All the Coffee I Have Loved

I often think about All the Coffee I Have Loved in my life. My love affair with coffee started young and has never wavered. Why not pour yourself a cup and let me tell you about it?

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All the Coffee I Have Loved

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I was used to the smell of coffee every morning. It emanated from my mom’s vintage 9-cup GE percolator. Of course it wasn’t “vintage” back then; it was top-of-the-line and practically new. I still remember when my mom bought her first “Mr. Coffee” in the 70’s. I was visiting my folks in California and it was the first one I had seen up close. I was so impressed with the taste of the coffee that as soon as I got home I immediately went out and purchased one for myself.

A Lifelong Addiction

I’ve always loved the smell of coffee, even though,as a child, I was forbidden from drinking it for reasons my parents never made clear. I would always go with my mom to the little IGA grocery store there in Iron River, Michigan and I would invariably end up hanging around the coffee grinder in aisle 3, just so I could inhale that wonderful aroma of freshly-ground coffee.

I suppose that was an early sign of my coming addiction to that amazing beverage in all of its forms. I’ve had coffee from percolators, drip coffeemakers and french press carafes. I’ve enjoyed java from enormous commercial espresso machines that appeared to require an engineering degree to operate. And I’ve filled my cup from special pots known as a cezve which deliver incredible Turkish coffee. I have loved them all.

Adventures in Regional Coffees

For a good portion of my life I moved around about every two years. It was a little jolting, but it also gave me a chance to get familiar with a lot of regional food and drinks.

I started drinking coffee regularly in my late teens when I was an assistant manager for a department store in Golden, Colorado. Per the manager, every day began with coffee at the store’s lunch counter while we planned the day’s activities. I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but I’ll tell you, on some of those frigid, snow-covered Colorado mornings, that coffee was a welcome treat.

Living on the east coast in the late 60’s I was introduced to the concept of iced coffee. I was leary at first, but I reasoned that if I loved iced tea, how big a leap was it really to go for iced coffee? I was so glad I took that leap. Hot, steamy, foul-smelling summers in New York City were much more tolerable with a big iced coffee to protect me.

Coffees South and West

When I moved to New Mexico I was introduced to the heavenly nectar known as Pinon coffee. What a treat! Earthy, yet mild, it was an entirely different coffee experience for me. Even though New Mexico is long behind me, I still order pinon coffee online when I can.

I loved the years I spent in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The people, the culture, and the food were fantastic. I still get a thrill out of putting together a big batch of red beans and rice or jambalaya. One of the things I never did get used to was the coffee of preference down there. Because of the Cajun influence I suppose, those folks like their French Roast coffee. To me, it just tasted burnt and I had to load it up with cream and sugar, something I customarily avoid when I’m drinking coffee. And don’t even get me started on Chicory!

Coffee Shop Havens

As for the place that coffee shops occupy in my life, over the years I have had my share of visits to various Starbucks around the country, including the original in Seattle, and on a cold, rainy day, there is nowhere else I’d rather be; curled up in one of their comfortable chairs with a double espresso (when I’m living dangerously!), a book or newspaper, and their eclectic background music I begin to feel downright invincible.

Whether I’m trying to get myself kick-started in the morning, keeping my brain working during the day, sharing a cup with friends or family, or just trying to maintain consciousness while studying for final exams, coffee has always been there for me. Some things never change and even though I can drink as much coffee as I like, you can still find me in the grocery store over in aisle three. Ah, that smell!

Doesn’t some coffee sound good right about now?

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