We learned balance very young in our family. I think it stemmed from traveling in the car– we all knew that the privilege of riding shotgun came with the responsibility of holdings moms coffee mug steady. I almost wonder if mom would get in trouble these days for doing something like that; some sort of negligent parenting. It didn’t strike us as odd, just one more way coffee affected our lives. Coffee did, and still does, affect our lives.
I had friends who’s parents had a cup of coffee in the morning and then stopped drinking it for the day. My parents continue, as they ever have, to drink it throughout the entire day. In fact growing up it was a daily game to find moms mug in the house. More times than not it was in the microwave, forgotten, after it’s one-minute reheat. One after another we broke her mugs and had to find new ones, large, and thick that kept as much coffee as warm as possible as long as possible.
My paternal grandmother once told me that her mother started putting coffee in her bottle when she was still drinking from a bottle. “They were Swedish,” she told me, as if that alone explained giving a hot, caffeinated beverage to an infant. After visiting Sweden and seeing distant cousins in their natural caffeinated environment, I understand somewhat. Heaven forbid missing this all important beverage of the day or skipping the desserts that naturally came with it.
It’s warmth and bitterness lends itself perfectly to counterbalance a sweet dessert. This, in my opinion, is when coffee brings us together most beautifully; after a meal enjoying community, pushing back and asking if anyone wants a cup of decaf with dessert. Sweet cakes melted in your mouth by dark coffee-is there a more agreeable thing in life?
I’m not obsessed with the beverage like my family is (I don’t actually like it at all– but admitting that might be considered sacrilege in my family so I make sure to add a lot of creamer and a bit of sugar and drink it on occasion anyway). But I won’t deny that having it with dessert seems like the right thing. And nobody and nothing can beat the smell of those beans!