Tuesday, September 01, 2009

On coffee



I think it wouldn't be completely off the mark to say that 'twas coffee that was the beverage of choice in the blogging world. Well coffee and wine. Shouldn't forget the wine. Ever. Still, most of you, in reply to my question as to what makes your day or week or year, answered coffee.

Sweet, hot, caffeinated coffee.

Some of you even had the nerve to question my personal love for coffee. Tsk tsk! And made note of my supposed "oversight" in not including coffee on the list of things that have recently made my day, week, or year.

Hmph.

A place of indignation seems as good a place as any to draw a post from. So here I go.

Coffee was not on the list, because, well, coffee stopped making my day long ago. Today, coffee is an integral part of my day. Something, without which I can't really seem to be able to start my day, let alone get through it. I might as well face it, me starting an average day does not speed spell, so without coffee I don't think I would ever get as far as the shower, my bathrobe, or even the bedside table. I would just be a naked, smelly zombie, with really matted hair (as opposed to a robed, slightly odorous hermit with fokken awesome, pointy hair?). I know it is a cliche, but there really is no functioning for me without having anywhere from 2 to 10 cups of coffee every day. I'll need a minimum of one cup at least, just to tide me over the initial terror of waking up to a new day. There is, after all, so much of that light stuff around in the mornings. And birdsong. And that annoying sense of new beginnings.

Wine I can skip for a day or two, not so with coffee.

I have been known to cry if there is no coffee in the morning, and have had to quit every single attempt at detoxing I've ever made in the early stages, not because of the budding alcoholism, but because of my severe caffeine dependency.

I'm a full blown caffolic, so help me Zeus.


I'm not completely sure, but I may have mentioned coffee on this here blog before. Why yes, just a few times.

But what was the best cup of coffee I ever had?

Well, first of all, I'll have to enlighten you on my special brand of crazy coffee enthusiasm. I'm not one of those people who swear by an Italian espresso, or at the very least something that comes out of a french press. On the other hand, I don't quite consider instant worthy of the denominator 'coffee' either. I like my coffee lightly roasted, finely ground, and brewed in your run-of-the-mill coffee maker. I prefer my shots of espresso firmly drowned in the frothy milkiness of a good latte. To put it simply, I like my coffee Finnish.


I know coffee doesn't actually grow in Finland (nope, we just grow ice and santas for the world market), and I'm really talking of coffee beans that came about somewhere in south and central America, or Africa, but what matters is that they were roasted to suit the Finnish palate. And what a palate it is. Turns out, I don't get my inability to do anything in moderation from strangers.

Let me go google you some proof. Because to you, I may come off as just one completely coffee-crazed person, whilst in fact I come from a long line of coffee-crazed, very pasty, and silent folks, who very much like their coffee. We have coffee coursing through our veins. (Are you surprised that it's not wine? Because I am. Just a little bit.)


According to Frontline World "Scandinavia boasts the highest per-capita coffee consumption in the world. In Finland, people drink more than four cups of coffee a day on average."

According to International Coffee Organization, in 2007 Finland topped (again) the statistics of consumption of coffee per capita with 12 kilograms per year.

And even with all that caffeine, we still manage to be quiet and reserved. Without the coffee, we'd probably have to forgo a heartbeat entirely. One of my professors, a Dane, once asked me whether J.R.R. Tolkien really had modeled the Ents after Finns? I said I wasn't sure, but I might just have been hopped up on caffeine.


But I digress, I just thought it necessary to show you that I have, because of my cultural background alone, tested and tried quite a few cups of coffee in my time on this earth. In different countries, on different continents, in different homes and cafes, and even in a pretty good variety of different Starbucks.


And I have loved it all. Well, except for the latte spiced with spit and most airplane coffee.

I have, however, especially loved certain cups of coffee more than others:

There was that time when I was sixteen and had to stay up all night to study for an exam. I had an entire pot of coffee and indeed stayed awake the entire night. I think that caffeine high is what i have been hunting for ever since then, never quite achieving the same state of alertness. Hmm. I wonder how many brain cells I killed with that specific bender...


There was that time that I woke up with rice in my hair, caked makeup on my face, and the man of my dreams next to me in the penthouse suite of a lovely Copenhagen hotel. A little hung up, but the happiest I'd ever been. The hotel staff brought us breakfast, and that cup of coffee was something else. My first as a married woman. It even tasted more grown up.

There was that time in Cuba, driving on some back road two hours from Havana when we stopped at a zoo-like place that turned out to be a cafe also. That shot of sickeningly sweet goo the 'bartender' (that's what he called himself) called coffee and handed over to me was the best caffeine fix for years to come. I sipped it quietly while thinking that Che, whose pictures served as the wallpaper of the place, really truly was a handsome bugger, and my Zeus had he been lucky to be born an Argentine, for the coffee alone.


Then there is the coffee that I'll have with my family. With my friends. With a good book. With breakfast, lunch and dinner. With dessert. While reading a good post, The New Yorker, the obituaries in a Finnish newspaper. On the go. Lounging about. Lying by the pool. After having come in from the cold. To ease my nerves. To calm me down. To keep me awake. To help me fall asleep. To take me back. To surprise me. To make me take my mind off things. To help me focus. To make up for a bad day. To celebrate. And to quench my thirst and hunger.

Coffee really is its own food group, and possibly an emotion too.


And there really is nothing better. To quote my severely profound (not) Facebook profile: the Hubby, coffee, wine, and good books make life worth living.

