An Ode to Coffee


The word coffee evokes something primal in me. I need it to wake up, if it is not in my hand in ten minutes I start to crave it and my mind can’t be deterred from thinking about it. What is about this drink that has me hooked. Remarkably it is not the caffeine for it has turned against me I no longer react to its charms. Something about coffee makes me feel safe, warm and happy. The safety part is easy for me to understand coffee reminds me of my Dad. He is a coffee addict like me for as long as I can remember. In fact, my very first sip of coffee was when I was eleven years old from my dad’s cup. I remember it smelling delicious but the taste in my mouth was like ashes. GROSS was the first thing that came to mind. On an interesting side note my father enjoys his cup of coffee to be so strong it will curl your tongue. He is one of the very few Americans to truly enjoy a thick cup of non-sugared Turkish coffee. Or if your more familiar with Cuban coffee minus the sugar. Did that description make your tongue recoil?


Some people like my Dad like the bitter and ashen flavor of super strong coffee. For my Dad the intoxicating charms of caffeine no longer make him feel full of energy, yet his mind does not sway from the topic until he has had a cup of his vice a few times a day. The hold of coffee is a mystery shrouded in the familiarity of routine. When you take that first sip the warmth of the liquids flows down to your stomach giving it the warm glow of satisfaction. I adore that feeling, it is less harsh than when one drinks a liquor and gets the burn spreading into their gut. Coffee is like lowering into the bath full of warm liquid, it washes over you. I even love that feeling on a hot summer morning, not to say I don’t indulge in a cold brew coffee every blue moon but there is something in the comfort of a hot cup of joe. Ever wonder where that expression cup of joe comes from? There are two theories that compete for the explanation. First is that a navy commander decided that no alcohol on the ship and his name was Josephus Daniels so the men on the boat had to drink the strongest drink on the ship and that was coffee so they called it a cup of joe. Or the simpler explanation is that the average man is called a joe and that the drink of coffee is for the average man a cup of joe. Either way it is an interesting story.


We all tend to thrive on routine, it helps us achieve our daily goals. Coffee is part of that routine for many in the world. This hot drink holds the power to relax the highest stung individual. It can jazz up a rather Eeyore like human into a more of a Tigger. There have been so many conflicting reports, is coffee good for you? Is it harmful? Can you drink a little without an addiction? Is it actually healthy? Does it cure diabetes?  Who knows and frankly who cares? I for one don’t care at all, I care about the smooth aroma, the calm that washes over me with a cup in my hand. It sooths the savage beast of anxiety, at least for a moment. Those who are into coffee are almost in a secret club, we have found the key to a moment of calm. Coffee houses are full of people studying or working. Is it the coffee, or the atmosphere or even the music that draws them there? I truly think it’s a combo of all three.


When you start off drinking coffee it doesn’t taste all that pleasant but before you know it you start to crave its wonderful complex taste. It plays tricks on your taste buds, is it bitter, or smooth or smoky? Reaching for a cup of joe becomes second nature, it’s what you do. When someone says they don’t like coffee it causes me to recoil from them like they are some sort of insect. What! How in the world could they not love this wonderful bean juice? It’s truly a mystery to me how one can’t appreciate the beauty and complexity of this drink that has been around for so long. Looks like I must end this blog post now, it’s time for a nice cup of coffee. J


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