The Comfort of Coffee

My first memories of coffee revolve around my mother.  It seemed that she always had a cup sitting next to her wherever she was. It was a huge part of her social circle.  I can remember quietly playing under the table while the neighborhood ladies sat drinking coffee and talking around the kitchen table.  I desperately wanted to be grown up and begged to be allowed to drink some coffee.  Every once in a while I was granted the rare treat of a cup of milk and sugar with a small dollop of coffee added in.  It was heaven. 

Eventually my mom deemed that I was finally old enough to actually drink coffee.  I poured the dark brew into the cup, deeply breathed in the delicious aroma and gleefully took my first sip…it was the most vile stuff I had ever tasted.    

I didn’t touch the stuff again for several years…when good friends showed me how to doctor it up with cream and sugar.  We used to get off work around eleven at night and head over to the local cafe and drink pots of coffee and just chat about anything and everything. It never seemed to affect my sleep.  It just brought back wonderful memories of having coffee with friends. 

Nowadays, despite living in Seattle with it’s coffee culture, none of my friends really drink coffee.  Some just don’t like it and prefer tea.  Others don’t drink for religious or medical reasons.  So coffee is no longer a social event for me.

Every morning I wake to the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee.  I fix it just the way I like it and enjoy a cup or two first thing in the morning.  It’s my way of gently waking up and preparing for the day. 

And maybe…just maybe…it’s my way of reconnecting with those I love….

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32 Responses to The Comfort of Coffee

  1. sognatrice says:

    Coffee always reminds me of my mom too, as well as my grandmother and grandfather-I doubt I’d ever stop drinking it entirely if just for those reasons.

    Wonderful post that brought back wonderful memories πŸ™‚

  2. Tylor says:

    My first experience with coffee was as a young child when I accidentally drank out of my grandfather’s thermos not knowing what it was. I felt sick for about a half a day after that.

    It wasn’t until college that coffee got its grip on me. It was then that it became not only a caffeine fix but a social and comfort food for me.

  3. Stephanie says:

    My first coffee experiance was similar to yours. My mom drank hers black. Despite LOVING coffee ice cream…I hated coffee because I thought of it as black, bitter and gross. It wasn’t until later when friends also showed me that you could add sugar and cream. I was totally hooked from there on out. I have tried to kick the coffee habit so many times and I usually last for a few months and then miss the ritual morning pot o’ joe. I love the aroma in the house with that morning brew. Just love it. Ahhhh….elixer of life! If you ever want to go out for coffee with me…I’m totally game!

  4. Susan says:

    Songnatrice~It’s funny how something like that can bring back memories. My grandma drank the strongest coffee imaginable. So I always think of her when I have old coffee. Isn’t that awful!

    Tylor~That’s too funny! None of the men in our lives have ever drank coffee. When the first male drank coffee in front of the girls, they were horrified because only “moms” drank coffee!

    Stephanie~Yay, a coffee buddy! We can pretend we are grown ups! πŸ™‚

  5. Tylor says:

    I used to doctor up my coffee with the creamer and such but over the last year or so I’ve grown to appreciate straight black coffee and all the richness of the flavor.

  6. Carol says:

    Sometimes I wake up at 3:00 AM (because I am, after all, fifty…) and I crave a cup of coffee! It’s all I can do NOT to brew myself one, sit down at my computer, and start my day.

    SOOO nice meeting you today! Hey, let’s grab a cuppa joe at the local Starbuck’s someday! πŸ™‚

    Carol

  7. Cazzie says:

    I heart coffee. My hubby makes it the best ever I reckon. I used to drink the CHICKORY coffeee with my dad when I was younger. I think you ought to make an advertisement for coffee..send it to them, tell them why you love coffee..you may just make trillions of dollars from it, LOL

  8. tommiea says:

    I drink coffee like you do….Splenda and my current favorite creamer: white chocolate raspberry

  9. Jeff says:

    It’s funny how tastes change over the years. I started drinking my coffee mine with heavy cream and sugar. I’ve slowly cut back over time until I now drink it black.

    As a child I also used to get the occasional treat of milk, sugar and a drop of coffee. I also thought I was hot stuff drinking “coffee” with the adults.

  10. The aroma of coffee always takes me back to my mom’s kitchen. I used to wake up to the delicious smell of a freshly brewed pot. From my bed, I could hear Mom and Dad talking quietly as they drank their first cup of the day. Then I knew that all was right with the world.

  11. Dorky Dad says:

    WHAT? You live in Seattle and none of your friends drink coffee?

    Well, that’s not much of a surprise, really. Now if you told me that they didn’t eat flying fish …

  12. Jay says:

    I just can’t get into coffee. I almost never have any. Only during the winter or when I’m cold do have any. And even then I’m more likely to have hot chocolate or tea.

  13. Keshi says:

    u know Susan, next to my mum, Coffee is the only other thing I cant live w.o. πŸ™‚

    Keshi.

