Friday, March 09, 2007

A National Addiction

Got coffee? (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Without my morning coffee I'm just like a dried up piece of roast goat." ~ Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) "The Coffee Cantata"
"A certain Liquor which they call Coffee...which will soon intoxicate the brain." ~ G. W. Parry (1601)
It's my brother's fault that I drink coffee. He loves coffee. No one talks to him until he has his second cup in the morning. He likes it stiff, hearty, strong. While he was on tour with Phantom of the Opera, he had me buy coffee with chicory and ship it to him as he couldn't find it in the North.

It is our mother's fault that he drinks coffee. She never drinks a whole cup of coffee; I don't think she ever has. When Stephen was little, he would find that half a cup of coffee on the table after she left for work and he drank it. We are talking six, seven or eight years old and he was already devious, sneaking into the kitchen before Dad could get rid of it. By the time he was in college, he was addicted to that which he still calls "the nectar of the gods". Not me. I thought it smelled wonderful when brewing but the taste was bitter and nauseating. I made it through college, medical school, residency and fifteen years of practice without ever drinking coffee. In fact, on that rare occasion when I had to brew coffee for a dinner, Nyssa would smell the aroma and ask, "Is Uncle Stephen coming to see us today?" Even she associated coffee with him.

But then Stephen introduced me to Starbucks and the "white chocolate mocha with a splash of almond" did me in. We didn't have a Starbucks in our little Mississippi town; I know that is hard to believe, but it is true. What we did have, however, was The Coffee Plantation, a little coffee shop that sold coffees of all blends and flavors and their special flavor of the day "Creme Brulee" hooked me forever.

Now, when he gets home the kitchen is crowded with coffee machines; the individual brewers for Mom and Dad, the ten cup for my flavored coffee and the big fancy grinder included one for Stephen's mud. Still he treats me to a Starbucks and even remembers what I like. And I, in turn get him their coffee beans to take back to Europe. It's an easy Christmas or birthday present and with his level of caffeine addiction is always welcome.

Submission to PhotoFriday topic "addiction". (end of post)

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