Coffee foam art by Kazuki Yamamoto (worldfullofart.blogspot.com)
Full Stomach, Fuller Heart
(an occasional series)
Unlike my oldest daughter, who as a newborn would have been thrilled if Mommy’s breasts dispensed House Blend and Dark Roast, I had to learn to like coffee.
The Coffee-Milk Era: My mom let me try her coffee when I was 7. Too bitter! But then she poured a little into my milk and I loved it! My first Coffee-Milk was a pretty palomino color and tasted mysteriously wonderful! I didn’t like coffee, but I loved the flavor. So I happily imbibed my Coffee-Milk, along with coffee candies and mocha malts.
The Singing Coffee Era: Sophomore year in high school I joined the elite audition-only A Capella Choir (translation: you had to be able carry a tune in some semblance of a bucket). The A Capellas met during “Oh! Period,” too early for mere mortals. So, like many of my fellow-elites, I began stopping at the school snack bar and buying a cardboard coffee to take to rehearsal. I didn’t like it, but I loved how adult I felt walking into class with my cuppa joe (in truth, I often bought a watery cocoa instead, doctoring it with a nearly equal amount of cream).
The Techie Era: I was a theatre major in college, and one of my first experiences was as a techie (crew member) on a three-hour production of Marat/Sade, the bizarre, vaguely true story of play produced by inmates at a mental asylum. I was trying to slim down so I could land all the juicy dramatic leads in productions to come, so I avoided snacks and guzzled gawdawful un-creamed crew-brew every night. I didn’t like it, but I got used to it. And by the time the play and my diet were over, I’d developed an addiction to coffee, along with Nestle’s Crunch bars (so much for the diet).
The Dark Days: I later worked next to a hot-water-dispenser. Result? Instant coffee all day. Jitters? Yes. Stomach ache? Yep. Happy? Hardly. Hooked? Oh, yeah. I’ll say no more. Except that I later repented and have since forgiven myself. Please, can we just move on?
And Then I Invented Coffee: One magical day, I discovered the little-known Swiss pour-over method, and had an instant dancing-and-singing conversion! Finally, after all those years of wandering I’d found The Source! I started buying amazing locally-roasted beans, and learned how to grind them to my own demanding specifications. Result? The Best Coffee On the Planet. Need proof? A few years later, I met a beautiful girl who loved coffee, but LOVED my coffee. And so she married it. And me.
And we rode off into the caffeinated sunset together.