Recent Posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 40-Year-Old Coffee Virgin

I've spent the past couple of months on a quest for coffee. I've never liked coffee, but this past year as I have frequented the quiet seclusion of my new writing life, I have begun to desire a coffee-like substance. Something with an energy kick that will keep my fingers moving no matter how exhausted I am. Being a middle-aged mother of two vivacious young boys, I'm almost always exhausted. And since cocaine doesn't fit into my budget, coffee just seems to make the most sense. 0:)

My problem with coffee is the flavor. Put some dirty dishwater in a cup and add a few dashes of bitters and some rust extract. Now take a sip - YES, that's it - that's how coffee tastes in my mouth.

If coffee tasted like its aroma there'd be no dilemma. I would have been chuggin' the stuff at age five - I've always loved the smell of brewing coffee. But that taste...

I decided to lean on some coffee-drinking friends for some advice. "How does a flavor-challenged individual embark upon a quest for coffee?" I said.

I received many responses: "Use lots and lots of creamer." "Use less coffee than the directions call for." "Add some water to the pot before it brews." "Add sugar." "Add flavoring." One friend said she never liked coffee, but when she became an adult she decided to start drinking it anyway because... well... that's what mature adults do.

Suddenly my quest for coffee wasn't just about coffee. Now it was about maturity as well. Almost forty and I'd never had coffee. I was about to be the 40-year-old coffee virgin. Could people look at me and tell I wasn't partaking in a sacred act of adulthood - that despite my graying hair, I was not yet mature?

And I'm supposed to be a writer. Can I even call myself a writer if I don't drink coffee? It's on the job description, I think. Maybe that's why I get so many rejections.

I decided the best way to become experienced at coffee was to start exploring the coffee field.

Rich creams, mouth-watering sugars, different measurements, exciting flavors, watered-down weak, in-your-face bold - I tried a variety of coffee personalities. I discovered that each person's perfect cup of coffee is as individual as their own fingerprint, and my goal was to find the cup of coffee that was just right for me - the one I would look forward to enjoying each and every writing day.

In the end my perfect cup of coffee is 1 1/2 Tbsp. of caramel truffle coffee, 12 ozs. water, 1 Tbsp of vanilla caramel creamer, and a large dollop of whipped cream topped with a pinch of chocolate powder.

What do you mean that's not coffee? It is, too, coffee! I admit it's kind of pretty and fluffy, but it IS coffee.

Just because the girl's drinking coffee doesn't mean she has to grow up.

What is your perfect cup of coffee?


  1. Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

    Tim Horton's large, hot, black, double cup, dome lid. Sorry, I love the taste of black dark roast!

  2. warrenjc said...

    Like yourself Karen, I love the smell of coffee. However, I love the coffee as well.

    My fav is SB's tall decaf Americano no room. I like all coffees but that is what I order. I like a cappuccino sometimes but all that foam - yuck. But it seems I only get a half a cup of coffee that way and it costs more than the regular cup of decaf. Go figure.

    (My SB's doesn't have the french vanilla so I drink the instant capp from the store. Not great but palatable.)

    I still just like the decaf coffee. (I'd drink the leaded coffee but I am borderline glaucoma.) I have to stay away caffeine, get exercise, and get more anti-oxidants in my diet to alleviate the pressures. (One out of three isn't bad. LOL)

    Fun blog.

    Keep writing GBY Karen and yours

  3. Talkin' Texan said...

    Oh you are too funny. My Granddad started me drinking coffee when I was just a wee one. Drove my mother crazy. I think that is why he did it. But way back then it was Folgers instant (mixed up strong) with lots of sugar and evaporated milk. Now I like it best when I grind my own beans and brew it up in a French press. I like a variety of flavored beans but even enjoy French Roast. I drink mostly decaf just so I can sleep at night. I can drink it black but there is still something about lots of sugar and evaporated milk that I love. Guess it reminds my of my Granddad.

  4. Shauna Renee' said...

    Love your post! My favorite "roast" is Folger's at home in my Mr. Coffee pot. Starbucks: caramel macchiato--triple venti (that's the large size w/3 shots of espresso). Coffee in the morning, coffee in the evening, gotta have my java at all hours!
    I also love hot tea and recently was given a darling little individual-sized tea strainer and some loose tea. The apricot brandy is my favorite! (Right now, anyway!)
    Thanks for posting on Facebook that you were blog hopping--I decided to hop over here and am glad I did!
    Blessings, my friend!

  5. The Thomas House said...

    YOU are NOT 40 yet, give yourself time, the whole month & few days - it might grow on you! I love the new Chai creamer, makes it easier for me, I don't have to make tea, then add everything one at a time, all there in one bottle.

  6. Tamara said...

    Coffee does seem to be a requirement for writers. I like my coffee weak with lots of cream and sugar. Like you I like the smell, but dont' stomach to strong, dark roasts well.

    At home it's 1tbsp of coffee, 8-12 oz water, 1 tbsp hazelnut creamer and 2 packets of fake sugar stuff.

    At work it's approx 6oz of Java Gold, 2-4oz of hot water(depending on who in the office made the coffee that morning) 1tbsp hazelnut creamer and 3 packets of fake sugar.

    The work coffee is definitely stronger than I make it at home.

  7. Anysia Derora said...

    Two packs of Splenda (or one pack of Truvia) and enough cream to make it creamy looking!

    I think I've been drinking coffee since the time I could hold a sippy cup to be honest with you. Even when I don't drink it, I'll pour myself a cup just to smell it. It reminds me of my grandma.

    I hope you don't decide to take up all the habits that are associated with the writer stereotype - you'll end up sitting in coffee shops, wearing a berret, with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of your mouth, coffee nearby, hunched over your laptop nervously watching the other guests to see who's out to steal your latest idea! LOL

  8. Brock S. Henning said...

    Anything hazelnut. One level spoonful of sugar and two splashes of half-and-half--ditch the reduced fat creamers and use the real thing.

    Oh, and buy yourself a New Years gift--a Christian Writers Guild coffee mug. Take my word, you'll somehow feel inspired to write more when that cup is full. On days I avoid writing, I can't even bring myself to look at that lonely cup. Shameful. ;)

  9. Chelle Sandell said...

    I'm a coffee lover. Give me a standard cup of regular joe or a gourmet blend any day!!

  10. Anonymous said...

    I'm sure you're allowed other vices instead of coffee to keep you going.... whatever works for you. :O)

  11. Melissa O in DC said...

    You most certainly do NOT have to drink "grown up" coffee. No way no how. I like mine like this:

    Girls Raised In The South(GRITS)mug, which holds about 14 oz, filled 2/3 of the way with coffee that has been sweetened by 2 teaspoons of sugar. Then I fill it the rest of the way with 1% milk, add a tiny dollop of whip cream and enjoy. :)

  12. Janet said...

    Hello! I found you on The Secret Life of a Pastor's Wife and thought I would follow and say hello!

    My husband and I just quit drinking coffee and we are almost 40! We quit during a sickness but realized that we were addicted.

    After some research, it's not necessarily the coffee that we were addicted to. It was the powdered creamer made of high fruictose corn syrup. It is as addicting as drugs.

    Since then, we switched to decaf and use half and half. I drink only a couple of cups a week instead of a day.

    My perfect cup: medium roast, a bit of raw sugar, 4 drops of stevia, and a splash of half and half. Mmmmmmmm. I also love flavored lattes at the cafe.

    Good to meet you and read your blog.