Today's post comes from the Fiance. (She has been recently upgraded from the Girlfriend to the former.) Over the past week I encouraged her to do a guest post for Metro Espresso. Not only did she do that, but produced a wonderful essay on coffee and family. To compliment her prose, pictured left is a painting called "Morning Coffee" by Francois Boucher (1739).
My Coffee Memoir
My dad has always been a workaholic. He would come home, only to leave the next day on a week long business trip. When he actually was home, he was usually in the study on some kind of conference call, with the door closed. Needless to say, as a bona fide daddy’s girl, every second that I had with my dad was precious.
When I was a little girl, I looked forward to the weekend mornings where I smelled espresso brewing in the kitchen. That smell meant that Daddy was home! I would wake up, not caring what time it was, and run downstairs to where my dad would be sipping his espresso in his white Mikasa cup. We would sit at the breakfast table and chat about anything and everything; what projects were going on in school, what room in the house my parents wanted to redo next, or why the sky was blue. These moments became my favorite childhood memories, and they continued all throughout elementary, middle, and high school.
Eventually, I grew up and went off to college. As a student with a dual major and who was involved in other college committees, I had a rigorous course load, lots of commitments, and many late nights. Caffeine was the only way to survive. I became addicted…or at least I think I did. I couldn’t tell if I was more addicted to the caffeine, or the smell that my coffeemaker produced, reminding me of my dad. I looked forward to breaks when I could go home, not just because it was time off from my busy schedule, but because I could go home and continue the tradition of waking up to the smell of Dad’s espresso and spending time with him.
Then I met the wonderful author of “Metro Espresso”… Not really a coffee drinker when I met him, I would occasionally make him a cup of joe when he had to pull all-nighters reading some ridiculously long text about some guy that died hundreds of years ago in order stay awake. Gradually, he became addicted too. Trips to our favorite coffee shop were frequent dates.
Fast forward four years later and we have graduated college, moved in together, and started our lives as real adults, me as a special education teacher, he as a grad school student. I wake up earlier than him, and am usually out the door before he even gets out of bed. He often has night classes and gets home after I have gone to bed. Depending on our schedules, days can go by before we ever really see each other. However, every weekend, I wake up to the smell of espresso brewing in the kitchen. Only now, it’s not my dad that I see sipping out of his white Mikasa cup, but the love of my life sipping out of one of his many espresso cups. We sit down at the breakfast table, talking about anything and everything, like what projects we have going on in our life, our future, and why the sky is blue. These are becoming some of my favorite adulthood memories… sound familiar?
To me, coffee is more than just a drink that keeps me awake in the morning while I have 20 students asking me how to spell words that they should already know or telling me that they are going to puke (and then do so in front of me…ew). It is a feeling. Sometimes, I brew coffee without the intent of drinking it, but because I am homesick for my dad or my metro espresso writer. The smell is all I need. Once I smell the aroma of coffee, I am instantly brought to my happy place and two of the people that I love the most in this world.