basics Uncategorized

Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz

Latte from Chef's Corner in Williston, Vermont.
Latte from Chef’s Corner in Williston, Vermont.

Since caffeine is in the blog title, let’s talk about it. I mentioned in my first post that in my family coffee is a way of life. Let me elaborate slightly: As kids my mom would drive my brother and I to school only if we missed the bus, and we couldn’t get moving until she would pour a cup of coffee to bring in the car with us. Not a thermos cup of coffee, a mug of coffee. In the car. Balanced precariously on the cup holder. Our car mats saw a lot of coffee spills. Hectic school mornings aside, Mom and Dad always had their first cup of coffee together either in bed, or down in the living room, or if the weather was nice on the deck. I didn’t notice how cute this was until I got older and actually paid attention to their morning routine. When I was little, actually I still do this now, I would hear them talking and wander into their room in the morning, give good morning pets to the dog(s) and cats, and curl up at the foot of the bed to listen to the parents sleepily discuss whose turn it was to go make coffee. Most recently it was Dad’s turn because it was Mom’s birthday.

Since we now have two massive golden retrievers who think they belong on the bed/in your lap/next to your face/in your personal space all the time this means coffee time has migrated to the living room or porch most mornings. We’ve even trained the two lovable golden dumb-dumbs that when you say “coffee!” and hold out your mug it means they can’t climb up into your lap at that moment. The command doesn’t rule out constant licking of your arm or whapping of any exposed limbs with their dinosaur paws, so long sleeves and pants are encouraged.

Robert does not have a cup of coffee and also appears to be sleeping.  Murphy, dino-dog #1, has decided he’s fair game.
Robert does not have a cup of coffee and also appears to be sleeping. Murphy, dino-dog #1, has decided he’s fair game.

Coffee as a consumable beverage wasn’t on my radar until high school, and even then I’m not sure you could actually call it coffee. It was half watery coffee and half hot chocolate from the one coffee shop in town. My neighbor Ben would drink it black and once I asked him for a sip. Just once.

I started drinking “real” coffee in college when I’d have to drive 4 hours to see my boyfriend. I needed all the help I could get to stay awake because I have a really stupid habit of falling asleep in the car, and pretzels and Dr Pepper (my brother’s magic stay-awake formula) wasn’t cutting it. Anyway, “real” coffee was a regular hot from Dunkin’ Donuts. So, cream with a dash of coffee and a pound of sugar. Over the past 8 years and change I’ve adjusted my taste and now manage to adhere to the family 3-cup kickstart rule. Here are my go-to equations:

Medium iced dark roast with one milk from Dunkin Donuts followed by a cup of black tea.
Medium hot coffee with one milk from Dunkin Donuts followed by a cup of black tea.
Three cups of black tea
Three cups of coffee with a splash of milk
Medium skim latte with three shots

For best results, drink these as fast as possible (15 minutes or less for each cup. I usually drink an iced coffee from Dunks in 5). My method befuddles my lovely husband because he can’t figure out how I a) don’t get a brainfreeze or burn the hell out of my mouth, and b) don’t crawl out of my skin when all the caffeine hits at once.
I haven’t quite figured this out either but life is quirky and that is that.

We’ll come back to this subject many times in the future because there are oh so many stories and recipes that revolve around our family coffee rituals. But in the meantime let’s chat: How do you take your daily dose of caffeine? Also, can someone teach me how to make coffee? The water level meter on our coffee machine is broken and I suck at ratios.


  1. I related to a lot of this. I didn’t start coffee until I was around 28 when I got married. My wife was a coffee drinker and convinced me to start. She did it by using the word ‘gourmet’. 🙂
    Good bit of writing.. keep it up!

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