Sometime, during elementary school, and more specifically during Mrs. Delano’s music class we sang a song that almost changed the course of my life forever. It is so funny, the little, seemingly incidental experiences that we have, that our brain just holds onto. Now that I’m really thinking about it, I have a bunch from Mrs. Delano’s class. The most interesting part about this is that I’m only like 70% sure her name was Mrs. Delano. I know she was an old lady, but I can’t even picture what she looked like. 

I remember that we had these hardcovered song books that were stored in the music room, but I’m pretty sure we used the same books for years. Anyway, we were spending some time learning to sing in rounds. I’m sure that is super fun for a music teacher. All of those kids, singing all at once in all of their various voices, but slightly off in timing… on purpose. (Teachers will NEVER make what they deserve). The song that we were learning went like this:  

          C – O – F – F – E – E / coffee is not for me / its a drink some people wake up with / that it makes them nervous is no myth / slaves to a coffee cup / they can’t give coffee up

As a young impressionable child, I took this song as a serious warning. It does not paint coffee in a favorable light. My little sponge brain heard the message loud and clear… coffee is bad. It makes you nervous and can control your whole life. That’s probably one of the major reasons why I was a junior in high school before I even tried it.

I was on a 6 week foreign exchange trip to Switzerland. My host mother offered to make me a special, small cup of coffee. I was already a vegetarian and feeling guilty about not being able to experience all of the food culture there, so I agreed to try it. It was just a small cup, so I picked it up and drank the whole thing in one gulp. Whoa, my first coffee ever was a downed shot of espresso. It was strong.  Maybe even knocked me back a bit, but I will never regret it. It tasted like roasted, warm earth with a hint of acid and chocolate.

That was my first impression and it still rings true today. I drink my coffee hot and black, rich and full, strong and bold. I will not drink bad coffee, On most days, I drink at least a pot of coffee. My current specialty go-to coffee drink is a breve latte, with at least one extra shot. In my early 20’s, I worked at a coffee shop where we roasted our beans. I loved going to work everyday and just swimming in the fragrance of the freshly roasted beans. That was also the time that my doctor suggested that I cut caffeine out of my life…so now I dabble with decaf. I blend decaf and whole cafe beans in my home coffee, which lessens the health issues and still allows me to drink good coffee.

I once tried to describe to my students what I loved about drinking coffee. It’s really the whole thing. The ritual of making the coffee. The smell as the coffee brews. The sound the coffee makes as you fill your mug. Holding the warm mug in your hands and that first sip. It’s like the coffee is giving you a full, warm hug from the inside out.

I love mornings in the winter when I got outside to either walk the dog or get the morning’s eggs and come back into the warm house that has been fully infused with the freshly brewed coffee scent. Heaven, and just think Mrs. Delano almost took all of that away from me. 

(I made the coffee and the mug)

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