Quick Recipes and Easy

Our Never Ending Love Affair With Coffee

Coffee makes the world go around. Without it, most peoples’ mornings would be pretty darned unpleasant. Every office carries a commercial coffee machine, if not regular coffee makers, to keep our voracious need for caffeine satisfied during work. Whether it’s fresh beans, instant coffee or coffee-flavored beverages, we keenly buy it, daily. What is it about this drink that keeps us coming back for more? Whatever it is, those of us who like it, can’t get enough of the stuff.

My life as a coffee drinker started at the age of 14, in summer camp. Not being an early riser, it was my cabin’s turn to work kitchen duty at 6am one week. To keep from falling asleep, I concocted a strong mixture of freshly brewed coffee, heaps of brown sugar and milk. To my surprise, this was heaven in a cup, and I couldn’t get enough. Eventually, I gave up the milk and brown sugar in each cup of coffee that I drank, and my life-long like of coffee has never faltered since. The smell of it brewing is intoxicating. It’s a shame that they don’t make room deodorizers in the scent of “brewing coffee.” The smell is somehow comforting and makes a room more pleasant to be in.

On a trip to England a few years later, I was delighted to learn of the English tradition of daily tea. This special time of day allowed everyone to stop and have coffee, tea and pastries. Why on earth don’t we do this in the United States?! Not being much of a tea drinker, I drank coffee while enjoying teatime all over the United Kingdom. On one occasion in the Lake District, a cake served to me during tea in a local restaurant was coffee-flavored, with coffee liqueur flavored frosting. Normally, I forget the desserts I’ve eaten, but it was so excellent, that even twenty years later, the memory of it remains.

It is smart of some hotels to include small coffee makers and packets of real, ground coffee in each of their hotel rooms. In our hotel suite in California, my ex and I would always order more packets, since each of us could easily drink a hotel room-sized pot of java all by ourselves. Then, we’d get ready and go downstairs to the restaurant, and have more coffee with breakfast. Smart businesses know that adding coffee to their services pleases customers. Something as common and mundane as coffee made our trip all the better.

Like wine, there are coffee connoisseurs out there who go to formal tastings. Others of us may not go to those, but we know the flavors and styles of coffee drinks that we prefer. Personally, my day isn’t complete without my home-brewed pot (in a Starbucks Aroma coffee maker), of Starbucks’ Morning Blend or Mexican Organically Grown beans. When at Starbucks, I cannot leave without a Caramel Macchiato or Frappucino. Who cares if its decaf, half-caf or full strength caffeinated, “rocket fuel” potency? Not me. I cannot remember (nor do I want to) what life was like in the ancient, pre-coffee house days. The cafes of today know how to rope us in with that marvelous coffee smell, and keep us there with a variety of tempting desserts. Keep it coming, folks. In a world so full of unrest, anything that makes us pleased needs to be encouraged. The benefits of coffee far outweigh the negatives. There are a lot worse habits to have so we might as well delight in ourselves.

Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: cafepress.com/twopurringcats cafepress.com/twopurringcats. Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. Besides handling numerous assignments in the US, she has lived and worked in Cancun, Mexico. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other well loved media venues.

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