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