Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Do YOU Drink in the Morning?

     The clock radio comes on around 6:30 a.m., my eyes crack open and I see the gray light sneaking in through the window shade. I slide my leg over to the other side of the bed to see if B is still there. If she is, it's not time to get up yet. If she's gone, then maybe I'd better wake up. Depends on how badly I have to go to the bathroom. Oh ... I can hold it in a little longer. Lemme get another ten minutes of sleep.

     And then I think of my morning cup of coffee. And that's what gets me out of bed.

     I imagine holding the warm cup in my hands, smelling the coffee flavor steaming up from the cup. I like my coffee with a little sugar and lots of milk -- almost like a nice, warm coffee milkshake. And if I'm going to climb out from under these warm comfy covers, I'd better have something warm and sweet to greet me when I get downstairs.

     I know everyone has their addictions ... or let's be generous and call them our favorite dishes or our usual drinks. B always goes for orange juice in the morning, first thing. I like orange juice. But, jeez, not first thing in the morning. Too jarring!

     B also likes tea. She drinks tea in the morning after her orange juice and cereal; tea in the afternoon at work; and tea at night before we walk the dog. She doesn't tolerate caffeine too well. But she doesn't go for the herbal stuff, just regular decaffeinated tea.

What gets you up in the morning?
     I like tea, too. I usually keep B company with a cup of tea in the evening. But it just doesn't make it for me in the morning. I need something stronger. Something to jump start my day. A reason for getting out of bed.

     However, for all you real die-hard coffee drinkers out there, I have to stop and issue a warning. The following statement may contain information or subject matter that you could find disturbing. Please confirm that, before you read the following paragraph, you are an adult, you do not have any heart issues, and you warrant that you are not easily offended. If you cannot so warrant, please skip the next paragraph.

     I drink instant coffee.

     Okay, there, I said it. I do not grind my own coffee beans. I do not brew coffee in a coffee pot. I do not have a French press. I just dip my spoon into the instant coffee jar, scoop some up, throw it into the cup, pour in the hot water. And, bam, there we go. Coffee!

     Most of my coffee friends are horrified when they find out my dirty little secret. I have one friend, a real coffee addict, who downs 10 or 12 cups a day. Black. He practically has a heart attack every time I remind him I drink instant, with milk and sugar. (I'm too polite to suggest that maybe he almost has a heart attack because he drinks way too much coffee.) But even B, who rarely touches coffee, makes fun of me for drinking the instant kind. I don't care. That's what I like -- it's not too strong, not too bitter, not to insulting too the tongue.

     I do not frequent Starbucks, except on rare occasions when someone wants to meet me there. But I will admit to driving up to our local 7-11 to put together a cup from their coffee bar, which features at least a dozen different ways to adulterate coffee with all kinds of flavors and sweeteners.

     But not often. I usually drink two cups of instant in the morning. Sometimes three. And then I'm done for the day. I've read up on the health effects of coffee. The Mayo Clinic points out that high consumption of coffee can lead to high cholesterol levels, but for "most people the health benefits outweigh the risks."  According to the Harvard Medical publications, "in moderation -- a few cups a day -- coffee is a safe beverage that may even offer some health benefits," possibly lowering your risk of getting diabetes, contracting gallstones, developing colon cancer or liver disease. Coffee may also improve cognitive function. And I can certainly use that!

     If I get cold on a winter afternoon, I'll brew a cup of tea or make a hot chocolate. And, like I said, I usually have a cup of tea at night with B. I drink the caffeinated tea. Doesn't keep me up. Besides, I believe tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee -- although someone recently tried to tell me different.

     However, there is that photo of a cup of coffee. I'm writing this post in the afternoon. I wanted a picture of my coffee. So I had to make an extra cup today. (It wouldn't do to show you an empty cup!). And then, of course, I didn't want to waste it. So I drank it. But really, hardly ever in the afternoon. It's not like I'm addicted or anything.

     So ... what's your favorite drink? Take the poll at the top of the column on the right.


June said...

It's all what you're accustomed to. For years I drank instant and was perfectly happy. When the electricity was out recently and I drank instant, it tasted like hot colored water to me. But it was still COFFEE.
I'm still having a hard time jumping out of bed for coffee-without-a-cigarette. But I'm getting there.

