Coffee and tea have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of coffee involve my grandparents. Whenever we were able to have time together – usually holidays – I think it was the warm aroma of coffee tickling my nose that woke me up in the mornings. There was almost always a pot of coffee ON at Grandma’s.
Growing up at home, we became very fond of iced tea, and sun tea in the summers. My mom had a gallon size brown Tupperware jug that her tea was kept in – and she probably made a gallon every day in the summer – just using Lipton tea bags and sugar. In fact, this jug was kept for decades and passed along to my sister-in-law who preferred tea served from this particular jug!
We didn’t grown up with the Southern style sweet tea – even Kool-aid had more sugar in it than Mom’s Iced Tea… Our coffee was always slightly sweetened, and I came to prefer generous amounts of cream – in both my coffee and tea.
As a young adult, my passion for coffee began at a friend’s house. My family shared a beautiful family meal with friends, and afterwards our hostess offered coffee with dessert. She said it was “Chocolate Raspberry” and I had to try it. When I did, I knew that for me – coffee would never be the same! I began visiting coffee shops and specialty stores. I tried some really great coffee – and some really awful stuff, too along the way. I found that I prefer lattes over cappuccinos, but that I could enjoy a really fantastic cup of espresso, too.
As coffee shops developed, the opportunity to try new things became – well, a Hobby of sorts. Because my memories of coffee were so intertwined with the aroma when I was a child, just a whiff of good coffee put me into a place of an almost instant calm. Coffee is my Zen…
Along with the coffee, also came the tea. New flavors beyond the Lipton bag. Ahhhh. Earl Grey became my favorite. I was probably 14 the first time I even knew there was something outside of Lipton Tea. My mother – the consummate hostess – invited a young couple to our home and when she asked if they had any special likes or dislikes, she discovered that the young lady preferred Earl Grey Tea. So mom decided to serve some, and from that moment on, I began learning not only about tea and flavored tea – but about the lovely traditions surrounding the celebration of Tea.
While I generally prefer a cup of coffee for my mornings, a cup of tea in the afternoon or evening has become one of my favorite things. Either way, there really is nothing like a cup of hot coffee or tea first thing in the morning – on some days, it’s a fair trade for a hot morning shower. And in the afternoon, iced tea or iced/frapped coffee surely hits the spot…
Celebrate with me the tradition & rituals, affinities & affections (and let’s face it – just plain ol’ addictions) to coffee or tea. So grab your favorite CuppaLove and enjoy!