Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New York cup of coffee

I have been to New York City twice this year. In all of my previous years I had been there but once, way back when I was a high school student from Nashville, Tennessee. My visits this year were short and of the economy sort of stay with my elderly Aunt. She is very frugal and prefers that we not spend a lot of money while there. During my first visit in February, we could not resist eating out several times and the food was delicious. I can remember even now how happy my taste buds were! This last time, I vowed to eat my Aunt's food. I tried, I really tried. But after two days, I was getting increasingly hungry. What was it that I was missing the most?


Coffee at my Aunt's home is of the instant variety made from years-old Folgers-like crystals already mixed with big grains of dried milk. I tried mixing it in several strengths but the results were always dismal. So one afternoon, I told my Aunt I was going out to take photographs and left her napping peacefully on her living room sofa.


Living in the upper west side, hundreds of little places resided within a short distance where I could find


I found a little shop and ordered a bagel breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. The man asked me if I wanted milk and sugar. My only experience with a restaurant that offers pre-loaded coffee is...I hate to admit it...McDonald's. But here they didn't ask how many creams and sugars. I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what happened. A table by the window allowed me to people-watch while enjoying my meal.

To my surprise, the coffee was perfect. Sweet and milky - just the way I like it - 'would you like some coffee with your cream' type of coffee!! I can honestly say, that cup of coffee tasted better than any that I can remember. Of course, much of that was due to circumstance but still...

Coffee is an important part of my life. It is something I enjoy each and every morning. With the exception of feeding my cats, making coffee is my first priority. (they won't let me make coffee first!) Memories involving coffee are scattered throughout my mind.

Like when I was quite young, I remember stealing a taste of my uncle's coffee that was left at the breakfast table on a warm sunny morning. He liked it just the way I do now!

Like when I started college, my English professor would stroll slowly around the classroom holding her cup of coffee, sipping while lecturing. For some reason, she struck me as being so elegant and intelligent. I picture her in my mind from time to time.

Like after college, during the hippie years, I remember buying coffee beans and grinding them with a hand grinder.

There are other stories and times in my life that are associated with coffee. My sons tell me I am addicted and I always agree but add that it seems like a harmless addiction. But now as I think about it, it is more than that, it is one of those little rituals that make up part of my life's fabric. Now I have woven in a few more threads.

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At 5:38 PM, Blogger Steve Skinner said...

Isn't it funny how many of life's fondest memories involve coffee. It's one of my most favorite beverages.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger amyw said...

I have fond memories too. Before fourth grade I would ask my dad for a sip of his coffee on Sunday morning then promptly spit it out. But in fourth grade at a Holiday Inn Express in Michigan while traveling, I put a bunch of flavored creamer (those tiny 1/2 ounce cartons, you know) and a lot of sugar and voila! I liked coffee! After that the amounts of creamer decreased...then I stopped using flavored creamer...then less sugar...then no now it's just a splash of cream/milk! (And maybe a pinch of Splenda if it's strong.)
So...many fond's been a continuing process! :)

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Ellie said...

I whole hearetedly agree, make sure you have plenty for next weekend. I can consume as much as you so DOUBLE IT.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I am addicted to my coffee! I hope I never have to give it up. If there was nothing available but bad coffee, it might be possible though. I can't drink bad coffee, but even that can be salvaged with some ice, cream (or soy, as we prefer), sweetener and a dash of cinnamon.


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