Friday, June 26, 2009

mark of maturity

I can very easily remember back to when I was a little girl and my opinion of coffee wasn't very high. I saw it as a disgusting grown up drink, and nothing more.  Then I can remember hitting high school and being introduced to the mocha frappuccino.  That gave me an appreciation for coffee that I'd never had before, as I realized that the espresso bean could be masked under enough chocolate, sugar, and whip cream to not even be discernible as coffee any longer.  My affair with the mocha frappuccino lasted several years until Nathan introduced me to the chai latte shortly after we started dating.  After that, it was a sans coffee lifestyle for me once again.

It wasn't until I had arrived at the ripe age of 21 and got a job as a Starbucks barista that I began to have even a hint of appreciation for coffee in its unadulterated form.  As part of the training process, every barista must complete a series of coffee tastings, and it was either man up or get another job.  So I did it.  But even then, I wouldn't drink coffee by choice.  But I did work in a coffee shop and after being around it day in and day out, something had to break.  My happy medium was the latte, and I found I could drink any amount of espresso as long as it was tamed with a little steamed milk.

College graduation closed the Starbucks chapter of my life, but left behind it some coffee-loving seeds, planted, but lying dormant.  Five years have passed since my barista days at Starbucks, and gradually, almost imperceptibly, those seeds have been watered.  It was a cup of coffee here and there when someone had a pot brewing, but nothing consistent.  Then it was the purchase of our first small coffee maker for the house in case we wanted to make some when friends came over.  Next came the occasional request for coffee when I was out, until I finally arrived at the conclusion that I am a coffee drinker.  And what's more, I don't even drink it for the caffeine.  I drink it because it has become something as enjoyable and relaxing as that mocha frappuccino of ages past.  

Tonight I ordered my first after dinner cup of coffee at a restaurant, and drank two cups, black, with not a drop left.  And with those two momentous cups came the realization that I am now officially a grown up. 

14 comments:

dmelen said...

I love that post. I am a coffee drinker though and though but I never thought of it that way. Great Post!!

Adam & Amy Wilson said...

Don't know exactly why, but this was such a fun post...maybe thinking through all the transitions-- or maybe just my pure love for coffee (pure being defined as the addition of cream and sugar). There is nothing like the morning cup of coffee for me-- it's so fun and celebratory. It is one of the first things that hits my mind when I'm in the initial stages of wake up...which leads me to wonder if I'm somewhat of an addict?! :) Frailties aside, I enjoy coffee and raise my cup to you with a hip, hip hooray for the brown, happy liquid.

Matt and Bethany said...

I may not be a grown up for a long, long time because I still haven't even tasted the pure stuff. I agree with Amy. This was a fun post to think through the transitions.

asplashofsunshine said...

Yesterday, I took my 3 year old to Starbucks, and the man in front of me ordered a vanilla frappuccino or something like that for his daughter. My brain spun. I couldn't believe this man was getting a grande coffee for his 5 year old. Hmmm, maybe she thinks she's grown up, who knows. My 3 year old then asked me, can I get a coffee too? Nope, you'll get the Horizon milk in the box. :) I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but when I receive a Starbucks gift card, I feel grown up and suddenly want coffee too.

Brandi said...

Wait, weren't you the one that ate coffee grounds as a child?

Who is naebyrd/ rna? said...

I remember the coffee ground phase too.

Cheers for Starbucks and coffee people everywhere. A few cups a day is good for you anyhow, packed with antioxidants:)

Jana said...

black? wow. I hope it was decaf. . .

Linda said...

I only like coffee when the coffee taste is obscured by whatever flavored creamer I pour in with a very heavy hand. And to me, the word 'mature' has a very different slant. I now find myself shopping for skincare products for mature skin. Sigh...

Laurie in Ca. said...

Great post Angie. I love coffee and I love you girl. Thank you for the memories of my coffee drinking days. I have a fresh pot on the stove every day and love sharing when I have friends drop in. I have been a drinker since I was 20, however the maturity in my life didn't come until much later. I am still growing up:)

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Angie said...

i know, i admit it. there was a coffee ground stage to. it's not that i was embarrassed or anything... it just seemed too weird to try and explain =)

mwright said...

i, too, am a lover of coffee, but do not yet consider myself a "grown-up"! i did go through a phase in high school (when i had a fascination with james dean) when i drank it black b/c i figured that was the only way he would have taken his. :) now, i like a little sugar and a little cream, thank you very much. any time of day and any type of weather...a good cup of coffee will never let you down!

Radar's Mom said...

I have only good things to say about coffee and my fond memories go way back. Having a Cuban father means being taught from day 1 that "cafe con leche" is one of the important staples of any diet! My maturity (if you can call it that) was marked by new coffee experiences like chocolate covered coffee beans! Hurray for coffee!

Karen said...

I started drinking coffee at the ripe old age of 4. It was with my grandmother, and it had about one part of coffee to probably 10 parts milk, with a good heap of sugar. We would sit on her porch swing and guess which color car would drive by next as we sipped.

It has nothing to do with caffeine for me either. It is only a simple pleasure.

Holly said...

Haha I SO know what you mean. When I left high school (a coffee hater) one of my teachers told me I would start to like it at university.

She was right. :)