When I was in grade school we took a field trip to the Butternut Coffee Factory. I must have been in the fourth grade, early enough to allow for a second field trip there a year or so later. While not so sure of the year I was old enough to be totally seduced by the aroma of roasted coffee. Coffee, a warm, rich, deep brown heavenly scent that I knew should taste just as it smelt. Two problems: First I was, what? Ten? Second I let my mom (the queen of instant Folgers) made the coffee for me. Gagging isn’t the memory I retain from my first sips, disappointment is, disappointment that the flavor wasn’t the heavenly aroma that filled my cup. Regardless of how much milk and sugar I added.
In the third grade, Helms donuts were deliciously yeasty after we toured the bakery, tasting just sweet and yeast as the smell that permeated every inch and molecule of that clean odiferous building where they rose, baked and boxed. Milk - thankfully didn’t taste like Adore Dairy Farms smelt on a cool October morning, and it taste even better than the milk poured from the cold glass bottles delivered twice a week to the back door stoop. It was even better, because it was chocolate – and few second graders – especially back in the early sixties thought anything was better than chocolate milk. But coffee, nope in the four grade coffee sucked.
The aroma of fresh ground coffee, even Folgers, is seductive. First is wafts warmly up from it’s packaging promising a warm, deep full flavor that evokes soothing thoughts. Whether it’s a frosty morning in winter, a wet morning in spring, a warm golden summer morning, or a crisp clear fall morning nothing starts the day off better than a pot or three of rich bold coffee served hot That heavenly hot liquid that caresses my tongue and soothes the morning beast in me. Served best with quiet. Now as an adult good coffee taste just as it smells. The best cup of a pot - is always the first cup from the pot, the cup taken while the grinds are still dripping fresh.
I adore coffee.
But through life I have learned a few things. 1) caffeine is the worst thing (besides a bad relationship) that you can put in a woman’s body. 2) the older I get the less I can consume. My Nurse Practitioner tried hard to limit me to two cups a day, I cut a deal with her… sort of… I can have all the coffee I want before noon. I try hard to stick to that deal… and I take extra calcium to ward off the effects of caffeine on my aging bones. Oh, and I sweetened the deal, although she is still waging war for two cups a day… I have gone to half caf before 9am, when I get to work. Work has Portlands Best Brew, delicious, but not the French Roast I use at home…. But still darn good.
To paraphrase Homer Simpson…..Yummmmmm, coffee…. What it can’t do!
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