Coffee

There is a new kid in town! And by ‘town’ I mean our kitchen, and by ‘new kid’ I mean the duck and my newest roomie: ‘fully automatic coffee machine’ or ‘Coco’ for short. This is not the first automatic coffee machine we’ve been living with, but this one is mint colored and new, so we’re particularly happy. Coffee duckLook at the duck pretending to be coffee! How silly! Before you think we’re completely crazy, let me explain the duck and my excitement:

Coffee: A personal history

The duck and I love our morning coffee; the sound of coffee beans being filled into a coffee grinder is still one of our favorite sounds in the world. In fact, we love it so much and vocally(!) that our friend who works at a cafe sent us a video of exactly that when the duck and I had just moved to Tokyo. The duck and I still look at and listen to it sometimes when we are too impatient to wait for our coffee maker to run out of beans. We love the thought of coffee with non-dairy milk, sometimes in the shape of a cappuccino or a flavored latte. We love it even more than we love coffee itself, because, weirdly, we are very picky with coffee and can’t drink too much of it. But let me start at the beginning here.

1: The coffeeless years
I was rather late to the coffee game. I never had the urge to drink it and when people told me that the taste is worse than the smell (which I hated back then), I was content with my life without coffee; there was water, juice, soda, milk, hot and cold cocoa and tea (which back then was still only an occasional drink choice).

2: The stressful years
Then came a time when I was super busy and couldn’t catch my regular eight to ten hours of sleep. I needed a lots-of-sleep-alternative. That was when I gave coffee some serious consideration and decided that drinking a cup of coffee in the morning was better than not enough sleep and no coffee. I tolerated it. I added milk and sugar if I could. And I only drank as much as I thought I needed… until coffee became part of my morning (and, later, afternoon-) routine. But, being stingy and without a proper coffee maker, I always bought the cheapest instant coffee I could find; I still drank coffee for its effect, especially if I was looking at a long night of finally writing that essay that was due the next day.
One day we had a repairman over and my flatmate offered him some coffee. His face lit up, but once he saw the brand of my instant coffee, he politely refused. That’s how bad my coffee was. Still, with milk, sugar and some cinnamon sprinkled in, it was pretty tolerable.

Coffe journey duck 1

3: The exciting years
Then came a time when I discovered how amazing coffee can be if you drink it with frothy milk, as a cappuccino or latte or caramel macchiato. Those were great but short times, because soon I would meet the duck and discover that milk had decided to not be my friend anymore (but what a great new friend I’ve made in return). Well, at least I got to enjoy lots of awesome coffee in this short period of time.

4: The obsessed years
Now that I could not drink milky coffee anymore and yet had to find a good alternative for cow’s milk, one that tasted good, was frothable, and ideally not allergy inducing if I drank too much of it, I would almost exclusively drink black coffee when I was out. That way I quickly found out which kinds of coffee I liked and which ones I only tolerated. As a result of drinking all that black coffee I turned into a coffee snob. I still didn’t have a coffee maker all the time, so there were periods when I had to drink instant coffee – but now I bought the expensive kind. In Japan I had a coworker/friend with whom, whenever we weren’t working, I would basically talk about coffee. She always had this amazing coffee that she’d offer me. We were so coffee obsessed that, just before the duck and I were about to leave Tokyo, we went on a Kokubunji coffee tour to check out the coffee place she had told us about weeks earlier. Even now we talk about coffee a lot whenever we catch up.
(Even though our friend N and my shared coffee obsession is an exceptional case, the duck and I were surprised at the coffee culture in Japan. But that’s material for another post.)

5: The automatic coffee machine years
Then came the time when we got to live with an automatic coffee machine. Gone were the days when we had to look for good instant coffee – now we could drink coffee from freshly ground coffee beans whenever we liked. Unfortunately, we also had to go through a few varieties we weren’t fans of. Oh well, you can’t always have everything, right? But, at least, with Coco, we can look at a pretty color whenever we drink some coffee that we don’t like so much. And, even the not-so-tasty varieties probably taste much better than that cheap instant coffee the repairman refused. I think.Coffee journey duck 2

Honorable Mention: The years in between
Even though I tried to break down my coffee journey into a pretty, well-arranged list, of course there were times when I’d go back and forth between the phases of (the duck and) my coffee appreciation. There were times after the coffeeless years when I didn’t drink coffee, and those when I’d have a regular two cups a day. But with all that added in, my list wouldn’t be as pretty anymore, and I love lists, especially pretty ones!

Those of you who have read about our love for tea and need things to be clear and organized might wonder whether the duck and I are coffee or tea people. Well, the duck and my main water intake still comes from tea – we only drink a cup, rarely two, of coffee a day. But coffee definitely is the stuff that our daydreams are made of. Tea is such an integral part of our days at home that some of the magic is gone, it seems. When the duck and I see pictures of pretty coffee, however, we are insanely satisfied (almost as satisfied as we are at the sound of trickling coffee beans). So, I guess, the duck and I need tea, and we love the thought of coffee.

What about you? Are you a tea or/or a coffee person? Have you gone through phases of coffee or tea appreciation, as well?

4 thoughts on “Coffee

  1. I am a coffeeholic! I started drinking coffee because my father in law drank coffee and when we went out as a family, which was very often, we always visited coffee shops! Dad is too old to go now, but me and my better half visit coffee shops regularly, on a daily basis (apart from now with Covid)! 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, going to coffee shops on a daily basis does sound nice (and I can’t wait for a time when it’s easier and safer to do that again), especially now that a lot of them do offer different milk alternatives 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate caffeinated beverages. Even when I know that I am tired, I stay away from them. One time, I drank a cup of coffee and it was disgusting. I was not able to sleep that night , even though I only added a tsp of it. I have tried green tea flavours , but none of them worked for me. There was this one time where I liked latte but only because they were sweet and they came in packets. I used to mix them in cold milk and they tasted like a chocolate drink.
    But I get this because there are a lot of people who can’t live without coffee, they have this motto, “But Coffee First”. The only teeny bit I like about coffee is only its smell. This might be a long comment but I have to tell you how once , the ‘Pumpkin Latte” in Starbucks was really famous so I decided to make it myself. And it took me only a hour to regret my decision. I burnt my hand because of the pumpkins and I had created a mess.
    After these traumatic experiences, I always preferred homemade juices and lemonades.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! The pumpkin latte incident sounds painful! To be honest, I don’t think I ever tried an actual pumpkin latte. I do like pumpkin spice, though, especially when it’s sprinkled in the duck and my morning oats.
      I do get what you say about the taste of coffee. That’s why it took me so long to come to appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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