Hubbard’s Habblog (That’s Habit Blog): The Need for Coffee

I don’t have an addictive personality, so I never got into things like alcohol or smoking or drugs–or coffee. And you really aren’t seen as an adult if you don’t drink coffee. It’s one of those things that people expect you to grow into. My grandma wouldn’t just offer me coffee when she offered it to my parents–she would say, “H., would you like some–oh, do you drink coffee yet?”

I didn’t like it! I didn’t like the taste, and I didn’t like that I couldn’t just gulp it down. Every time I drank hot beverages (like hot chocolate, or a mocha) my mouth would be extra sensitive due to my burnt tongue. No thanks. I got my caffeine from soda, which I know isn’t the best alternative, but at least my mouth wasn’t on fire when I sipped it.

You’d think, growing up in chilly Alberta, that I would embrace hot drinks, but in reality my drinks would only get colder with the weather (slurpees in winter are the bomb). Yet there’s a certain adultness to coffee (or tea–another yucky hot bev) that you can’t find in cold drinks. I would feel like an immature ape drinking anything but coffee on a first date, for example.

I’m not sure when exactly I started “drinking” coffee. That is, having more than one cup a month. I think it was after a) my rommates got a Keurig and coffee became too easy not to make, and b) watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and salivating over all the coffee-pouring cutaways. I still don’t drink it habitually–I often go several days in a row without a cup, if not longer–but I’m not revolted by it. I don’t find I’m drawn to coffee, either. Drinking it is a habit to go with daytime writing, or reading the paper with breakfast in the morning, or having brunch with a friend. And when I do drink it it’s usually a small cup, and never more than one a day. (I still get “oh that’s a cute cup” when bringing a small double-double to the social lounge at my university. Guess I’m not a total grown-up yet.)

Whether or not I’m now a coffee drinker, I still don’t know coffee. I don’t know what blends are better or worse, and I don’t know what I like in my coffee, exactly. So far I’ve found I like milk more than cream, and Splenda more than sugar (oddly). Actually, I’ve begun taking it black. Put some hair on my chest, if there’s any more room.

It’s an experiment, and I like experiments. There’s such a culture around coffee, and while I don’t want to be a connoisseur necessarily, I don’t want to have to keep ordering Cokes on first dates either.

– H.

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