Black Coffee. Two words that can mean different things to different people in the coffee drinking universe.
“How did your coffee taste this morning?”- Ask someone this about their morning drink and chances are, you will get very different responses from different people, even if they happened to have shared the exact same pot.
Someone might say “It’s bitter. It’s disgusting. I just drink this vitriol to jolt myself awake. Given a choice, I’d rather swallow my daily dose in a pill and be done with it.”
Then some others might say “It’s perfect. It’s heaven. Just the way I like it. Coffee rocks my senses!” And stop at that.
Then there are others, the true blue coffee aficionados, who might instigate a whole discussion on the topic by saying something along these lines – “Did you know each tiny coffee bean contains more than five hundred different aromatic and flavor components? Every sip is a burst of a million unique experiences involving your senses. Oh, coffee is not just a black liquid you chug down without solemn contemplation. It is a love affair in a cup, each drop must be savored with utmost care.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the coffee-drinking population would be busy rolling their eyes at this. They would like to tell you that they’d rather have black coffee banned from the earth, forever. “Whoever does not brighten up their drink, literally and figuratively, is a killjoy, a holier-than-thou moron and has no clue as to what they are missing out on.” They might say.
Such folks would then proceed to subdue the bitterness and acidity of black coffee by adding milk and cream and perhaps a dash of sugar. They are also the ones who would be the first to experiment with a thousand other condiments giving birth to the cinnamon dolce lattes, caramel macchiatos, cappuccinos, mochas, frappes and the like. To this group, coffee should be anything but bitter.
Lastly, there is a faction (and my belief is that it is the majority) which does not have rigid boundaries and would rather flit from one type of coffee to another, mixing and matching their state of mind to their choice of coffee.
Still, the fact remains that to most people in the coffee-drinking universe, it is a routine, automatic response against drowsiness of the mornings, the late afternoons and perhaps some nights too.
Coffee is the inadvertent retaliation and consequence of a foggy self, trying to awaken itself.
And if you really think about it, SO IS LIFE. Sometimes bitter, sometimes heaven, sometimes a burst of a million experiences, not quite fitting any definition. But always, an inadvertent consequence of the soul trying to awaken itself, to live.
In light of this equation, let me ask you this again – “How did your coffee taste this morning?“
Was it a routine “going through the motions” mundane affair where you guzzled down the bitterness just because you had to? Or did you numb the acidity with a generous dollop of half-n-half and experimented hard to make it bright and cheery at all costs? Or did you let it remain unadulterated, yet trained your senses to appreciate the subtle hints of the five hundred different flavor profiles with each sip, enjoying the complexity, the love of it all?
“How exactly did your coffee taste this morning?“