Monday, May 12, 2014

500 Words: Coffee

I first started drinking coffee the summer I was a camp counselor. I worked with teenagers and little kids who were hyperactive at 7:30 in the morning. The coffee at the camp was mediocre, but it got the job done. Ever since then I haven't really cared for fancy coffees or cappicinos. I like plain, black coffee. (However, I've started to have to add a little milk to it the later I drink it.) I brought a coffee maker to my sophomore year dorm room and my roommate was never a huge fan of it. It may have been the smell. I love the smell of coffee. It's like a wake up call for your nostrils. It's more inviting than an alarm clock.

I love coffee for the way it stimulates me. It’s the only drug I abuse. It feels right to have a cup of coffee in your hand when you are getting ready for your day. I like the ritual of of making it (however precise or imprecise you make it). I like “getting a cup of coffee” with someone because it says, “I will sit here with you and value your time as long as I have a cup of coffee in my hand.” It’s one of the few rituals in our society that still requires people to be in tune with one another.

My dad taught me the trick of making the coffee the night before, so you don't have to do all the measuring and fumbling around in the morning. Purists may scoff at that, but the convience more than makes up for the perceived lack of taste. When I worked for a state park, I would set my alarm about twenty minutes before I needed to get up so I could wake up, hit the coffee machine and get out of bed later to a cup of fresh cup.

Lately, I've been working nights and drinking my coffee later. I don't really like it. It's thrown me off, but it's still a nice companion.

One of the best purchases I ever made was a coffee cup. It was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was with my roommate (the one who hated coffee) and I saw a Bruce Springsteen mug. It was something that combined my two favorite things, Springsteen and coffee. He told me that I didn’t need it, but I bought it anyway. It’s since faded pretty badly and is permanently stained a light brown, but I’ve used it almost every day for the past four years. It’s been one of the few impulse purchases that has really paid off. It’s a 12 ounce mug and I love that size. It allows me to get more caffeine quickly.  

That mug is something that I’ve held on to through everything. I remember a former roommate using it for ice cream and I freaked out. That mug was for coffee and it was mine. Other cups haven’t matched up to that one. Drinking out of my Springsteen mug is something I look forward to every morning.

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