Soon I rebelled and asked for more coffee and less milk. Arguments ensued and a middle ground was found with both milk and black coffee in equal proportions.
I cheated as soon as I started fixing coffee for myself, so much so that I ended up falling in love with black coffee. Oh! The aroma fills your senses long before the taste settles in and it's nothing short of nirvana!
Somewhere down the line, on the advice of many people, a pinch of fenugreek powder found its way to my coffee and has stayed since then, for the flavour as well as the medicinal value.
With the onset of middle age and the probability of diabetes looming large, sugar was banned from the coffee. The coffee seems so perfect now that it may stay that way until the very end.
Coffee has served me well throuh the ups and downs of life. It has given me good company in the wee hours of the morning and the unearthly hours of the night while preparing for exams and getting assignments done.
Being from a family of coffee lovers, many a discussion has happened over coffee and joint decisions made amicably.
While sitting up with one of the children burning with fever when they were young, my better-half has affectionately surprised me with the hot cuppa and a break.
When I myself have been down with illness, it was coffee that helped me feel better.
It's magical to look at the rain washing down over the trees while sipping coffee.
Imagine being under the blanket in winter with a hot, steaming cup of coffee! Pure bliss! Throw in a book and life can't get any better!
Summers are not the ideal season for coffee for many, but not for me. For me it's my elixir for all seasons and reasons!
Reading the newspaper without the coffee in one hand is unthinkable. Ditto watching a match on TV with friends over cups and cups of coffee.
What's watching a movie without coffee and pop-corn?
I do understand that the world is divided into coffee lovers and tea lovers, and my apologies to the latter. For me it's been coffee all the way, though detractors claim tea is a better lifestyle option.
Coffee comes in different avatars - latte, mocha, cappuccino.. There are added flavours and combinations with vanilla, chocolate and so on. Having tried all that I have reverted back to my uluva kappi, rather fenugreek coffee!
'It's an addiction' reminds family and friends, many with coffee cups in their hands. I have to admit it is but I don't overdo it, either.
For me, black coffee is associated with the love and affection of mom, a coffee drinker for over 70 years. When we meet after a long gap, there is coffee to be shared, no matter what time of the day or night it is.
In the long conversations I have with her, I become a child again, forgetting my age and my grey hair, eager to be pampered and smothered with care and attention just like in the old times.
Coffee isn't just a concoction to rev up my spirits but a symbol of bonding, warmth and sharing. It brings to life the memories of old happy times, helps me connect with the present and prepares me for what is in store.
Annie Mathew is an educator and writer based in Dubai
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