101 (or so) ways of drinking coffee

Every time when my parents visit us (or when we visit my parents) I am surprised about how much coffee, and yet how different the ways are how we like our coffee best. I do come from a family of coffee drinkers (although we always appreciate a good cup of tea, freshly and loosely brewed), and there is no better way to start the day than drinking a cup of coffee in bed (something I always get when staying at my mom’s place….unless, of course, I am up early due to the little ones). My husband adopted this habit from my mother in order to make my weekends special (yet another proof of how great he is :-)). And the little one already started the tradition to wake up my mom with a cup of coffee in order to then crawl into her bed, drink a bottle of warm milk and read one or two (or three or four…) books with her. But according to the member of the family we are staying at, the type of coffee varies significantly.

See, whenever my mother comes to visit, we need to buy more coffee. I think it is safe to say that she is a coffee-holic. If she doesn’t get her coffee in the morning, she isn’t responsive for several hours. And it is not just one cup – no, god beware, she needs at least half a liter of strong coffee in the morning. She says it is because of her low blood pressure, which is probably true, but I suspect that raising four children probably add to a regular, strong coffee consumption as well. By now, she even brings us a bag of coffee beans when she comes to visit because she tends to feel guilty regarding her need for coffee (it isn’t restricted to the morning. She needs coffee in the afternoon as well).

My father is somewhat similar, yet completely different. How does that work, you wonder? He needs his coffee as well. Yes, at least half a liter in the morning. And in the afternoon. Even in the evening before he goes to bed. My stomach already revolts if I even think about it. However, he doesn’t like strong coffee. He wants his coffee as weak as possible. Which is only logical – the weaker he gets it, the more he can drink. So while we switch on our coffee machine for my mother in the morning, we simultaneously prepare a better dishwater for my father. My mother gets freshly ground coffee beans. My father gets already ground coffee in the classic push-down coffee pot – with a maximum of two tablespoons of coffee for the whole pot. This is, by all means, how I imagine him being content. Though one can’t be exactly sure about it, can one? My grandfather, for instance, was known to love really old cheese as he would always go for the oldest and hardest pieces of cheese in our fridge. My parents saved the cheese on purpose whenever my grandfather came to visit. Until one day (after years and years of eating dry, old cheese) he confessed that he only ate it because he thought it needed to be eaten and he didn’t want it to be thrown away.

My brother drinks coffee as well, but he prefers to brew his coffee by hand with a classic pot and filter. He then adds milk and a little bit of sugar. My eldest sister uses a regular coffee machine, I think. And my other sister loves GOOD coffee. Meaning that she got the fanciest coffee machine of the whole family. She also bought a milk frother and a coffee bean grinder for my parents place so that truly good coffee is always on hand if you need it. When you stay at her place, you will get a perfect cappuccino in the morning. And a second one, if necessary.

I belong, I guess, to the great majority of coffee latte drinkers. I like to have a coffee in the morning, but only if I add enough (hot) milk. After having a push-down-pot and then an espresso maker for the stove, we now have a coffee machine for whole beans which I very much appreciate, but everything more fancy would be unnecessary for me. Since the hobbit’s birth I also often prefer hot chocolate over coffee (which I didn’t expect as I really do like to drink coffee, but apparently preferences change during pregnancies…also, I try not to drink too much coffee when I am breastfeeding and hot chocolate has become kind of an equivalent).

Karsten is someone who doesn’t like the taste of coffee at all (unless it is wrapped in chocolate) but who sometimes sees the necessity to stay awake. He therefore only used to drink coffee at work, rating his tiredness in the number of coffees he needed during one work day. On the weekend, he would never drink coffee. Also, if he needs to drink coffee, he adds a lot of cold milk so that he can first of all not taste the coffee anymore and secondly doesn’t have to drink it hot. Still, he would always drink it with an expression of slight disgust on his face. The funniest coffee moment I remember was in Edinburgh when he ordered a espresso macchiato and the waiter brought a tiny little cup filled with an espresso and  a little bit of milk foam. Karsten’s expression when he drank it resembled defiance of death…Nevertheless, he changed during the last weeks when I made him a “chococcino” one day. Coffee, lots of milk, even more cocoa powder and a hint of cinnamon and cloves. According to the last breakfasts, it has become quite an agreeable drink for him.

And the little one? Ever since she had her first “babyccino” in Scotland, she insists on drinking “children coffee”, as she calls it. Which simply consists of foamed milk with a whiff of cocoa powder on top. And I am pretty sure that, once she doesn’t spill the milk anymore, she will be absolutely thrilled when I wake her up with a babyccino in the morning 🙂

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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