Thursday, April 22, 2010

So THAT's coffee.

by Shaggy

Prior to yesterday morning, I've only had a cup of coffee once in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of lattes from Second Cup, frappuccinos from Starbucks, milk coffee cans from Asia, and french vanillas from Tim Horton's, but for all of my life, I've only had ONE straight up, traditionally defined cup of coffee.

I must have been...10 or 12, I donno, but it was at a relative's house at breakfast when they didn't have tea. And I had to put a LOT of milk and sugar in that mug to make it even tolerable.

Since that day, I swore off coffee.

From one experience of "GAWD, this tastes awful" I was never tempted to go back. Even through all of University, I never fell to coffee to keep awake through those long essay nights and early lecture mornings, placing my trust in Red Bull, Monster, and Bawls instead.

I gradually added more reasons why I didn't want to get into coffee. I hated the idea of being coffee dependent, lining up first thing in the morning, be it on foot or in car, waiting to get my fix from a coffee shop employee who by this point knows my name, how I want my coffee, and that I won't be needing a cup as I've long since been using the store branded thermos.

This brings us to yesterday.

So, there I was, ready to eat my share of FREE BAGEL BREAKFAST DAY at the studio, and amongst the variety of bagels, there were boxes of free coffee (y'know, like the box of wine deal) all lined up at the end of the table.

I looked at them, remembering my proud, if not stubborn steadfast abstain of the drink.

...then figured, 'what the hell, know thy enemy.'

After having my first straight up cup of coffee in over a decade (with lots of milk and sugar of course), I am reminded of one of the great changes we all go though in life.

Our tolerance for taste.

As kids, we are VERY sensitive to flavour. So much that we risk any punishment for not finishing a meal if it doesn't suit our pallet. I had my bouts with asparagus, brussel sprouts, onions, Uncle Ben's rice; many foods which are deemed healthy and 'good for you'.

And as I've grown up, I realize a lot of my current distain of these foods is mostly out of memory. I remember not liking green peppers as a kid, but after so many years, finally trying one voluntarily wasn't all that bad. It doesn't taste much like anything really, mostly water with a bit of zing.

This tolerance for taste is also something I apply to beer.

I avoided beers through most of University because of my first experience with the taste in high school (I believe it was a Moosehead). I hated it so much, I actually capped the bottle and hid it under the couch I was sitting on. Any further pursuit of alcoholic beverages would be strictly in flavoured spirits and ciders.

Eventually I got more comfortable with a beer every now and then. I admit, there are very few beers I can claim to enjoy the taste off (the strawberry flavoured Fruli and tequila flavoured Desperados are at the top of my list), but, as I as a person have matured in actions (i.e., NOT hiding unfinished beers anymore) and my taste buds have devolved in sensitivity, I can charge through a pint of something willingly, without as much opposition as child would.

And why is this?

Because I know beer will eventually lead me to getting that much more drunk.

I now understand why people drink coffee in the morning. Because like beer is thought to heighten the enjoyment of a social setting, coffee is to heighten the focus of mornings.

It's a warm, brewed bean beverage that tastes like ass; but it's an ass taste that we can get accustomed to, and form a ritualistic habit around, because yes, it does perk us up in the morning or whenever, so we stop noticing the flavour.

All this being said, I'll still be sticking to my lattes and french vanillas, because even as I know that healthy foods are good for you, alcohol gets you intoxicated, and caffeine wakes you up, I'm still immature enough to know that I want some flavour along with the function.

1 comment:

  1. Its actually funny how coffee is known as an addiction. I think I tasted my first cup of coffee when I was like 5 or 6? because we were adjusting to living in another country and in Japan we just had tea.
    So i grew acustomed to drink it, and I dont depend on it, Its fine by me If i dont drink it like in two months, but ocasionally I enjoy a big mug of cold coffee-chocolate-milk (whatever the real name is) cause I like te taste, not because I feel more awake.
    (btw I dont have breakfast so I dont drink coffee in the mornings)

    And I hate beer, never liked, never will... Its just so bitter to me. I prefer sake and tequila if you ask me. (or boones or Bols)