Apologizes this morning to late Mr. Frank Sinatra and my bastardization of “I Won’t Dance”:
I hate it, don’t ask me
Won’t drink it, don’t ask me
I won’t drink coffee at allllll!
My tongue won’t let me get past that bitter taste!
You know that it smells lovely.
You know that it looks lovely.
And, oh, I need the caffeine!
I’m like an ocean wave that’s bumped on the shore
But the taste makes me want to drop it on the floor.
I really wish I could like coffee. My life would be so much easier if I could be like a lot of people and grab a cuppa caffeine to get my gears going in the morning. About a year ago I wrote a post about swearing off diet soda forever after I had just been released from the hospital (strangely, that got FPed and I still haven’t figured out why). My motivation was healthier living and saving money.
Well, one year later…
I don’t drink nearly as much soda as I did before. I drink water during the day and at home. My biggest hurdle has been the mornings. Just getting up and moving is where I need something. A little pick me up. A carbonated hit for the beginning of a workday. So, while I have gone 90% soda-free, I do run through the drive-thru every morning for a large diet cola for my drive to work. By the time I get there an hour later, the soda is gone and I am on water the rest of the day.
I’ve never cared about being soda being my caffeine delivery method of choice, but this time of year makes me wish I liked coffee a little more. Seeing all the advertisements for Pumpkin Spice Super Yum Coffee and now Peppermint Mocha Christmas Fun Blend has me curious. I love the way most coffee drinks smell, which is weird if you consider how closely taste and smell are linked. That plus the addition of nutmeg and other spicy things makes me try anew every year to give coffee another chance…
But then it hits. The bitter, bitter taste. It doesn’t matter how much or little cream or sugar, syrup (sugar or sugar-free), roast of blend (light to dark), temperature or mound of whipped cream (even though I don’t like that either)…I can’t get past the aftertaste. Coffee, latte, frappe, whatever. It’s all the same. Bleah.
Now, the kid likes coffee. His grandmother got him addicted. I even bought him a coffee maker for a present a few years ago. He will drink pretty much any coffee, black or with whatever additives are at hand. Unlike his mom, the kid isn’t picky. Of course, he has a Starbucks app and card, which he used to redeem a super-large frozen coffee drink of some sort this summer on his birthday. As he always does when he gets coffee, he tries to convince me to try it. ”It’s not bad,” he’ll say, shoving a straw toward me, “trrrrrry it!” Most times I am able to fend this off, but for his birthday this year I gave in and took a sip. Not bad…not bad….OH DEAR GOD, COFFEE-TASTE.
(I am not nearly this dramatic about it really. What? No, I am not going to ask the kid to give his reaction to that statement. This is my blog, dammit.)
I do blame my parents for this coffee-hate. My father was a major coffee drinker. He was also in law enforcement and worked swing shifts, meaning he liked his coffee strong. From the time I was seven until he moved out, eight years later, I was in charge of making his coffee. This is how I was taught to do this task:
- Take large mug and fill it with water. Put mug in microwave for four minutes.
- Try not to burn self removing water from microwave. Carry to counter without spilling.
- Find a tablespoon in the silverware drawer. Scoop out four (yes, 4) heaping tablespoons of Folger’s, Maxwell House or whatever instant coffee brand that was on the counter.
- Stir until the crystals are dissolved. Once the liquid is uniform, add six to eight packs of Sweet’n'Low. Stir again.
- Carry coffee to father. Try not to spill any.
- Repeat in a few hours.
All of the “coffee mugs” in our house had permanent stains in their pottery surfaces because of the coffee sludge. The smell and occasional taste of this tar was enough to make me swear to never drink this stuff, ever. I did not find out until I was out of the house, living with the kid’s father, that you were only supposed to use ONE tablespoon of the crystals in a standard cup. Never mind asking me how to make it using an actual coffee pot. Even today, that’s the kid’s domain.
So, coffee-drinking friends, rejoice. There’s more for you to consume with my plan to keep abstaining. Just ignore the weird redhead trying to sniff the drink you just ordered. She’s just admiring your options and overall aroma while she waits for her hot chocolate.
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