05 September 2011

Adventures in Caffeine

I never liked coffee. It was my father's drink. My mother drank tea, so I thought coffee was for men, with that logic children are born with. The fact that my grandmother drank coffee was confusing, but like any good theoretician I didn't let the facts get in the way of my conclusions.

Because I never particularly noticed that tea had a taste (tea from teabags rarely does), I drank plain hot water for years. Then I somehow got introduced to real tea--from loose leaves. And learned that tea could be delicious.

Working at home, I had the flexibility to drink a pot of tea in the morning, but on days I went out without drinking the pot, I found I felt awful.: caffeine withdrawal.

So I started getting mochas-to-go, or cappuccinos. A far more efficient caffeine-delivery mechanism (one serving got me what I needed), and perfectly palatable as long as I added a packet of sugar.

For the past several months we have had an espresso machine at home, so the ritual has changed once more: the morning begins with a cup of cappuccino, whether I'm in or out. If I'm in, I follow this with a pot of tea; if not, not. Thus, the caffeine-urge is satisfied, the tastebuds are satisfied, and I go about my day (relatively) alert.

My child-self would be utterly confused at this union of (she believed) opposites. But she was wrong about an awful lot of things.