If I were a real adult, I would drink coffee.

Confession: I hate coffee.

I can tolerate if it is cleverly disguised in a frothy costume of cream and/or chocolate and if it has any sort of –cino tacked on to the end of its name.  But other than that, I find it bitter and unsatisfying.

While I was living in France, I tried – and I mean really tried – to like coffee. It is served de facto during every break in the school day and for the first couple months I choked it down when it was offered, furiously dumping sugar cubes in it when no one was looking.  Eventually we arrived at the lessons on food and preferences and as I repeated “I HATE coffee, but I LOVE chocolate” in every class, the other teachers learned of my deception and henceforth served me tea.   Drinking coffee was also the civilized way to end a meal in France, and every time the waiter offered coffee and I declined, I felt the judgment tumbling down.

And I genuinely feel bad about my lack of coffee love because I find the whole thing so aesthetically pleasing on every level. I love the smell of the freshly ground beans and the color of dark coffee through the glass pot. I love the pretty accessories – the French press or the endless varieties of cups, mugs, and thermoses. And I love the ritual of it all, the grinding of the beans, then the slow gurgling drip in the pot, and then finally, the slow consumption that marks (for coffee drinkers) that yes indeed, the day has begun.

James does not hate coffee. Quite the contrary: if he could find a way to have it injected directly into his system, I’m pretty sure he would.  Our kitchen is very coffee equipped, with the regular pot, the espresso maker, the French press, the perfect mugs, the fancy-pants grinder, etc.  And I wish I was a coffee drinker.

Because coffee drinkers get to be in that special club where it is cool to indulge your addiction. The carry those mugs around all day like a badge that says “I am part of that world that understands and appreciates ritual, refined taste, and habit.”  They are automatically more adult and professional just by having a mug making rings on the edge of their desk, especially if said mug advertises some obscure band/book/place/elitist inside joke. And I want to be there, in their world, drinking their coffee.

Confession: All of this is why, when James leaves for work in the morning, I carry his mostly empty mug around until I have to leave. Pretending is the first step.

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17 Responses to If I were a real adult, I would drink coffee.

  1. Alisa Beatty says:

    Another reason why I love you, Hannah! During my corporate days, I would pour my cola (my caffeine distribution source of choice) into a coffee cup to avoid the judgment of my peers. My Dad swore I had rejected my family heritage (2 pots before 8 am, thank you very much) by not drinking it. I have discovered I actually like caramel coffee occasionally and at Christmastime join the “adults” by ordering Caramel Cream Brulee Lattes at Starbucks on a weekly basis.

  2. Becky says:

    If it helps you any, Hannah, Robbie and I don’t drink coffee either! You’re not the only one out there. :) We tell coffee-imbibing family and friends who visit us that they should bring their own coffee with them if they really can’t do without it for a little bit. Unhospitable, I know, but I don’t have room in our 1 bedroom apartment to keep paraphenelia we’re never going to use. :-P

    • Hannah says:

      My first thought:
      1. I am in such good company!

      My second thought:
      2. Of course there is no room for coffee paraphenelia— you have to have baby paraphenelia!!!: )

  3. Shannon says:

    Hmmm. . . maybe if you came and visited me, my coffee would convince you ;-)

  4. Wendy says:

    Hannah! Probably every coffee drinker you know, after reading this, will have a solution to make you like coffee. But mine is better. And here’s why: a vacuum press coffee maker will make coffee with the consistency of tea. If what turns you off about coffee is the bitter flavor and the sludgy consistency, then try vacuum press coffee. It uses science (no, really, we use an open flame for ours) to make a very clean cup. It’s strong coffee, but like I said, it tastes clean like tea. Ours is fancy and expensive (a wedding gift), but Bodum makes a cheaper version that you use on a gas stove. http://www.bodum.com/us/en-us/shop/detail/1208-01/?navid=262

    • Wendy says:

      also: it’s not like you’re going to rush out and buy this if you don’t like coffee. so come visit us and you can try ours first.

      • Hannah says:

        This is indeed enticing…. I should probably come to Cali to check it out. ; ) James has taken to filling my cup with whipped cream and dumping a little coffee in, so maybe we will move me slowly towards it.

  5. Grace says:

    Dear Hannah: I identify completely with every single sentence in this post. I was *delighted* to come across it; you have written it perfectly and I no longer feel like I need to explain. =) It’s driven me to stop creeping and comment…and so a hearty (though late) congratulations to both you and James.

  6. Philip feels your pain. I drink even really bad, sludgy coffee if nothing else is available, but I’m not sure whether I inherited that or have only myself to blame.

    Don’t feel guilty, though. I don’t care for sushi very much, and I feel like such a hick when I’m hanging out with Californians!

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