Memory is a funny thing. It can play tricks on you, it can tease you, and it can show up out of the blue with the suddenness of snow falling down the back of your jacket between the collar and your neck.
My grandma loved coffee. She made it every day that I can remember. Always. She had a small glass carafe that she would put on the table next to her cup, from which she’d refill her cup with cooled liquid. I don’t remember her take it from the pot. I didn’t care for the stuff; far too bitter. But oh, how I wished I did like it. I associated it with a grown-up drink.
I wasn’t allowed to have the stuff in the home in which I was raised. When I left home and started working, imagine my pleased shock when I discovered that office workers adore their coffee! I’m one of those people who loves to work in an office – the smell of paper, the sound of staplers, and little cups of pens. And oh, frabjous joy, coffee!!
My first longer-term temp job was in an office of a technology company in Silicon Valley, California. My arch nemesis was a giant, room-sized Xerox high-capacity copy machine – the likes of which no ones sees anymore. Over that summer, I unclogged that stupid machine so many times that I now can handle any paper jam from a scanner to a multi-function machine. Oh, how I loathed that loud, smelly behemoth!
But the coffee. I fell in love with the coffee service that summer. I developed my own recipe of hot cocoa, two creamers, and coffee. If you stir just a little bit of coffee into the bottom of the mug and stir the cocoa so all the lumps are gone, when you add coffee to it it becomes a thick, lovely mocha-like drink.
Yes, I know; all the coffee aficionados are probably rolling their eyes at me at such an unsophisticated brew. I’ve had it in coffee areas from Silicon Valley to Boston, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s fancy coffee, black brew burning on a Bunn machine, or, heaven help me, instant coffee on a camping trip.
Now, my husband and I live in the Pacific Northwest, the coffee hub of the United States. Famous as the birthplace of the modern coffee craze, there are so many different high-end coffee places that a woman could get lost for weeks. And now, in my office, I have my very own French press and make my own concoction every day for myself at my desk.
But I’m still nostalgic about that old coffee corner in the kitchen around the corner from that giant Xerox.
What about you, Dear Reader? What hot beverage do you like to drink?