I am addicted to coffee.

A photo I took showcasing my addiction. This one is framed on my dining room wall. Not only do I drink coffee, but I like to look at it, too.
A photo I took showcasing my addiction. This one is framed on my dining room wall. Not only do I drink coffee, but I like to look at it, too.

It started my sophomore year of high school. My parents are coffee drinkers, and they always had a fresh pot around. I never paid much attention to it, as coffee was for “grown ups.”

Then one morning, after a late-night phone conversation with Kyle, I was bemoaning to him between classes that I was tired and it was all his fault for keeping me up late. He opened up his locker, reached in and grabbed what would change my taste buds forever: A huge pink travel mug. With hot coffee. “Here ya go,” he said with a smile and a wink as he walked off to class. (Kyle, want to explain why it was pink? Never did figure that one out!)

I kept that travel mug for years after that. It was better suited for me anyway, being pink and all.

I don’t recall loving my first cup of coffee. In fact, I probably thought it was pretty bad. If I recall correctly, Kyle drank his black, so I was testing the water with both feet. But I wanted to know more …

So I tried it with cream and sugar, as I thought all rookies must. After a few rounds of that (it was waaay too sweet), I decided to try it with just cream, as my mom takes it (milk, actually.) Then I went back to black, drinking it the same way my dad does, wanting to be hard-core like he is with the drink …

I didn’t drink an exorbitant amount in college, just a normal, occasional cup. Then after college Lindsey stayed with me for just a few short weeks, but she made a pot every morning. It was there I went from occasional drinker to everyday addict.

I needed more, and I needed better.

Jeff moved to Charlotte and brought with him his coffee knowledge. Folgers and Maxwell House didn’t cut it anymore. Had to be Millstone or Green Mountain.

Traded my Mr. Coffee for a vacuum-sealed Capresso with an extra carafe. Brought the old Mr. Coffee to work so I could have good coffee instead of the motor oil served in the canteen. Coworkers and I experimented with different flavors, different brands, and Susan even brought some $40/pound Blue Mountain in one day. Heaven on Earth …

Tried whole bean (like it, but I’ll admit I’m lazy most days). Traded blade grinder for burr. Tried flavored (love flavored, unless it’s sweet. My favorite is Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice, which I am drinking as I’m writing this …)

My one saving grace where addiction is concerned is I like it weak. I know I make it too weak, but I keep it this way because I drink so darn much of it that I figure at least I’m getting a higher water::coffee ratio. House guests laugh at me, so I try to remember to add another scoop or two when others are around …

I have met my match with Chris, who used to be a barista and can tell me that just because I don’t like strong coffee doesn’t mean I won’t like a medium or bold roast. He can taste the difference between Sumatra and Kenyan and can tell me how many cherries Kona and Peaberry coffees have. I’m not even quite sure I know what a cherry is …

If Ronnie hadn’t moved to California he’d probably have me hooked on espresso. The ultimate for caffeine addicts … Never quite bought into that one, though. For me, it’s about the experience. About holding a warm cup in my hands and feeling cozy and creative …

I am upping the ante, getting my fix, and loving every minute of it …

Anyone want to meet up for a cup of coffee? Anyone?