I’ve been working in an office for the past 10 months and for that same amount of time I’ve been drinking the drip coffee that my boss brews at 5 am when he gets to the office. I don’t know how it tastes when he first drinks it but by the time I get to the pot, carrying my favorite chipped mug from college, still stumbling over my words and jonesing for that caffeine, it is an unpleasant thing. A close relation to the burnt bitter grounds cowboys must have made on the open fire, or the Mississippi Mud most all night diners serve, this coffee’s only saving grace is that beautiful jolt of caffeine I get, and the grimace I make at the first sip is almost a visceral interpretation of the caffeine. Even the generous cream I pour doesn’t help much, and there’s no sugar, not that it could be sweetened much.
When I was younger I used to joke that I liked my coffee strong and bitter enough to slap you. I knew nothing then. I thought coffee was supposed to taste unpleasant. When I began working at a coffeeshop I developed an appreciation of mochas that slowly and with time developed into an appreciation of lattes and from there Americanos and eventually even espresso. The all encompassing feeling of satisfaction while slowly sipping a good espresso in a restaurant after a delicious and lesuirely meal is one I treasure, and don’t have often. Drinking espresso in Vienna, that place of such historically famous coffeehouses, is one memory I will always look on with fondness. When I introduced my mother and her friends to the after dinner espresso in an Italian restaurant in New York City it was as though they’d seen an exotic beast. They declared they’d have to get that the very next day. Sitting down with friends over a cup of coffee is one thing I dream of when I dream of days off.
And now I find myself drinking this swill. Well, I’ve decided not to settle for it any longer. My father bought me an adorable French press coffee pot when I graduated from college and this morning I brought it into work, along with a new bag of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and a box of sugar cubes.
That first cup of coffee, with a caramel colored crema on top, a delicate flavor of sweetness and the happiness that comes with a good cup of coffee made this morning one of the most pleasant I’ve ever had at work. The second cup was just as good. Finally I now have a coffee that compliments my growing addiction.