Toni at What’s Your Story, a blog on writing prompts, asked this question:
If coffee were a person, what kind of relationship would you have with him/her?
Person or not, I’ve had a longtime relationship with coffee which started long before it was improper to give coffee to children.
One of the most vivid memories I have of visiting my grandparents for summer vacation is the smell of coffee in the morning. I’d wake up while it is still dark outside to the scent of coffee and the soft murmurs of my grandparents emanating from the kitchen. I’d sleepily make my way to the kitchen and crawl on to my grandfather’s lap.
Grandma would make my fast breaker by putting a spoonfull of rice in a white tin cup with a red rim. She would pour coffee over the rice, add sugar and milk, and this I would savor clanking my teaspoon against the cup as I stirred the concoction together. I’d snuggle against my grandfather while he has his morning coffee and cigarette before setting out for the farm.
My relationship with coffee has evolved over the years. Foregoing the rice from my childhood, I continued to drink it with milk and sugar but during my teen years turned to flavored creamers because I thought that was cool. How exotic I thought French Vanillla, Hazelnut and Mocha were!
Then as I got older and wider, I figured I could save some calories by cutting out the cream and sugar. What started out as an attempt to feed my vanity turned out to be the foundation for a lifelong philosophy.
I found that I didn’t really need the frivolous additions to be satisfied. I realized it’s not what you add to it that is important, it is the quality of coffee that you start out with that is.
I learned that happiness is usually found when things are kept simple and natural. That sometimes you have to be the one to adjust to the natural state of things than to try to embelish in order to suit your taste.
For the last couple of decades, it’s just been me and my unadulterated coffee. Strong, black, hot and unpretentious. No longer is there a need to be ‘cool’. We’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm.
Without my morning cup to warm me like an early morning snuggle, my day is somehow incomplete and lacking. I miss its warm embrace and count the minutes until I can make up for it later in the day. I’ll grow old with this cup of coffee for as long as his warmth curses through me and his flavor wakes me.