This past week, I came to the realization that I’m probably not a coffee drinker. I like coffee drinks or drinks made with coffee, but not coffee by itself. My wife Denise roasts beans for us and does a great job. We have electric and hand burr grinders, a french press outfit, pour-over device, an aeropress, and a Cuisinart drip coffee maker. Until recently, we had a Krupps espresso maker. So, there’s no excuse for my not being a true coffee drinker — I have only my own taste buds to blame.
How did I come to this shocking realization? A couple weeks ago, I decided to start drinking my coffee black and enjoy the essence of the bean without admixture or adulteration of the ebony nectar by dairy products and sweeteners. With each morning, I found myself drinking less and less until I finally realized, I could go without coffee altogether and my only regret would be the want of a warm drink to start the day. I remember thinking to myself, “I’d rather drink hot cocoa.”
That’s when it hit me like a landslide: my 30 year habit was nothing more than the desire for a warm companion on a cold morning.
I could hardly believe it, so I tested my theory and the result was as feared: I’m not a coffee drinker!
You see, now that I have a son-in-law from the UK, I’ve had a Shandy. That’s a combo of beer or lager and a soft drink, usually something like 7 Up or Ginger Ale. A Shandy is pretty good, but I prefer a good beer or soft drink alone. Then, there’s the root beer float. Is there anything better in a frosty mug on a warm summer evening than a root beer float? If there’s no ice cream in the house, I’ll gladly have a nice cold root beer and the opposite is true: I like vanilla ice cream all by itself. How about an Arnold Palmer? What a wonderful concoction of iced, black tea and lemonade. Takeaway the black tea and I’ll have a glass of lemonade and really enjoy it. And, a black tea alone or other teas? Wonderful.
But, coffee without cream and sweetener? Meh. And, I can drink a latte or other espresso drinks, but espresso alone does nothing for me. So, there you have it. I love coffee drinks more than just about anything else, including a good dark Samuel Smith or an ice cold Pepsi from a bottle. I even enjoy iced coffee with cream and sugar over an authentic Lime Rickey. But, coffee alone? It doesn’t move me, at all.