Recent Posts

Monday, 3 October 2011

How I Learned To Drink Coffee

Remember when I said this?

It's later now. So here's the story of how I learned to drink coffee. It took me a whole bloody summer.

In my family, lots of things happen the year you turn fifteen. You enter the ranks of the grown-ups. Which means no more Christmas presents from your aunts and uncles. You get your very own national costume, silver bling and all. At the annual sheep-head party, you're allowed to taste alcohol.
(Unless you end up in the kitchen with my cousin (who shall remain nameless for his protecion), in which case you'll not only taste alcohol, you'll swim in it)

 Sheep heads. Look, they're kissing. How sweet.
Photo from here

And you're expected to start drinking coffee.

Seriously. If you don't, prepare for a life where, every time you socialize with any of them, the following conversation will take place:

Relative: Do you like sugar or milk in your coffee?
You: Um, actually, I'm not really a ... coffee ... drinker ...
Relative: *double take* Oh! What? Really?
You: Yeah, I'm more of a tea person. [You shrug disarmingly and put on a sheepish grin to admit you're a lesser person]
Relative: Well, I say! It's about time you learned to drink it though, isn't it? [Laughs in a way that makes you understand that being older than twenty and not drinking coffee is like being fifteen and still playing with your barbie dolls]
You: Ha ha, yeah, I guess.
Relative: Well, what kind of tea would you like then? I've got Yellow Lipton and I think maybe some mother's milk tea somewhere ...

 Mother's milk tea: it tastes like poo
Photo from here

That went on until I was 21 years old. Enough was enough. I decided I needed to start liking this black, bitter, hellish substance that everyone else seemingly loved. Problem was, I couldn't understand how I was supposed to manage that. Every time I took a sip, it felt like my tounge tried to turn itself inside out to escape that foul taste. There was only one thing to do.

I went and bought an insane amount of dark chocolate, and mixed this with the coffee in a 1:1 ratio. Then I poured liberal amounts of milk into this and put on some really loud music (in the hopes that this would drown out the taste). This sufficiently masked the taste of the coffe for me to finish a whole cup, and as there were lumps of half-melted delicious dark chocolate in the bottom for me to scrape out with a spoon afterwards, I started enjoying the whole process. Slowly, the chocolate-coffee ratio changed in favor of the coffee, and it took only a week or so before I could drop the milk.

Then one day it happened.

I remember it so well.

I had brewed a whole can of coffee, and my brother came to visit. I offered him a cup, and we sat down to drink it. Then he said "I didn't think you drank coffee, Jorunn!" I stared at him. I stared at my cup. I swallowed the sip I had just taken. And I savoured the taste of it.

I had done it.

Balloons should have flown towards the sky. Confetti should have fallen from the heavens. Pompous music should have risen from unseen speakers. There should have been a brass band. Planes with banners after them. The mayor should have shaken my hand and the newspaper should have taken my picture.

 This would have been totally appropriate.
Photo from here

From that day forth, I could hold my head up high at the sheep-head parties and drink coffee like a BOSS. No more "maybe you want some Cola, Jorunn, since you don't drink coffee?" and feeling like a ten-year-old. When going to coffee shops with my friends, I no longer had to order a cup of cocoa (with whipped cream, obviously) when everyone else talked about lattes and cappucinos and espressos. I was an adult at last!


Then I met my husband and no way in any hell available would he drink a cup of coffee ever, but that's okay as we all know he's supernaturally knowledgable plus he's about seventy-two times more adult than me anyway.