Pick Your Potion

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE.

“Wow, Siena, you’re a writer and you love coffee? Your uniqueness is unparalleled.”

Hush, child. I shall relish in the fact that my life is a series of my cliches, as long as I have my coffee. I would tell you all I’m addicted, only I haven’t not drunk coffee for a long enough period of time to be able to tell you whether or not I get headaches from not drinking coffee. Someday I’ll realize how terrible that sentence is (both in terms of meaning and grammar — look at dem negatives. Damn.) 

So how did it achieve its status? Surprisingly, I have not actually been drinking coffee for a long time. Up until high school, my parents didn’t let me taste a drop of it for fear of stunting my growth (my mother is 5′ even so there wasn’t much hope to begin with), and in high school I only drank a cup occasionally to kick-start my day. Then college came. And the summer after that, a.k.a. this summer.

Coffee achieved this level of importance in my life because of my family, despite their trying to keep me away from it. I’ve worked for my dad’s small firm a few times over the years, and only then did I realize how much coffee my father drinks, and mostly because I would be making all of it. But when I thought that was bad, he started telling me stories of how much all of his siblings drink. I’m constantly surprised at how calm all of my aunts and uncles can be after having drunk their tenth cup o’ joe that day. I suppose they just don’t sleep. I am sadly developing that habit, too.

I’m also a bit of a coffee snob. My coffee-drinking life has seen a lot of french roast and Starbucks (though I would very much like to try a White Russian). I’m totally cool with the Keurig maker that will be in my dorm room this year since there’s no way I’m making that french roast in the twenty seconds I have in between waking up and the start of my class, but I cringe every time I pour water into the terrible machine my dad has at his office, knowing that once again, an even more terrible cup of coffee is going to leak into that terrible pot. Also, when I say Starbucks, I DO NOT mean a trenta frappuccino with two shots of espresso, a shot of hazelnut, vanilla, and caramel, soy milk, matcha powder with a drizzle of chocolate and crack. I pretty much follow in my dad’s footsteps and get myself a tall Americano, because damn those things are good, and I have yet to brave pure espresso territory. 

Besides, I like having my coffee around for a while so I don’t go about more of my day with that empty feeling in my stomach that screams “I need coffee!” One does not simply sip an espresso for an hour or two. That was also a slight exaggeration; I promise I’m not that addicted to coffee. If I follow in the footsteps of any of my family members, that shouldn’t come for another ten years or so.

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