This April, I’ll be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I’ll write an entry a day centered on my theme of Memoir. I’ll be using Old Friend from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg as my inspiration for my daily topic. Each post will be a quick write (about 10-20 minutes) to help me notice and remember.
C is for Coffee
A whole world exists in coffee. Glean those details. Write everything you know about coffee.
There’s something about the smell of coffee that makes me feel comfortable and content, like I’m wrapped up in a big hug. The sounds those fancy espresso machines produce at coffee shops make for great background noise when writing, reading, or doing work on a Sunday afternoon. Meeting a friend for coffee is such a great way to spend the afternoon, catching up on life.
The thing is, I hate the taste of coffee. Always have, always will. The bitterness comes through, no matter how much you try to cover it up with sweetness, dilute it with milk, or hide it in a dessert. Don’t give me coffee-flavored ice cream, frappuccinos, or tiramisu. I just can’t do it. No matter the package it comes in, coffee just isn’t my thing.
Coffee is ingrained in so many cultures, making it hard to turn down. A new friend invites me for coffee, but I have to politely tell them that I don’t drink coffee. I’ll take a hot chocolate or tea. But why don’t you like it? It’s so good! They can’t understand that someone could possibly hate coffee. When I lived in Albania, there was a coffee shop every few hundred meters, if not closer. The seats were always filled with patrons getting their fix, sipping ever so slowly on the tiniest cup of espresso, making it last forever, as they caught up on the latest gossip. Not drinking coffee was a cardinal sin.
When I was younger and I first started earning my own money, first from babysitting gigs and later from part-time jobs at the local Sonic and cinema, I always bought my mom coffee mugs and fancy flavored coffee from the specialty coffee shop in the mall. She used to love drinking coffee, hazelnut her favorite flavor. It made gift-giving easy, and her mug collection is extensive, thanks to me. But several years ago, she gave up drinking coffee. One day she couldn’t get enough of it, and the next, she was strictly a tea-drinking gal. I’ve asked her why she quit numerous times, but there was never a real reason. She just stopped.
Part of me wishes I liked coffee. It’d make life a lot easier, I’m sure, but having made it to nearly 39 without a taste for it, means I will probably never enjoy it. And that’s okay with me, because while I might miss out on the social aspects of coffee drinking, I’m not dependent on the bitter, brown liquid to get me through the day. I don’t have the jitters that come with caffeine withdrawals, and I don’t have an expensive Starbucks habit.