People say I am too young to remember but I know they are wrong. I’ll never forget the first time I saw that deep brown molten silk gracefully pierce the white of the milk below, creating a marvelously caramel-colored swirl in the bottom of my white cup. my cup – my first unforgettable cup of liquid bliss. I remember holding the bottom half of the cup in my palm; remember the heat warming my hands and the aromatic steam encircling my face – at that moment, there was nothing in the world that could have been more magical and more real. It was like I had my own string that kept me tethered to the earth while I flew high above, on my bitter, caramel-colored cup of love. I was 5, maybe 5.5 and I, in my childhood mind, had just been ushered into the world of adulthood. Screw the adult dinner table, I had 6 steaming oz. of coffee and a seat at the table for afternoon coffee. I can’t remember what my grandmother and mother were speaking about, I have no idea what time of year it was – except that it was not summer, but I’ll never forget the sensation of having come of age. I wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, that I was now qualified for but i didn’t care. I was prepared to fake it until I figured it out.
In our house, it seemed that every important conversation happened over coffee and coffee conversations had unspoken roles: 1) what was said over coffee, stayed over coffee and 2) rule #1 could be broken if you were sharing over a different cup of coffee (as long as the identity of the original source was concealed). At that stage in life, #2 was particularly tricky because I only knew two people that would let me have coffee with them.
Three decades later, I still feel a slight twinge of excitement as i sit down for coffee with someone for the first time, knowing that I am just a few ounces away from stepping through a door into someone else’s world. to me, coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s a way of connecting my life with our world.
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