Coffee: Comfort in A Cup
Welcome to the September coffee link-up! If you're following the loop, hopefully it has been fun so far.
Growing up, I didn't drink coffee. I suspect this is because in those pre-Starbucks days the only coffee I really had access to was either at Denny's (one of the choir hangouts) or at home (that coffee came pre-ground in cans). Since the coffee I love now is typically some medium to dark roast bean, ground just before the coffee is made, no surprise, right?
Dad drank coffee, Mom didn't. Each morning, Dad made a pot of coffee and drank it while reading the newspaper, sometimes with my brother Bruce's pet cockatiel sitting on his shoulder. (He was like slacker pirate, mug of coffee not grog, cockatiel not parrot, glasses not eyepatch, and a bathrobe instead of swashbuckling clothes.) I was the first up, since I had to leave for the bus at 5:30, so I'd read part of the paper with him while I ate breakfast. Even now that he is retired, each morning Dad makes a pot of coffee and reads the paper, though now he fills a thermal carafe (adding milk and a wee bit of sugar) to take outside to the patio in the summers, to let the dog play while he reads the paper. He's since moved on to buying locally roasted, quality beans (thankfully!) so in theory the coffee is better.
On a typical morning I make coffee in my itty-bitty 4 cup coffee pot using four generous scoops of beans, ground just before dumping them into the filter. I heat up a cup of milk (sometimes unsweetened coconut milk) and add some quality cocoa mix to my mug before I add the milk, stir, and add coffee. By the way, old-fashioned coffee cup sets crack me up–they are like little thimbles!–I prefer my big ol' Whirley Mug Company travel mugs. Anyway, my current cocoa love is Dagoba's xocolatl, which has cacao powder, dark chocolate, cane sugar, chili, and cinnamon. Spicy and warm for fall. During the rest of the year I like some cocoa powder and a little sugar, with Penzey's cinnamon. Sometimes I'll make a pumpkin pie spice latte, using milk, pumpkin pie spices, and a dash of extra cinnamon with a grating of nutmeg. That demands whipped cream, of course.
I remember the day I first figured out why I didn't like Dad's coffee. Dad was visiting–I think he was in town to run the Portland Marathon with me–and I made a pot of coffee. Dad poured a cup, put in a splash of milk and sugar, took a sip, and then made the most hilarious “ewww!” face. “WHOA!” he said, “did you use the whole pound of beans in this?!??” (This, I learned, is not that unreasonable of a question: for a 10-cup pot, my brother Alex uses half a pound of beans.) Turns out I like my coffee strong, since I'm adding a lot of stuff to it and typically take it with me to work in the morning so I only get one cup. (One more reason to love my giant mugs.) Dad, on the other hand, likes to drink cups and cups and cups of coffee while he reads the paper. If he made the coffee as strong as I do, he'd be wired for a week!
For as much as I say I love coffee, it's not that I can't live without it. I've gone whole weeks without a single cup and while that makes me sad, it didn't make me sluggish or give me a caffeine withdrawal headache. I suspect I have the gene variant that quickly processes caffeine, since on the weekends I'll enjoy my mocha, finishing the pot of coffee, and then take a nap with my cat. I do really enjoy something about the combination of flavor, warmth, and texture that is unique to coffee. Breakfast tea with milk is nice, but it isn't coffee. Chai is delicious! Also, not coffee.
I don't have a lot of “food rituals” and often find myself traveling and eating out, or eating somewhat oddly because it is a race weekend. When I'm home, I love my little coffee ritual, and I especially look forward to the weekend coffee. When I put whipped cream on it, my cat likes to “share.”
How do you like your coffee? Do you have a certain recipe you follow with your add-ins, or do you drink it black? Tell me, and then head over to Coco's post on Why Starbucks Is My Home Away From Home. If you follow the link at the end of each post, you'll make your way through the entire loop.
Just in case you're impatient or get lost in the loop, the other links in the loop this month are An Eventful Weekend, Torani Sugar Free Coffee Syrup, Thunderstorms and a Warm Cup of Coffee, Free Coffee (a giveaway for national coffee day), Coffee Brain or Beer Brain, and Fancy Coffee.
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