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Simple Mornings

I remember the moment when coffee became an important part of my life. My parents were both coffee drinkers. There was always a large red can near the coffee pot or in the pantry and empty cans scattered around the garage and workshop filled with miscellaneous hardware, screws, nuts, and bolts. Coffee was something mom and dad drank. I never gave it much thought.

Early one morning, when I was about 8 years old, dad and I got up early to go fishing. It was still dark when we loaded our fishing tackle and other gear into the truck and headed off for the river. The sun was just illuminating the tops of the surrounding mountains when we pulled off the road near a wide bend in the river. It was late May, but the morning air was cold, I could see my breath and shivered a bit as I watched my father set up our poles and get ready to head to the water. He took out a well-worn thermos, unscrewed the cup, removed the stopper, and poured out a steaming hot stream of black liquid. He set the cup down on the tailgate and returned to getting our fishing gear ready.

I could see the steam rising off the cup and the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee filled the air. I was mesmerized by the smell and inviting warmth of that cup. Dad noticed my reaction and said, “Smells good, doesn’t it?” To which I nodded and softly said, “Yeah.”

“Go ahead and try it” he said.

“Really?” I replied. Dad nodded approval.

I carefully picked up the cup and brought it to my lips. I gently blew on it for a moment because I knew what happens when one tries to sip coco or tea that is too hot. The aroma was amazing. My first cautious sip surprised me. The strong black brew was hot and bitter, I wasn’t expecting that given how warm and inviting it smelled. I tried it again, much better but not at all what I had thought it would taste like. I guess my surprise showed on my face because dad let out a laugh. “Not what you expected, huh?” chuckling some more.

That was nearly 60 years ago, and it would be another ten years or so before coffee fully became part of my daily routine, but the seed had been planted. It was during college and my need for a late-night pick me up while studying that I started drinking coffee regularly. My palate had matured so the rich tastes and subtle bitterness were part of the attraction. I was now a certified, confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool coffee drinker soon to become an enthusiast.

I share these memories because I believe, as fellow coffee enthusiasts, that we all have that one moment in time when we had an encounter with coffee that left its indelible mark on us. The fact that you are reading my words is evidence that you are at least a coffee lover, if not a part of the multi-billion-dollar world-wide coffee industry. When and how did your relationship with coffee begin? How has your passion for coffee influenced your life? How do you share that passion with others?

I would love to hear your stories and how you developed your relationship with coffee. The purpose of this blog is to examine all things coffee and tea, a very broad universe indeed. I also hope that this blog can become a venue for sharing our knowledge, experience, and passion for that unique and highly personal beverage collectively known as coffee.

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