I’ve been quite sick for over a week now. One thing that sickness always affects is my coffee consumption—it irritates my throat and tastes funny, so for the first few days of being sick I just don’t bother. This probably makes me feel even worse than I would, since I’ve been a cup-a-day-er since fifteen. Anyway, being sick had me thinking a lot about coffee (because green tea just doesn’t cut it).
I have an interesting mix of snobby and trashy coffee habits. For example, I only drink pour-over and I can’t stomach dark roast, but I’ll also leave my coffee out for hours and still drink it later. I try not to judge people too much for their own coffee habits (I’m looking at you, Pumpkin Spice), because mine have changed drastically over the years.
For a couple years we only bought expensive locally roasted beans, until we finally admitted that we weren’t quite rich enough for that lifestyle yet. From sugar and 1/2 and 1/2 to black (out of the necessities of college life at first, then out of preference); from automatic drip to manual pour-over; from the darkest I could find to medium-light at most; from pre-ground to my worst nightmare being that the power goes out and we can’t use the grinder.
Here are a few of my current feelings and practices.
How many coffee mugs do I need to be happy?
Answer: Four functional ones. Right now I have three functional and one broken, which I haven’t thrown away yet because coffee cups can be sentimental too, you know.
How much coffee should I drink before it’s safe to drive?
A: At least one-third of my cup. Before that, my brain thinks it’s too much effort to look both ways before turning. I have accidentally driven right past a stop sign, which left me wondering how it’s not illegal for a coffee drinker to drive uncaffeinated.
Have I experienced caffeine withdrawal?
A: My first thought many mornings, especially on days I get to sleep in, is that I need to make coffee. Sometimes it’s my first word of the day, croaked out in supplication to my partner. It has also occasionally been my main motivation for getting out of bed, even though I don’t feel like I actually like coffee all that much. I rarely finish a whole cup, and I often don’t enjoy it. It’s simply a fact of life. With any luck this will be the closest I ever edge toward an addiction.
I drink my coffee black, so why should I wash the mug with soap?
A: This practice is acceptable in college, but not after (although my partner would protest). But, if I’m being honest, I still think a good, hot rinse-and-rub is okay about every other time.
What is the perfect temperature for coffee consumption?
A: Right between “my mouth will never taste again!” and “why do people even drink this shit?” This window lasts roughly 45 seconds.
How many times am I going to microwave the remaining half inch of coffee in my mug before I accept that I’m never going to finish it, or decide to turn it into iced coffee instead?
A: About five.
How long is too long to have my coffee sitting out, unfinished, before I can no longer in good conscience turn it into iced coffee?
A: More than a day.