Write For Ten – Coffee

June 20, 2012 in Guest Post

This engaging piece by Donna B. McNicol comes from the following prompt: 

"Write for 10 minutes about coffee, e.g., your favorite cup, your favorite cafe, the experience of it in the morning, etc."

I grew up drinking coffee, well not really coffee but coffee milk. A summer treat for us kids was my father adding a couple of spoonfuls of his highly sugared coffee to our milk. I've tried to recreate this as an adult but it never meets the memory.
I don't remember when I started drinking coffee, I think it was in my early twenties. I used cream and sugar…well, milk and sugar. I don't remember really liking it but it made me feel more adult. I didn't drink a lot of it!
My next coffee memory was when I needed to change my eating habits to help balance my blood sugar – I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. I stopped the milk and sugar and started drinking it black. I quickly discovered that GOOD coffee was wonderful when black. BAD coffee really needed to be dosed up. REALLY GOOD coffee with half & half and sugar turned out to be a wonderful dessert. To this day I still follow that rule.
In my 40's I discovered General Foods International Cafe Vienna….what a treat. I drank that off & on for 10 years or so, then stopped. I now only have it once every couple of weeks. I used to drink it more often but last Christmas we gifted ourselves with a Keurig coffeemaker. Oh my!! I am so spoiled now….dark coffees are the favored blends, especially the Sumatra ones. We especially love getting dark decaf blends…good tasting coffee in the evenings.
Over the years I have interspersed my coffee drinking with tea drinking. When I'm not drinking coffee, I'm drinking a wonderful blend of black and green teas by Stash. 
I've tried a couple of the fancy coffees but find I don't really like them. I do like something else though….
Two strong coffee memories….strong in the memory and strong in the taste. I was in my mid-late 30's and working for Burroughs Corporation out of Miami, FL. My clients were Cuban and I was spending almost every day at their office. There was a wonderful little Cuban restaurant next door. One afternoon they brought back several cups of Cuban coffee….one was for me, highly dosed with sugar. It was delicious! Very strong, single swig (think those little white cups used for condiments). Definitely a caffeine jolt but in a good way.

The next was in my mid-40's. I was working on a project in Colorado Springs, CO and one of my co-workers was Turkish. We invited him and his wife over to our house for Thanksgiving and he brought all the fixings for Turkish coffee. Another very strong coffee but again, delicious.
I think both of those experiences, as well as many years of coffee drinking, has shaped my taste. I abhor dishwater coffee, overly bitter coffee, old coffee that even cream won't sweeten. I'm not a coffee snob in the Starbucks way (I actually don't like their coffee), but I'd rather have water than a lousy cup of coffee.
Now if I can only break my Diet Coke habit … ;)
Till next time….

Donna B. McNicol is a retired IT professional who traded in suits for motorcycle clothes and non-fiction freelance writing for romance/mystery fiction. She lives and travels in an RV along with her husband and their pup, Sadie.

You can enjoy more of Donna's quick wit via her blog, books or twitter.

To participate in the Write For Ten fun, join Donna here.

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