Ten years ago, I was an alien to the world of coffee. Although I knew people who regularly consumed it, my understanding of its value revolved around its use as a stimulant, particularly for people who wanted to stay awake for some reason. This was its primary use for many of my friends and classmates who took coffee as students: staying up all night to study. Since I neither fancied nor enjoyed studying at night, coffee had no appeal whatsoever to me. By the way, I did read at night sparingly, but it was usually after I had gotten a few hours of sleep and felt refreshed enough to put in a few hours before catching some more sleep.
So when I got my first job post-NYSC*, coffee wasn’t one of the drinks I was eager to get from the vending machine at the office kitchenette. I initially started out with chocolate, and then went on to try different kinds of tea. One day, a colleague mentioned that the cappuccino plus chocolate combo was very nice. So, I tried it out. Of course, it was very nice! I’d never had cappuccino (had to read up on what it was and how it was made), neither was I a fan of coffee-based drinks. Then I went on to try cappuccino by itself on another day, and I loved it too! And so began my sojourn into the world of coffee.
I have since gone on to try coffee in all forms and shapes. And although, I would not call myself a devotee, I am definitely sold on the culture of morning coffee. Prior to WFH at the onset of COVID, I even used to grab a cup of coffee after lunch on some days to help with alertness (hahaha!). One thing that stood out and still stands out about coffee is the scent. You could enjoy the taste and the scent separately with different sensory organs. That smell gets even better when you take coffee made directly from roasted coffee beans – a friend gifted me a pack last year and I enjoyed it.
Ironically, I have never been able to get myself used to the idea of black coffee. As nice as it smells, I find the taste too bland and it’s impact too strong. The few times I’ve tried coffee without sugar or cream, I’ve found that it does a number on my mental alertness. I distinctly remember the splitting headache I got after trying black coffee one day, after feeling like I did not get enough sleep and hoping black coffee would help with getting my morning going. Maybe I’ve never quite got the “dosage” right…but I’m not holding out much hope of enjoying it anytime in the future.
So, a cup of coffee works for me on most mornings, with some milk or creamer and a little sugar. Instant coffee (especially those sachet types with creamer and sweetener already included) usually does it for me on most days. I wouldn’t pride on being a coffee connoisseur, but I love and do enjoy taking coffee almost every morning. It does the magic on many days! This is where I take a pause for today, and I’ll continue this writing challenge tomorrow. Till then, keep calm and drink coffee! 🙂
*NYSC – National Youth Service Corps – a mandatory one year program to be completed after undergraduate studies in Nigeria. It is a requirement for employment in most organizations