At some point I should probably consider adding blogging, but to get to being that organized, I'll need a lot more coffee.

25 comments:

I'm Just Sayin' - Kerri said...

I'm off to pour myself my morning coffee now. Yum!

Sara said...

Sorry for making you indignant but thank you for the coffee post! Mmm...

And now I'm going to make a cup!

i N a said...

i am a certified coffee lover and usually have a coffee overdose for a day. lol..

Steven Anthony said...

awww yes, coffee. How could I have forgotten the drink of Gods. So it is coffee and shoes that make my day:)

I'm Kim, by the way said...

I was wondering what ever happened to your attention-drawing photo of your Starbucks latte!

Harlow said...

Naturally I'm reading your post while having a cup of coffee at McDonald's. I love the netbook that allows me to that.

Tri Mommy said...

What a wonderful ode to coffee. I think I'll go get a cup!

Angelina said...

I am not a coffee drinker, yes there are a few of us around. What makes my day is in the quite of the morning enjoying a nice bowl of matcha tea.

But I do appreciate the freshly brewed aroma of coffee. I recently gave my husband the best gift ever, a cona coffee pot. He swears it makes the best coffee and has not used his cappuccino machine since he got it.

jen said...

yeah you are definitely right,everyone loves coffee and i'm one of those who really love coffee...
my friends teasingly call me as coffee addict =)

Loredana said...

Know what's funny...i was trying to give up on a few cups of coffee a day to lessen the caffeine intake, but after reading this...how could I?!?!?

YAY TO COFOHOLICS!!!

Polly said...

that photo of you hugging a Starbucks coffee cup on arrival in Copenhagen back in May is still one of my favourite pics I've seen in the blog world.

and thank god for coffee. I belong to coffee club. but you already know that.

Miss Footloose said...

"Hubby, coffee, wine, and good books make life worth living," so you say, and I agree but want to add: Brazilian Jazz in the background.

About coffee: I grew up in Holland and the Dutch variety of coffee is strong and makes no buts about being coffee. It is served in modest-sized cups. One of my poor mother's panicky moments arrived when she visited me in the US and we were handed big mugs of coffee at the house of a friend.

She took a few careful sips, looked at me with terror in her eyes. "I cannot drink this!" she whispered.

So we walked out to the end of the garden to admire the roses. And the roses got the coffee, or what we were told was coffee.

Miss Footloose, ever searching the world for "good" coffee.

L.C. said...

I can't survive w/o my coffee! One of my best gifts received has been a commercial grade coffee grinder. The finer the grind the stronger and smoother the coffee. Now I am always on the hunt for good beans.

julochka said...

"Coffee really is its own food group, and possibly an emotion too." - this is extremely profound. good stuff. and if it wasn't 11 at night, i'd go make myself some coffee...

Dave Keeble said...

Behold another who cannot function without glorious caffeine flowing through their veins.

Coffee is the lifeblood of success!

Which reminds me; need to invest in a damn good coffee machine for college.I may need up the ante and I might as well enjoy it while I do :)

Tippyrich said...

Hello, My name is Char and I'm a coffaholic.

Very sweet and yummy post, makes me want a nice warmish hottish cuppa some strong coffee with a drop or two of cream. mmmmm.

Sandy K. said...

As usual I was entranced with how you wove your tale. A tale which rings true to many. Yes, I am also addicted to coffee, a rich roast. Black. Never with anything else. We look for good coffee on the road like others look for tourist traps. And right now, though it is 10:40 p.m., I am going to pour myself a cup. Thank you:)

Georgie K. Buttons said...

That was educational. I know nothing about coffee, except that to an 8 year old hot brown liquid looks like hot chocolate, but that is not always what it is. For years the Coffee Mate sitting on the counter in my kitchen was known as "the hot water maker." It wasn't until my friend came over during 8th grade and told me what it really was. I didn't believe her. But, she was right.

Chris said...

I too love coffee....and wine. Trying to give up coffee results in horrible headaches and drinking too much wine give you horrible headaches. Obviously moderation is the key! Thanks for the great post!

monica said...

Am not a coffeeholic really. Your posts very often mention coffee and wine but i never knew that coffee is such an integral part of you.
I like the way you have mentioned sweet memories of coffee and you.The "rice..." part is the best. Courtesy google and you, got to know lots of new stuff regarding coffee.
You are truly living up to Finnish fondness for coffee.

Nice post :)

TLB said...

Hi there,
just wanted to say I stumbled across your blog while randomly avoiding work while still looking productive...I mean, researching, yes researching adn I wanted to say that I have been laughing myself sill for at least an hour now!! I've decided to follow along and am really lookig forward to more posts :)

But in reference to coffee: I am not a coffee addict, but I NEED my first cup of coffee in the morning...there after it's tea, hot milky and sweet...preferably with that proper South African tradition, the rusk, dunked and crubling into it as I peer blearily in the bottom of the mug and wonder what all that soggy stuff is. Yes. Coffee is good....

Eva Gonçalves said...

I'm sorry... but you'll have to come to my country to actualy know, what a real coffee is...
personaly, I can't do without it...

kristine said...

i have nothing profound to say (i know, totally unusual for me). but i like coffee too. just for the record.

Chris said...

OH NO! Crisis! My coffee pot died this morning! And no Starbucks in this town. Maybe I should move.

Nina said...

hey...i stumbled across your blog by accident and instantly became addicted...you write so well and always make me laugh! i've been reading awhile and just decided to comment here because i effin love coffee too man. cheers to that.