Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Fling Coffee Swap Topic #3!

Ooh, it's a good one this week, right in line with my blog title...

Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?

My dad loves himself some Manhattan Special - espresso coffee soda, essentially, to the uninitiated. I remember him giving me a sip when I was a kid, and thinking it was WAY too strong. But something had to intrigue me, because I'd say when I was about 14 or so, I had a sip of iced coffee - and if you have never had a sip of iced coffee on a hot, summer's day, my friend, you are missing out. By the time I was 16, I was nursing an iced coffee habit that may have rivaled my book habit (the yarn habit developed much later).

I remember the office where I worked that summer. There was a delicious little pastry place up the block that I'd pass on the way in every morning. I'd run in, get a croissant and a large iced coffee, and settle in, relishing every buttery bite of the croissant and the delicious rush of the coffee while getting ready to face the onslaught of the day.

By the time I was in college, I was a coffee junkie, graduating to hot as well as iced coffee. Now, I still love my iced coffee, but I do need a hot cup to get a jump start to my morning. I remember cramming for midterms and swallowing handfuls of instant coffee and washing it down with Kool-Aid to stay awake - and by the way, folks, I REALLY don't recommend that to anyone.

My dad and mom had split when I was in college, but I remember going to visit him in the Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn he was living in; I'd get off of the subway, head right into the deli at the foot of the subway station, and pick up two bottles of Manhattan Special. I remember the two of us, laughing and cracking the bottles open as we sat across each other at his dining room table. I remember sitting with Dad at Au Bon Pain during our weekend outings, him shaking his head and saying, "Roe... I'm gonna kill you for doing this to me!" as we finished our second rounds of their Iced Mocha Blasts. I remember him coming to visit me after Alex was born; the two of us, this time across from each other at my dining room table, me cradling my new baby, him having just played with Will, and settling down to share a nice, hot cup of coffee together.

I'll be heading off to Florida in a few months to visit him again, and I think I need to pack some Manhattan Special into my carry-on (or, since it comes in glass bottles, maybe I have to pack it. I'll figure it out.).

So I guess I never really thought about it before, but aside from the need for general adrenaline, my love of the bean is driven by the good memories it always seems to deliver of time spent with my Dad.


(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

I really like that story. Coffee is to Roe and her Dad as Garden is to CKG and her Dad. Good stuff.

P said...

awwwww...that was really sweet!