To add an extra layer of complication, I was raised in a Mormon home. Coffee was forbidden. (Side note: occasionally my dad would make a hot chicory root drink called Postum, served with lots of evaporated milk and sugar. Why evaporated milk? Can anyone tell me? And what is evaporated milk anyway?)
So coffee had an air of danger to it. When I smelled it brewing as I walked past the teachers' lounge at school, or when we'd go to this funky candy shop downtown with bags of fragrant beans everywhere, I felt a tinge of guilt—like when you catch a whiff of a good strong sharpie pen. You know you shouldn't inhale too hard, but there's just something that makes you want to fill your nostrils with it.
Fast forward to today. Coffee *literally* gives me a reason to get up in the morning most days. I love how it smells, tastes, makes me feel, and that it gives me a first-thing-to-do ritual. Once or twice I've been persuaded that I should knock off the caffeine, so I've downgraded to decaf—even stopped it altogether for a few excruciating days. But this only served to make life less wonderful. So now I just enjoy my daily addiction. Yes it's a pain when I'm traveling or staying some place where coffee is harder to get. (Oh India mornings... I am sorry but milky, sugary chai is just NOT the same.) But a little portable instant espresso and some hot water solves that problem.
Today—and every day—I am grateful for you, magical coffee.