Why I love coffee. It’s like asking why do you love your dog. It’s basically like that.
I’ve been asked, “Um, how much coffee do you drink?” or “What’s a good coffee?”. I like these types of questions, so don’t ever hesitate to ask me! The more unflattering comments are, “Are you dependent, like crack dependent?” or “I don’t drink coffee, it’s gross, but tea is better for you anyway.” *insert side eye*
Anyway, I remember so vividly my dad drinking coffee. He would dip his toast in it and I would wonder what was so good about it. So, I remember asking, then begging, then pestering as professional children do so well, for a sip. The following discussion ensued and slowly but surely, I broke the man down and he let me have some coffee.
*Everyday for 4 months in like 1987*
Me: Can I try?
Dad: This is medicine, it’s not for kids.
Me: But, I’m sick, can I try?
Dad: Ask your mom.
Me: I did already, she said ask you.
Dad: IT’S NOT FOR KIDS!
Me: But, I’m 7, I’m not a kid. I’m a big kid.
Dad: Go do your algebra.
Me: But, let me have that medicine first.
Dad: $%@#$%#&* HERE!
Me: *takes a sip and almost dies instantly*
Me: EWWW!! WHY ARE YOU DRINKING POOP WATER?
Dad: *silently does a parental “I win” dance*
This poop water then made me sick every time I saw him drink it. Then, I wondered why people drank it and drank so much of it. I went through college and grad school without so much drinking more than a cup total. I remember some professors with that stale coffee smell that wafted across the room. *Gag* I would try to drink it. I even got a coffee machine and tried to be cool by bringing a cup to class. But, I never drank it. It just tasted like burnt onions. I would meet up with friends to do work at Panera Bread, order coffee, and just stare at it. One day, I met my demise. We were working on Multilevel Modeling, some fancy stats stuff, so I thought I needed to drink coffee to understand the material. I drank it, went home, and ended up lying on my bathroom floor, dizzy and unable to move for about an hour. *Curse the poop water!*
Side story: I sat next to a girl who brought 2 VENTI sized Starbucks coffee for our 9am stats class. She’d sit there next to me, legs shaking, spazzing out, sweating, and then saying over and over: “I’m so tired”. I would just quietly smile and then text my BFF under my desk, “OMG, this girl is going to explode! She’s drinking so much poop water!”
Fast forward to 2014, my husband noticed I would hide my k-cups because I didn’t want to share and was like “Kate, really?” So, he signed me up for a coffee tasting class in Seattle at Cafe Vita and my whole life changed. I tasted bad coffee and really, really good coffee. The difference was night and day. Let me tell you right now that GOOD coffee does NOT need sugar, random flavoring, whip cream, cream, or milk. Good coffee can be enjoyed black as it could be as delicate as your black or oolong tea.
I realized I never had good coffee. This whole time I was drinking k-cups and Starbucks! Sorry Starbucks fans, I cannot. I will drink it if I’m in a questionable town. But with choices like Matchstick, Slate, and Blue Bottle, I just can’t. SB is just too strong, too bitter, too burnt, and I just think you can do better! I still gave SB a chance and went to their grand opening of the Starbucks Roastery. I waited in the rain with my kids, I was dedicated, and I’ll say the coffee there is much, much better!
Anyway, what coffee means to me? Besides keeping me awake, helping me LIVE when I’ve had only a few hours of sleep, and basically being my life line- I love coffee because it brings good people together!!
With all people: Drinking coffee is a way to catch up or talk about hard stuff, like if you want to break up or something. Coffee is such a mediator. You can stare at your coffee when you don’t have much to say and it isn’t as awkward as staring at your hands. Coffee is a way to connect and it helps people to open up. Coffee helps you talk about your family or share your passions. Coffee helps you get to know the person and see if you want them in your life. Coffee also has a way of helping you linger with that hot date if you want to linger. *Would like to linger with you Josh Groban*
Another side story: I have a thing for Josh Groban. This thing is widely known and happily accepted for anyone who knows me. My husband is strangely ok with this. I have Josh Groban mugs from his concerts that are not allowed to be used-they are only for show. But, sometimes he gets used and I’m sweating watching the person use this mug. How dare your lips touch the Groban mug! My dad visited recently and was looking through my cupboard and said “Oh it’s Josh, guess I’m not supposed to use this one. How about Harry Potter?” See, even my dad knows.
With family: I’m that big kid who gets to make coffee for her dad now and drink it with him. My mom only sort of drinks coffee only because it keeps her awake for days like my husband. I think those two are like weird unicorns. It is special to me to make my dad coffee because the thing is, I am not the best dutiful Asian daughter. I can’t be the good kid who repays their parents back for all the years of sacrifice like most good, Asian kids do. I also don’t cook very well, he gets scared if I make him a meal. So, I make him good coffee. He watches me use the Aeropress and wonders why I am doing it one.cup.at.a.time. versus a coffee brewer to make 8 cups in one fell swoop. My dad hates inefficiency. I do, too. For him, it must be like me watching my kid eat his dinner…takes 350 years But, being a good dad, he’ll happily wait 350 years because he sees my literal joy at making coffee in the slowest possible manner on earth.
With friends who I’ve forced into my family: This is the only way I get them to come over. Otherwise, they’re too busy and no one wants to hang out with someone who has a family because they think they’re getting in the way. No guys! So, I have to lure them like a creeper and say like “I have new coffee, wanna come by??” And it always works!! *Fist pump!* This is my time to catch up with the special friends and it’s exciting to share my good coffee with them. I generally am unwilling to share my good coffee with just anyone. My husband finds this absurd but coffee is a precious commodity!
I’d love to hear why you love coffee and what brings you joy from drinking it. Is it the warmth that drizzles down your throat in the morning…or that scalding hot burn when you drink too fast? Or the promise of a good caffeine fueled level of happiness that awaits you? Is it the time with friends, family, or the thank-you-baby-Jesus-for-coffee when you’re in an awkward place? Or, is it just purely a ritual all your own- your personal me time where you can indulge in this life’s pleasure? If you don’t drink coffee, then I’m sure it’s because you’re sensitive to it. I accept that. My mom, husband, and BFF Darth Vadar are like this and I love them a lot still. Share with me anyway what brings you joy!
Thanks for reading!