Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Simple Pleasure

When I was growing up, my parents drank a lot of coffee, usually instant coffee.  On special occasions, my mom made coffee in her percolator, and the dark, rich smell filled the house.  But I didn't start drinking coffee until my college years.  I think I can actually remember my very first cup.  I was a theatre major, and our technical rehearsals used to last into the wee hours of the morning.  The directors had a much-used, rarely-if-ever-cleaned automatic drip coffee maker in their office, and when I could barely keep my eyes open, I poured a cup of their strong, bitter coffee into a styrofoam cup and added some sugar and powdered creamer.  It's a wonder I kept on drinking it after that first cup, but I did, and a good cup of coffee has become one of my favorite simple pleasures.  My husband doesn't drink coffee, so I was always on my own in my coffee brewing and drinking.  I tried the blue cans of Maxwell House, like my mom often bought, and the red cans of Folgers, like my mother-in-law used, and finally settled for a while on Chock full o' Nuts in the cheerful yellow cans.  Then I began to notice how strong and smooth my Costa Rican sister-in-law's coffee was and found out she ground her own beans.  The next time she visited home, she brought back some whole bean Costa Rican coffee for me.  When that ran out, I bought whole beans from a little coffee shop in town whose owner one day made me coffee in a French press when their espresso machine wasn't working.  When that shop closed its doors, I started ordering beans online and kept using a French press.  These days, I have my coffee beans roasted just for me by the partner of one of my colleagues in the English department.  He buys green coffee beans and roasts them just for me.  During the school year we exchange money and coffee on campus, but during the summer months and on vacations, he delivers my beans to my porch by bicycle!  I don't know what makes some people coffee drinkers and others not.  Of my coffee-drinking parents' four kids, only two of us drink coffee, and just one of my three kids has picked up the habit.  What I do know is how much I look forward to my simple pleasure each morning.

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