Hah! Word verification is "vermath." God forbid I should ever need a shot of vermath first thing in the morning!

Sydney said...

I'm horrified, simply horrified to discover this about you. Ok, now that we're past that.

Mine is hot chocolate. When I was a baby, I was on formula. When it was time to switch me to milk, I wouldn't drink it. So they added a little Nestle's Quick to my bottle and I sucked it down.

This became an addiction for me. All during my childhood, my dad would make me a cup of hot chocolate each morning when I got up and every night before bed. I sucked it down with a straw.

To this day, I still must have this beverage every morning, although now that I'm grown-up I prefer it made with soy milk and sugar free Nestle's. I do still drink it with a straw in about 30 seconds, just like when I was a kid.

Now you know my dirty little secret.

Gabbygeezer said...

You are the second person I've ever heard about who prefers instant to brewed coffee. Both of you seem fairly stable and coherent, so I'm at a loss to explain it.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I've never been a coffee or hot tea drinker. And I hate to admit it, but my caffeine of choice in the morning is a Diet Coke-- Nasty sounding, I know, but it jump-starts my day.

Nance said...

We have Peet's Coffee, in the Major Dickason's Blend, mailed to us from California every two weeks. We get both leaded and un-leaded; theirs is one of the few brands that make unleaded taste as good as the real thing. We have big, deep "special" his and hers cups. In depressing times, a cup of Peet's can be my whole reason to get up, too. Whoever wakes up first is responsible for making it. We have a Chemex drip pot, a French filter pot, and an electric coffee maker. We save the first two for guests and stick with the electric for daily use.

Black with artificial sweetener. I have to blend the caffeinated and the decaf in the morning and drink only the decaf after dinner due to the beginnings of hypertension. My brain still thinks I'm drinking 100% caffeinated coffee, so don't tell it about our little talk here.

Olga said...

I am an adult with no heart problems and usually not easily offended, but...OMG, your warning was just not strong enough. You need to include skulls and cross bones, Mr. Yuckie, something graphic. Instant coffee-like beverage???

Well, I admire your guts for admitting to this kind of flaw. Admitting to a problem is the first step to recovery. You are admitting this is a major flaw, right?

Mac n' Janet said...

We drink Dunkin Donut coffee made with a French press, even take it with us when we travel. I only drink one cup a day, my husband too. He put Irish Cream in his coffee, I take mine black with nothing in it. For years we drank Taster's Choice instant, but that was back when we worked and didn't have time to actually taste our coffee.

Mac n' Janet said...

Sorry about the wrong "too" in my post, it should have been "two", my brain knows but my fingers think they know better.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I drink a self-made, equal combo of Columbian coffee and decaffeinated. It's our frugal version of the more expensive half-caff available on store shelves.

Hubby wakes up before me, makes an 8 cup pot of our coffee and when I wake up, much later, voila': there it is, ready for me. (probably the only reason why I stay married to this guy. just kidding.)

In the afternoon sometimes, I'll make a 100% decaff cappuccino on my Tassimo maker for the both of us.

Brewed coffee is very important to us. So is a good cup of English (decaff) tea.

schmidleysscribblins, said...

I drink three cups of Latte per day. I have an expresso maker. David drinks Folgers. We used to visit a specialty coffee shop to buy our beans roasted on the spot. We took them home for grinding just before use. I got s mix of Viennese Cinnamon and Mocha beans. They will pry my coffee cup out of my cold dead hand. Dianne

Catch Her in the Wry said...

I get my caffeine and sugar rush from regular Coca-Cola. It's enough breakfast for me to get me to lunch time. I can't stand the taste of coffee. Even coffee flavored desserts and candy bring on my gag reflex.

My grandmother loved strong coffee. She would add a packet of instant Sanka to any cup of regular coffee served to her.

Douglas said...

Green tea with honey and ginseng. I am addicted but maintaining well...

Barb said...

So glad I found your blog...........however, my caffeine choice is the cold one. I single cold coke in the morning, no matte the weather. What can I say, it's a weakness. Later on in the day I drink tea, hot spiced cider or choclate (in the cooler weather)-but i need my cold caffeine in the am.

Linda Myers said...

A cup of half-caf my husband makes in the morning. Or, on the weekend, a triple tall mocha, 2@, half the chocolate.