All About Coffee

This morning, as I usually do, I ordered an extra-large black coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Usually, mornings afford me no time to enjoy a cup or two at home, so I look forward to my morning Dunks with great eagerness.

Today, there was a new girl at the Dunks I usually go to–our town has three, and two are on my way to the highway. I got my coffee, paid, and drove to I-90. I usually waited until I was on the highway to start drinking my coffee.

I should’ve checked the coffee right after I bought it. But I didn’t. Why should I? I ordered a black coffee. Orders don’t get any easier than that.

My first sip greeted my tastebuds with a blast of sugar. They’d given me a coffee with cream and sugar, a “regular” in coffee parlance. I looked at the sticker on the cup and, sure enough, it said “cream & sugar regular” right on it.

Gross! I really do not like anything in my coffee. Cream and sugar isn’t really disgusting, so I should temper my rhetoric a bit. But in the morning, when I have a hankering for black coffee, I want black coffee.

I want coffee so black, it can’t buy anything on credit.

I want coffee so black, white girls never go back after drinking it.

I want coffee so black, it doesn’t know it’s father.

I want coffee so black, it acts like Wakanda is a real country.

And so on–hey, don’t blame me for these jokes. Ed Latimore started it.

Anyway, I had a dilemma. There was no question I’d be buying a black coffee at the next test stop Dunks–it’s New England, so there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts approximately every fourteen feet. It was: what will I do with this coffee?

I did the only rational thing: I drank it. Not because of any sunk cost fallacy or whatever. But because it’s coffee. And it’s a sin to waste coffee.

Later, I got another coffee–a real coffee, i.e., black, and drank that too.

I feel no shame. Besides, I needed that black coffee to wash away the taste of the cream and sugar.

I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 19, but ever since then, I’ve basically been on a liquid diet of black coffee and the occasional water.

Basically, I’m a highly functional caffeine addict.

I exaggerate, but slightly. I have coffee in the morning and least three or four more cups sometime in the afternoon. I make a rule not to drink any after 5:00 unless it’s a special occasion like a family dinner or whatever, but coffee doesn’t really keep me awake anyway.

In fact, it curbs my appetite and helps me focus.

More than anything, more than the caffeine, I like the coffee ritual. You open the can and inhale the wonderful aroma of the grounds or beans, depending on your method of choice. You add water, coffee, and wait.

And literally nothing tastes as wonderful as that first drop as the sun peeks over the horizon.

Other beverages are tasty. I’ve grown fond of tea before bed. I enjoy Diet Coke and the occasional root beer. I even drink milk from time to time. And of course I enjoy the occasional adult beverage: some beer, red wine, a whisky or a gin and tonic.

But if I could only drink one of these things exclusively for the rest of my life, the one I would choose is coffee.

Water is all right too, I guess.

A lot of coffee went into the making of my novel A Traitor to Dreams. If you like coffee, you’ll like the book.


  1. Oh, boy, I don’t know if I could drink it. Cream is not preferable, but okay if the coffee is strong enough. Sugar is an abomination. My family has pointed out before that my food tastes indicate pyschopathy. Snort.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Never waste the coffee, despite any unwarranted intrusions. All sacrilege must be consumed to hide the affront. Shame the heretic if the behavior cannot be corrected.

    Two 18-oz insulated mugs + 2-5 8-oz cups most weekdays. Gentle, relaxing peppermint tea — after 18-oz of black brew — on the weekends. Gotta keep the withdrawals away, ya know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I could have consumed the cup of coffee with sugar in it.

    Cream, I don’t prefer, but it doesn’t ruin the taste for me. Sugar in coffee almost makes me gag. I actually don’t understand the impulse to sweeten coffee. It’s like a battle on my taste buds instead of a dance. The sweet and bitter conflict instead of complementing each other. (I CAN do coffee with chocolate, so that somehow moderates the conflict.)

    Then again, I drink a mere one cup of coffee each day. Excess inclines me toward migraine headaches, and I have enough pain without bringing it upon myself. My single cup of coffee gets an obsessive level of care and attention because it is precious and one of my favorite parts of the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. —I had to drink some black coffee while reading this one. Over ten years ago I gave up pouring inhuman amounts of sugar into my coffee and I’m glad I did. Black and I’ve never looked back.

    —Giving up sugar is amazing. Processed sugar. While I slip up from time to time the benefits of giving it up are incredible. Can’t recommend it enough.

    —Speaking of giving up, I once gave up coffee for just over a year just to see if I could. Missed it. Anytime I saw someone on tv or in a film drink some I’d want a mug. Anyway, it tasted terrible the first time i had some but here I am, drinking it again.

    —-Cream in coffee makes me gag, I would’ve pitched the coffee for sure.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I gave up coffee once just to see if I could. And I could. But two months later, I started drinking again. It was an interesting experiment.

      And I’m with you on sugar. Since Lent this year, I’ve had desert, what, three times in the past three months? And the longer I go without sugar, the less I miss it.

      But one of these days, I AM going to have some ice cream again.


  5. —I savor a really good dark coffee, nice and hot with some bitterness from some fancy-shmancy coffee shop or expensive ground bean. But I’m also fine drinking instant coffee as well, though I’ve my limits. Taster’s Choice is better than Maxwell House which is better than Folger’s and if there’s worse levels I don’t wanna know.

    —Spicy food is good but I prefer mine for flavor, heat where my tongue goes numb is too much.

    —Never had the ghost pepper though I’ve read about it.


    Liked by 1 person

    • The coffee world runs the gamut. I can do Maxwell House/Folgers/Chock Full O’ Nuts, Dunks, or fancy coffee house. In fact, I LOVE a good fancy coffee house. But at this point, where there are around me and I’m drinking coffee on the go, I’m all about what’s feasible.


  6. —I hear ye. Waiting room coffee, car shop coffee, bank coffee, I won’t complain ’cause it’s free. May not go for a second cup though…

    Liked by 1 person

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