Monday, February 23, 2009

My Coffee Journey

For some reason, I can vividly remember the first time I tasted coffee.

I was with my mother, driving from Stratford, a small town in Ontario where we lived at the time, to Toronto. We were on highway 401. Somehow I even remember that we were just passing the McDonald's Rest Stop near Kitchener. My mom was drinking coffee from Tim Horton's (of course).... and I decided to give it a try. "So many people drink it," I thought, "It must be delicious!"I picked up the cup, and took a sip.

A vile, bitter, hateful taste hit my tongue. YUCK! It was disgusting! Like cigarettes in liquid form (I hadn't yet tried that either). I could not understand how anyone could possibly enjoy drinking this stuff!

For years, I never gave it another chance. On the road, I'd get smoothies or soda (ok, POP.) to fill the coffee-mug-shaped-hole I didn't even know I had. It wasn't until I started dating Jess that I gave coffee another shot. She had worked at Starbucks for a while, and knew everything about coffee that I did not. One day she convinced me to try a Caramel Frappuccino. She did say that's what high-school girls usually order, so I had to deal with a bit of teasing when I ordered one.... but it was delicious! It was like a tasty caramelly slurpee!

It's for this reason I consider Caramel Frappuccinos my gateway drug to real coffee.

From there, I tried the iced Caramel Macchiatto. It was delicious as well, although I could definitely taste some espresso, and I had to get used to that. Soon I was ordering Iced Coffee straight-up, and sweetening with syrups or splenda. Somehow having iced or blended coffee drinks made them seem more appealing. It helped, too, that they had a TON of sugar in them.

It wasn't long before I was drinking coffee hot, which seems much more like COFFEE. I started making drip coffee, and developing preferences for certain brands... and I discovered Coffeemate flavored creamers.... oooooh yes. I also discovered that Starbucks drip coffee is actually kind of burnt tasting. I still don't particularly care for their drip coffee. Dunkin Donuts is my jam for drip, although Starbucks is still king of the espresso drinks to me.

At one point, I took a trip back to Canada, and tried Tim Horton's coffee again... I wanted to see if my experience with my mother's coffee had been solely due to my inexperienced coffee senses.... Turns out, that wasn't entirely the case. I've got to say, as much as it hurts my Canadian soul to do so, I don't care for Tim Horton's Coffee. I know, maybe I've been americanized, or maybe I've just become a coffee snob.... but it just isn't good (although I'll do their iced caps, donuts, timbits, muffins, bagels, and hot chocolate all day long!).

This past Christmas, my family bought me an espresso machine... and I somewhat feel like I've ARRIVED at the culmination of my coffee journey. Every morning (when I'm not on the road), I wake up and make a latte for me, and another for Jess. We almost never go to Starbucks anymore. I love having this thing at home!

I will say, though, that having an espresso machine has definitely pushed me even further into the "coffee snob" department. If I go to Starbucks while I'm on the road, I'm always kind of peeking over the counter to see how hot they steam the milk.... how long the espresso sits before being mixed in... how much syrup they use... etc. Haha.

Well, this was an unnecessary post, to be sure.... but as I was pouring my morning cup of coffee, I realized that coffee and I have had a long, complicated history, and that it might be interesting to recount it.



*:.Jesi.:* said...

unnecessary, perhaps.
but entertaining nonetheless.
thanks for enlightening us. ;)

Carrie said...

I still don't like coffee, but I still have three years until I reach legal majority, so I've got time.

Mollie said...

from one coffee lover to another, this was highly entertaining :) i haven't quite graduated to being able to drink it black like my mom does but with a little Coffeemate, it's my drug of choice :) I'll have to try Dunkin Donuts sometime..

Jenny said...

such a long blog about coffee. haha.

haha "ok, POP" i call it soda too.

well, caramel frappuccinos are my favorite. thats what i usually get.
okay bye.

K[R!ot] said...

isn't coffee delicious ??
Great blog.

and yes Soda ;D

Ida said...

Yeah I got fixed on coffee with Fraps from Starbucks too... I still have yet to move on from fraps though, but cappucinos are sometimes ok. haha.

Kathy said...

so the lesson from this...I might end up liking coffee at some point, even though I refuse to get anything besides the Strawberries and creme thing. haha. I like this. kinda entertainig.

Heidi said...

I thought this was going to talk about the first time you every had coffee you loved it and then i read it and was like WHAT! haha. I've tried coffee once and didnt like it... so i guess ill be laughing at myself when every morning i need a cup in the future. Haha. Very interesting post.

Rachel Joy said...

OOOOOMMMMMGGGGGG!!!! This is my FAVORITE blog EVER!!! I'm still stuck on frappaccino level... However, I DID go through caffeine withdrawls (no joke) when my mother impounded my energy drink supply... Goooooood times!!!

Who calls it "Pop?" I never call it "pop!" Here, in Cali, we usually call it "soda," or by an abbreviated name of what it actually is (Pepper, Coke, Pibb, DEWWWW!!!)...

graciegirl said...

thats really funny that you can so specifically remember when you had coffee. i asked my mom and she, like you, loves coffee, but she cant remember her first time drinking coffee. hehe. i cant straight coffee, but if im anything like my parents, i will soon enough. :)

Anonymous said...

mmm coffee♥ i've loved coffee since i was a wee sprout. cuban espresso was my first! sooo good!