  14. Diesel says:

    Yeah, coffee smells great but tastes nasty. At least without yummy creamer crap in it.

  15. I know what you’re talking about. I can’t live without coffee, and I will get a low mood if I miss my morning coffee. ;p

  16. mjd says:

    I love your coffee memories. Years ago, I belonged to a coffee group where we would socialize as our young children played. My husband has stopped drinking coffee, but he makes and brings me mine in the morning.

  17. Kaytabug says:

    What a wonderful post. I love sitting around with friends chatting and sipping coffee, while the kids play.

  18. I love coffee… but I still can’t help thinking whenever I drink it, “if only it tasted as good as it smells…”

    *sigh*

  19. Amber says:

    I just found your blog from Bella Dia…This post hit me because coffee makes me think of my Grandpa. I read one time that a person’s sense of smell is very closely tied to the part of the brain that holds memories so often certain smells will trigger them.

  20. J-Funk says:

    This month’s O! Oprah Magazine has an article about how GOOD coffee really is for you – in all kinds of ways!! It turns out that much of the bad stuff they linked coffee to was false because so many of the coffee-drinking test subjects smoked cigarettes, too.

    Coffee is full of antioxidants, prevents cancer, parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, reduces muscle soreness, and helps short-term memory. Whoa!

  21. Stephanie says:

    I’m drinking a cup to you and to your mother right now!!

    Mmmmm! Ahhhh! Goooood!

  22. renate1945 says:

    I couldn’t do without my cup of coffee in the morning. It just wouldn’t feel right.

  23. Shari says:

    I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I have friends and family who are “don’t bother me till I have my cuppa”. So I can empathize if not relate to it.

    My sister gave me a cup and told me it was soda. So I sipped it and it was cold coffee. Nasty. Meanest thing she ever did to me. Ever since then I have had an aversion (psychological) to it. I actually get sick when I smell coffee. Oh well.

  24. Swamp Witch says:

    Amazing how smells can transport us back in time to some very vivid memories. I like coffe. I love the way it smells.

  25. JennieBoo says:

    Everyone in my family LOVES coffee. I enjoy it’s aroma and the “cozy” feeling ir envokes.

    I prefer tea, though. You know, to drink.

    I gotta be different! πŸ™‚

  26. snpnmnmi says:

    Isn’t it the truth?!? I remember going camping as a family with my grandmother with us and the mornings were always full of that wonderful “fresh air and purcolated coffee” feel. And if it happened to rain while we were camping, then it was another pot of coffee. And always cookies with it.
    That cream and sugar thing is a BAD addiction! πŸ™‚ I had a friend several years ago that I walked with and she introduced me to cream, sugar and cinnamom… yum! Of course, totally negated any good e had done with the walking, but we had young twins… any excuse in a storm, right? πŸ™‚
    Hope your electric gets back up soon… I was going in to the library a few weeks ago because my computer was on the fritz… not a good thing!

  27. Cheryl says:

    HI Susan,

    I’ve been busy vacationing and am just now starting to catch up. I loved your coffee story and would be happy to share a cuppa with you. I haven’t the faintest clue as to when I started drinking coffee. Hmmm… my favorite blogs always give me something to think about. I’ve enjoyed every cup I’ve had this week.

  28. jeanne says:

    Mmm Coffee. It is such a comfort thing for me. Enjoy reading your posts. Doing this ABCs also and its interesting how everyone does it.

  29. Robin says:

    My morning coffee is an addiction…I wish I could walk away from it, but it’s too intoxicating. I love the aroma, taste (half and half, sugar AND Splenda), warmth, you name it.

    I was here for Fun Monday (a bit late) but didn’t see an apron post…this was a lovely find instead! Great writing :).

  30. poeticscot says:

    A delightful expression and thought provoking memory of your ‘first taste’.

    A coffee is essential for me – as I write my poems – and when reading blogs.

  31. chris + brea says:

    Your thoughts and experiences are wonderful to read. I am tempted to leave a coffee memory too…growing up, my father’s coffee mug hailed from Hawaii. It was blue pottery and the handle was shaped like a whale tail. When my father left, so did the tails. I will have to ask him where they live now.

  32. lavidaboca says:

    I love how coffee reminds you of your mom. For me, it’s my dad. He was the consumate coffee drinker in our family. He made a pot of coffee every day, religiously. He liked his black and strong. I never quite understood why he liked coffee so much. Then things changed. While in college, a roommate of mine made a tiny pot of coffee one night to help us stay awake so we could study for exams. She was smart enough to add lots of sugar and cream though. It was delicious – and it helped us stay awake too! That summer when I returned home from college, I had my first cup of coffee with my dad. He teased me about adding all the “junk” to my cup but it was so nice to share a cup of coffee and just talk. I still think of coffee as a connection between me and my dad. Maybe some day my kids will do the same.