As a toddler, I sat on my dad’s lap at the breakfast table. He would let me drink coffee with him as he read the newspaper. It wasn’t real coffee, it was coffee milk which is milk with sugar and just enough coffee to notice a change in the color. I felt like a big guy. We drank out of a green ringed diner mug, the thick kind with a handle you can only stick one finger through.
As I got older my mom insisted I drink orange juice and forgot about coffee for a while .
Then I went to a college where the girls had to be in at 10. The guys could stay out all night but what do you do when the girls are locked up? You go to the nearby 24/7 truck-stop. My buddies and I didn’t have much money but for the price of a cup of coffee, the waitress would refill us all night for free. Most times, she would walk by and automatically pour without asking us. I’m not sure how much coffee I drank back then but in my memory, it was the best. I would go there with my friends and discuss music, art, literature, spirituality, and the likes. Whatever we talked about we would wind up talking about girls and songwriting in the end. It was where I learned aesthetics was not just hairdos and nails. We would return late at night to cram for tests or when we just wanted to congregate and talk.
Coffee was ever with me.
Later I went to France to have the art museum experience. The museums were great but I also brought back a better appreciation for good coffee. Starbucks had yet to hit America in a big way but in Europe good coffee was everywhere.
The facts about the health benefits or deficits of coffee varies from report to report and year to year. I don’t do flavored coffee. Coffee is its own flavor. But if I’m in New Orleans. I always have it with chicory. It’s an exception I make.
As an adult, I started drinking way too much coffee while teaching night classes. I didn’t like the way it made me feel so I cut back from several cups a day to one or two special cups. I like drinking alone but also like the communion of friends.
How ever much I drink, I hold to Benjamin Franklin’s advice:
“Moderation in all things - including moderation.”