I don’t know which trade association declared it as such, but today is National Coffee Day. And so I join with millions of others in offering a toast to the marvelous brew.
I am a relative latecomer to the party. I didn’t start drinking coffee until my mid-30s. Once I started, however, I was on my way. Fortunately, this also marked a sharp decline in my consumption of soft drinks. Since then, in addition to reaping the potential health benefits of coffee (e.g. here, here, and here), I’ve spared my system, oh, about ten gazillion tablespoons of sugar and high fructose corn syrup!
Like many, I start my day with a big cup of coffee. I’ll often follow with a cup later in the day, especially when my natural late-afternoon energy lull kicks in. On occasion, if I’ve got work to do during the evening, I’ll put on a pot of coffee for burning the midnight oil. (Its effects on my eventual sleep usually manifest at the other end; it doesn’t stop me from getting to sleep, but I’ll wake up earlier with a slight buzz.)
In other words, I’m a moderate but resolute coffee drinker. I don’t down gallons of the stuff, but it’s part of my every day routine. And without question, I typically associate coffee with work. Both its stimulant qualities and the idea of drinking coffee tell me it’s time to be productive.
I usually make my own coffee. At home I use a standard drip coffee maker. I’m partial to Equal Exchange’s fair trade blends, which I buy at the small food/convenience store across the street. At times I’ll buy coffee online to swap in some variety. At work we have a Keurig coffee maker in my office suite. My selection of K-cups varies, from Dunkin’ Donuts dark roast to trying out brands on sale at nearby stores.
When I started drinking coffee, I added creamer and sugar. A couple of years ago, I dropped the sugar. Now I drink it either black or with enough creamer (usually a coconut or soy product, or, in a pinch, Coffeemate).
At a cafe, I’ll usually opt for a basic cappuccino, maybe with a teaspoon of sugar. But I’m not into fancy coffee drinks. I simply don’t have the patience to fashion the order.
Decaf? No. It’s just wrong.
As you can tell by these ramblings, I’m a middlebrow coffee connoisseur. I don’t grind my own beans or use a French press, but I prefer my coffee a good step or two beyond sludge brews. There are a few brands I avoid because, frankly, they don’t even smell like coffee when you open the package. But otherwise I can pretty much make do with whatever finds its way into my mug or cup.