I’ve been an enthusiastic coffee drinker since sometime late in my high school career. In college I almost staged a rebellion when I found out we were not allowed to have any cooking appliances in our rooms, which included the coffee pot. I was mollified slightly when I found out that I would be living in a building that contained a dining hall, so even though I couldn’t grab a cup immediately after getting out of bed, I could still indulge before having to go outside.
Based on what I’ve seen, some coffee drinkers have become a lot like beer drinkers. Particular to the point of being snobbish at times.
“Oh, I wouldn’t ever drink a Sumatran roast, and if it isn’t half-caf, it just isn’t coffee.” I’ve seen people refuse to hit a Dunkin or a McDonalds for coffee because “That stuff is nasty.”
Me? I am the single least picky coffee drinker you will ever have known. I have and still do- willingly partake in coffeehouse art drinks as readily as high-octane truck stop swill. I don’t care if it has half-and-half, whole milk, 2% or even no milk. High sugar, low sugar, no sugar.
I’ve brewed it in a canteen cup over a propane camp stove in the Adirondacks
I’ve ground my own beans (which is fun, although if I’m honest, I didn’t notice much of a difference)
I remember some of the old days when I was historical reenacting, every campfire would have a pot going on it, and nobody was shy about sharing. Stop by to say hello to someone, and you’re drinking piping hot black coffee that had been brewing all morning out of a tin cup that was turned hot enough by the liquid to almost become molten itself.
I’ve had the fancy flavored stuff from swank coffee shops, created with ingredients and procedures that my uncultured tongue could hardly pronounce. Picture if you will, a Neanderthal standing in front of a genuine hipster barista, grunting and pointing to something on the giant chalk board behind the counter, and you’ll get the idea of what I look like in a coffee shop.
Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Flying J, and gas stations far too numerous to tabulate, much less name. I’ve partaken in them all. I’ve had great coffee, I’ve had lousy coffee, I’ve had flat-out BAD coffee. Strong, weak, light, sweet, black, two steps from being pure mud. I’ve brewed it myself from river water, tap water, brita-filtered water….
You get the idea.
My point is that I’m a coffee drinker. It has become nearly as necessary for me as breathing. I look upon its wonder as a tool for survival. My enjoyment comes from having a cup of it in my hands, its origins or even quality are not important to me. A hot cup of coffee on a cold morning is one of the best things in the world. A hot cup of coffee on a warm morning while awake and outside before anyone else gets up, IS the best thing in the world.
Many of my hobbies and professions practically REQUIRE you to be a coffee drinker.
-5am fire alarms for a structure fire in January. Temperatures so cold that the hose lines need to be left cracked open so the water in them doesn’t freeze….someone always brings coffee.
-Ambulance shifts in the dead of night, carrying an elderly patient from their home across a front lawn covered in knee deep snow, there’s always a coffee run before we go back in service.
-Night shifts on the police department. Mid week. Season notwithstanding. Hanging out in the front seat of a patrol car on a radar post…you’d better have a cup of coffee in your hands.
-Not to mention the tech work, where if I don’t have coffee in me before dealing with clients, I’d lose my mind.
So while I don’t judge anyone for being picky with the coffee they drink, I don’t understand it. Though I wonder if their enjoyment of the coffee has too much to do with the actual drink itself, rather than the experience of HAVING the drink.
For me, coffee has been as much a social lubricant as beer. It has been a driving factor keeping me through all nighters in college, late nights on the fire line or patrol, and key to the survivability of the day following a sleepless night with one or both of the boys. merely HAVING a sip of the stuff is enough for me to enjoy it, regardless of what it tastes like, or where it came from.
Some of us enjoy our coffee, and that’s perfectly fine. Me? I enjoy HAVING my coffee.
All images shamelessly taken from my own instagram account. If the nature of this post hasn’t given you an idea of just how much I love the stuff, follow me there at- coffee4daddy