Monday, August 25, 2008

Shades of Black

What could be worse than a weak cup of coffee? Seriously, weak coffee is far worse than no coffee at all. It's just hot, murky water. In the beginning, when my "habit" was just forming, I was never concerned about the quality of my coffee. The kind of bean you use simply isn't important when you drown it in sugar and half and half. Let my brother-in-law illustrate my preferences for you, when asked by his wife what he wanted in his coffee, he teasingly answered her, "I want it to taste like a candy bar". While he was kidding, I was not. That was exactly how I liked my coffee. A milky way with 3 cubes of sugar (4 packets).

During college I realized that the amount of coffee I was drinking near the end of every semester coupled with the amount of sugar in every cup was not only bad for me, it would probably make me fat. So, "health conscious" as I am, I gradually started reducing the number of cubes in my coffee. I was hoping that the actual taste of coffee would eventually grow on me by cutting down the sugar. I don't believe I would have succeeded with my plan, but it was a valiant effort. I was rescued by a late night study session at a friend's place. He was making coffee but didn't have any sugar, only milk. Artes Liberales was pressing and my alertness was I accepted the offer of milky, sugarless coffee. It was surprisingly good!

I thought my tiredness was maybe just playing tricks on me, so I tried it again the next day in our dorm. Not half bad, I thought. Later that day I tried it in SAGA (the cafeteria). Yuck, blegh, ugh! Terrible. I had heard people complain about SAGA coffee before, but I had never noticed. I guess milk and a lot of sugar can cover up just about any blemishes the coffee may have.

Ever since then I've been drinking my coffee (except iced coffee), "just cream, please". I can now distinguish between "good coffee" and "bad coffee". I can't say that I'm a coffee snob in any way. Folgers is fine. Maxwell House has a bitter after-taste but tastes okay going down. Freshly ground beans are probably the best. Flavored-coffee smells good but tastes like SAGA coffee with vanilla slipped into it. The only true requirement I have is that it can't be weak.

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