Category Archives: coffee

The Progression of Coffee

They say that sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation. I have obviously not been sufficiently deprived.
They (and by “they” I haven’t the slightest clue who they are) say that a writer is a peculiar organism who has the rare ability to turn caffeine into books. If this was actually the case, then I should have written an entire library by now. Unfortunately I have done no such thing. In fact, most of my writing is incoherent at best. At its worst it is appreciated by people who have no business liking it. It is well received in the sort of way I find most offensive.
But let’s return to this caffeine consumption. Everyone has an addiction of sorts, and even though the term “addiction” has a negative connotation, it is not always as insidious as it may sound. I mean, some people are addicted to quilting. Can you possibly get more harmless than that?
Caffeine, I would like to place in the same category as quilting, in that it is innocuous at best (unlike other addictions, such as heroine). Moreover, it actually serves a purpose, namely to keep me functioning at proper levels. Arguably quilting also serves a purpose, to create items that will keep people warm at night, which is also very important. I suppose in this sense caffeine and quilting are diametrically opposed. The first serves to keep one out of bed, while the other can only function when one is in bed.
This analogy is rather perplexing. It is either very good, quite terrible, or so horrendous it is actually hilarious. Or I have consumed so much coffee today I am actually delirious. Your choice.
But coffee and I have had a special relationship over the years. First, high levels of coffee consumption run in my family. Mainly on my father’s side. I fondly remember being a little girl, about three or four, and sitting with my father and my aunt during their morning coffee. I liked sleeping in, so when I did saunter out of bed in the morning they were already on their second or third cup. They would sit out on the balcony, smoking and having cappuccinos. Both would let me dip my tiny fingers into their cups and taste the froth.
Years later I remember my first real cup of coffee (which was actually far from actual coffee). I was twelve, and Tanya’s mother took us to Starbucks. I was not yet a fan of plain coffee, so we both got the fancy mixed drinks that had a splash of coffee and far too many ounces of syrup, milk, and various other liquids. That was the onset of my addiction, which took years to fully develop into what it is now.
I spent several months saving my money each week for frappuccinos. They were just as expensive back then, except minimum wage was less than five dollars an hour. That phase lasted until the winter months, when I discovered the caramel macchiato, and that remained my favorite drink for years (until they introduced the pumpkin spiced latte). I was at that age able to consume three or four large lattes within a few hours. How I have not yet developed diabetes remains a medical mystery. I am sure there are quite a few doctors out there who would love to run some experiments on me, and should I ever become curious enough, I might just let them.
My love for actual coffee (and I will elaborate on just what that means in a bit) started in college. It was not sudden, and it was most certainly not a matter of taste. It actually happened as a time constraint. The Northern Lights Cafe at UCLA is right next to the English building. Actually, there are several English buildings. It is closest to one of them, and close enough to the rest. As I have always had a penchant for taking far too many classes, I never had quite enough time. The lines were long, and I was in constant state of coming and going. I quickly realized ordering plain coffee was far quicker than waiting for carmel macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes, or any other caffeinated concoctions. Not to mention the Norther Lights, as wonderful as it was, did not rival Starbucks, and left me slightly disappointed each time I ordered any fancy sounding drinks. So black coffee it was. It was bitter, and frankly made me twitch a bit more than I cared for.
I experimented with the black coffee a bit each time. Added some sugar. Then some milk. Then some more sugar. I even got as adventurous as adding cinnamon once. After much practice (and at the rate of coffee I was drinking, this only took about three days), I perfected the cup of black coffee. One large coffee. Five splendas. A dash of vanilla (should there be any available). And about two inches of half and half. I was at this point drinking six to eight such cups a day. I was consequently getting no sleep, but very high grades. Also, people may have thought I was on crack. For the record, I was not.
Almost a decade has passed (maybe more?), and I have tweaked the perfect cup of coffee. Although most people are still unable to enjoy regular coffee the way I do (read: nobody can actually drink from my cup), I have managed to tone it down a bit. I now only add three splendas.
And I am down to four cups per day.

I Go On, and On….

I was supposed to be doing homework tonight. Except I am about three weeks ahead with my coursework. And I have had just about enough of school this week. So I am on Pinterest instead. Being totally productive. Actually I have been a little too productive lately. So maybe I should take tonight off. Considering what time it is, I should get at least three hours of sleep before starting all over again. Sorry, this is going to be one of those stream of consciousness posts that go on and on in a giant block of text without any real point. I am listening to Portuguese music and “attempting” to do some research on eugenics. I am actually surprised how well this paper is turning out. I wanted to translate German poetry instead, but apparently that is not allowed. I need valid sources. Apparently I am not a valid source. When do you get to the point where you can translate your own research? Maybe never. But that is alright, because what I am working on now if far more exciting. For those of you wondering, Ducky is officially walking. And he made the cutest noise at me tonight. I showed him a fuzzy pink thing. Which he immediately shoved in his mouth and tried swallowing. But after I told him we don’t eat fuzzy pink things, he started playing with it. Then he showed it to me and said”AH!” It was cute in that baby cute way. I have new eye liner. It is actually ridiculously sexy and I didn’t even mean for it to be. I almost feel like I should not be wearing this to work.

Alright, I had to split this paragraph up, it was hurting my eyes just writing it. I want to get a pedicure. Maybe I will have some time tomorrow. Maybe. I have a new winter coat. But the weather changed again. Why is it still hot in the middle of October? Something about that is just not right. I haven’t done yoga in almost three months. I miss my random strange poses. Eurydice is going to be performed at the Santa Monica theater in March. I am excited. Five months in advance. Or was it May? We have already established I can’t read calendars, so maybe I should look into this a little more so we don’t have a Tina Dico incident again. Next thing you know I will be going to an off Broadway production of God knows what in order to compensate. I want to go to a jazz lounge again. And I want to go to the Coffee Machine. I haven’t been there in years. I went to Starbucks the other day. Not quite the same. But the coffee is good.

Anyway, if anyone is still reading this (except for Tanya), then good night. More interesting posts to follow. I promise.

Keep Your Almonds To Yourself

At some point coffee became exotic. I am not sure at which point, because I wasn’t paying attention. But it happened, I missed it, and now baristas are trying to put almonds in my coffee. I like almonds. I do not like almond milk. And I certainly don’t like the milk from my almonds in my coffee. Who came up with this? Who sat there and said to themselves “well, there is a perfectly nice looking solid thing. I should milk it?” And when did the second guy come along and say “hey, there’s some unaccounted for milk substance. I should put this in my coffee?” And at what point did this become normal? I remember when the soy phase started in the late nineties. I was okay with this. I even tried it. For example, chai tea latte with soy can be enjoyable. Once in a while. Like ten years ago.
Maybe I am boring. When I say I am getting coffee, I mean I am getting coffee. There is nothing in my coffee except some sugar and cream. This is not to say I don’t like the occasional caramel macchiato, or mocha something or other. I do. But even I have a limit on how much sugar and caffeine I can tolerate in one sitting. I usually like to have a steady stream of both throughout the day. Otherwise I may pass out. Or at the very least get a headache.
But when I go into a coffee shop and say I would like a large coffee, “would you like almond milk in that?” is not an appropriate response. Ever.
Also, I understand decaf. I even have it once in a while. But decaf espresso? Really??