as soon as I could, I returned to coffee although I occasionally have tea after the first two morning coffees!

At 15/9/08 3:29 am, Anonymous colleen said...

We should trade place. I'm a tea lover in a country obsessed with coffee. They don't even know how to make a descent cup of tea here.

I tried to like coffee after reading that it was good for my blood type, but it didn't take.

At 15/9/08 4:38 am, Anonymous tinker said...

Oh no! Our half and half, and your half and half are decidedly two different things, aren't they?! Wha a surprise that must have been...
I'm a tea drinker myself, for the most part - but I do like the smell of coffee - and reading this, I can almost smell it brewing -- mm...

At 15/9/08 1:06 pm, Blogger lila said...

Congratulations on your 300th post!
I'm with you to have the second cup of coffee...although a day later!

At 15/9/08 7:31 pm, Anonymous robin bird said...

goodness i love my coffee almost as much as i love the feeling of my own bed... i mean i want to have my very own exact right coffee. the one i buy at the specific store in the specific grind. anything else just isn't right. French Roast, ground fine, Buckmaster. This is the year i am using vanilla creamer. yep. artificially flavored no less :) it was so good to hear from you on my blog imelda!

At 15/9/08 9:23 pm, Blogger Tammy said...

I'll take a mocha creamer in mine. ;) LOVE the stuff but only 1 large mug each morning.

Amber was terrific!


At 17/9/08 1:04 am, Blogger Amber said...

Ha. I just had to use half-n-half in my cerel the other day. It is a bit much! lol!

I never was a coffee drinker until after having kids. Then I NEEDED it. BIG time. But I am a regular coffee with half-n-half girl.


At 17/9/08 6:02 pm, Blogger Judy Merrill-Smith said...

I love this post -- so chatty and funny. I limit my caffeine intake, too, but oh yes, I mostly want black drip coffee or a nonfat latte, not tea. That Turkish coffee you had sounds divine. Have you ever tried Vietnamese iced coffee? The hot coffee drips through a small metal filter and is almost mud-thick, then it is mixed with sweetened condensed milk (!) and poured over ice. It's more like dessert than coffee, but I have it as a treat once in a while.

At 18/9/08 12:34 am, Blogger Lady North said...

Dearest GL: Two things - first WOW! belated congrats on your 300th post! You are wayyyy ahead of me!
And second: o yes coffee. I got 'hooked' by a well meaning friend when she intro'd me to starbucks mochas and from there it was a downhill slide to my current addiction: short cafe latte with 4 pumps of sugarfree caramel and a double shot of espresso. See what I mean? I have also found that coffee or even caffeine pills are the only thing that can cut through the Morning Pain Fog of Fibromyalgia and get my brain firing on all cylinders. Sometimes I can literally hear those synapses snapping into place.
Blessings from one coffee lover to the others!

At 20/9/08 2:37 am, Anonymous cliodhna said...

I would like a double shot white chocolate mocha with soya milk extra hot...
that vietnamese one sounds very yummy too...

At 20/9/08 7:28 am, Blogger Wenda said...

Imelda, I don't often drink coffee at home unless I'm making a pot for friends, but after I first read this (earlier this week)I was tempted and made myself a couple of cups -- a mix of about half a cup of strong smooth dark roast dripped in to a tall mug topped with heated and whipped skim milk and a teaspoon of honey. Nice treat for a change, but I've been back to my Earl Grey tea since. Coffee is great while I'm drinking it, but I always want to run and brush my teeth afterward.

Oops! Long comment! Guess I could have created my own little coffee post. Sorry!

At 23/9/08 2:19 am, Blogger Inland Empire Girl said...

I love this post about coffee. We Americans do see the coffee drinks a bit different. My friend from England still sticks with tea most of the time!

At 23/9/08 7:46 am, Blogger Robyn said...

Thanks for your kind words on my blog! It meant the world to me!

At 23/9/08 11:50 pm, Anonymous Songwraith said...

Supposedly, Irish coffee was invented at Shannon airport in 1956. Perhaps the best way to enjoy coffee!

At 24/9/08 6:19 pm, Anonymous Funky Grampa said...


4 tablespoons cake flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips(optional)
a small splash of vanilla (or almond or mint or.....)
1 coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla essence, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

At 28/9/08 12:44 am, Anonymous artmusedog said...

Hi ~ Finally, I have found your blog & wanted to say it is great that you have commented on my blog ~ Yes, it is good to be back ~ buying and selling houses and moving and all that ~ time consuming ~

I have never been able to handle caffine ~ gave me headaches or made me depressed or made me jittery ~ I loved the "coffee" my grandmother used to let me have ~ more milk than coffee! that is about my speed still ~ artmusedogs

At 1/10/08 10:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaah but Bewleys has great coffee ! We used to have a branch in Edinburgh but it closed a few days ago. I was rhapsodying over my moka coffee pot a few days ago at my blog.


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