Monday, February 8, 2010

Addictions - Part 2: coffee

I have already mentioned, in one of my first blogs, that I started to drink coffee with my grandmother.  I was in pre-kindergarten: "At the tender age of 3, I started enjoying cafe latte! I remember that the color was vaguely beige-ish. There was more milk and sugar than coffee. But i would have my coffee with her in the morning."

I slowed down my drinking in elementary school.  My mom didn't serve me any coffee on the week-ends and since I was in school during daytime when my grandma would usually have hers, I didn't enjoy the bean for a few years.

I started drinking it again in high school.  I don't exactly remember why and when, but I do know I always enjoyed this hot nectar.  I was still drinking it with sugar and milk.  My friends' parents were shocked if I slept over on the week-end and asked for a cup of coffee when I could see them enjoying theirs.  Again, my addiction could have been worse then drinking coffee.

I traveled to Brazil at the age of 14.  A wonderful opportunity, an experience that shaped my life on many levels.  Shortly after I arrived, I discovered that in Brazil, coffee is not just a beverage, it is a way of life!  In the home where I was living, the maid always kept a full thermos of coffee.  I was familiar with low-calorie sweetners such as Splenda or Equal, but always preferred traditional white or brown sugar to sweeten my coffee.  In Brazil, when people offered me coffee, they asked: "Açucar ou adoçante? (Sugar or sweetener?)  Brazilians are addicted to artificial sweeteners!  Less calories, of course.  When you have the freedom to expose your buns on the beach 12 months out of the year, I guess you worry a bit more about your calorie intake.  While everyone was offering me adoçante, no one cared to inquire if I would take milk in my coffee.  Another culture shock for me.  Brazilians enjoy cafezinhos: very frequent but small doses of coffee, very sweet, no milk.  And so, from that moment on, that's how I would drink my coffee : black and sweet.  A blessing for someone who eventually became lactose intolerant.
For the past few years at home, I only brew café do Brasil.  I made sure to bring back many packs on my last trip to the home country of The Girl From Ipanema.   I am blessed to have Cariocas as friends (As crianças!) who make sure to provide me with what I need for my fixes. I have to have my coffee when I walk into the office.  It calls me.  I don't feel completely enabled to work until I have had a sip or two. And I'm a spoiled brat because my office neighbor is our chairman's secretary and she usually arrives before I do so by the time I get to work, the coffee is ready and begging for me to indulge in one of my vices.  On the week-ends, I fantasize about it when I am still in bed.  It's one of the first things I do after greeting my cats.  The aroma is a delight. The flavour is enchanting.  Its warmth wraps me from within. My name is MissIPP and I am addicted to coffee!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, you're making me want a cup of coffee! And it's interesting to hear how Brazilians drink their coffee. When I was 20, I put my name into a contest at a local coffee chain and won. The prize was a $150 gift certificate to use on anything in the store, but the stipulation was that I had to use it within a month and a half. I was drinking so much coffee that I was starting to get headaches if I'd go longer than a few hours without one. Now that I'm the only one who drinks coffee, I'm too lazy to brew an entire pot...but I do miss it. I think I'll saunter over to the local coffee house now.