My grandmother, my baba, brewed the first cup of coffee I ever drank. She made it with plenty of milk – very light colored – and sweet. Her brand of choice was Maxwell House. (Though my Nana insisted that Folger’s was better.) She served it to me with love and one of her yummy sugar cookies.
As a mere thirteen-year-old, I wasn’t picky. (After all, I didn’t know any better and choices were limited back then.) I fell in love with the flavor of coffee and gradually began consuming it in any form I could…ice cream, yogurt, milk shakes, and even chocolate covered coffee beans.
My college years included gallons of coffee drinking. I quickly learned, however, that for some inexplicable reason the mega-doses of caffeine in my system never managed to help me pull a necessary all-nighter or two. (Even NoDoz failed to keep me awake past 2:00 AM.) But, during the daytime hours, I was alert and wide-eyed. And on the weekends? Black or White Russians, if you please…
As the years went by, I broadened my coffee horizons. Again, I wasn’t picky…Flavored coffee; coffee liqueur; iced coffee; Turkish coffee; Greek coffee; cappuccino; espresso; and – my all-time favorite – an Israeli café hafuch. When Starbucks opened less than three miles from my house, I felt like the coffee gods were smiling down on me.
One thing wasn’t right with my coffee universe, however. My coffee consumption felt like a naughty, guilty pleasure. I abused it alone, with close friends, or with my male colleagues at work; never at home though. You see, somehow I ended up marrying a non-coffee-drinker.
* * *
My husband is a “I’ll have an Egg McMuffin and a Diet Coke” kind of guy. It’s the only thing about him that grosses me out. Coke in the morning? Uch. To make matters worse, in the decades I’ve known him, he’s never ever made a good cup of coffee for me. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Not once. By now, it’s comical how he cannot balance the combination of coffee, half-and-half, and Splenda.
Thankfully, my son ended up being my equalizing factor. He learned to love coffee too and can match my own exuberance for a double shot of Ristretto day or night. As a matter of fact, the best non-jewelry gift I’ve ever received is the Nespresso machine that my son bought me for Hanukkah about five years ago.
And, for the coffee-flavored-icing-on-the-cake, thanks to the freezing Chicago temperatures and a job that starts at 8:00 AM sharp, even my daughter started drinking coffee after she graduated college and entered the working world.
* * *
I know it’s hard to believe, but my husband actually works with a bunch of fellow non-coffee-drinkers. They’ve worked with each other for almost eight years now and NONE of them drinks coffee. But, as a result of a recent acquisition, this motley crew is now playing host to some new colleagues who want a cup every now and then. So, about two weeks ago, my husband decided it was time to get a Keurig for his office.
Standing in Bed Bath & Beyond, it was amusing watching this guy buy a coffee machine and some K-Cups. First he analyzed reservoir capacities. Then he assessed coffee options. The terms “mild,” “medium,” or “bold” as classifications for coffee were puzzling as they are not like the ones used for salsa! On top of that, he sought explanations on the differences between the flavors of “French Roast” versus “The Original Donut Shop.”
Somehow he successfully fumbled his way through the purchase, the set up, and even the brewing of the first cup. My husband is now drinking coffee.
I guess hell has frozen over.
* * *
This morning a text message and a picture were sent to my phone at 10:10 AM. It read “Cosi mocha” and with it a picture of a cup of coffee. My husband was at home, presumably waiting for a guy to come repair our garage door. In the meantime, he made himself a cup of coffee.
He used MY Nespresso machine. Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhhh!
A monster is on the loose.