Oh, how I love coffee! To insure I have fresh coffee as soon as possible in the morning, I prepare it the night before. Sometimes I buy beans and grind them just right. Always I draw clear, cool water into a large Pyrex measuring cup; twelve ounces of water per serving, 2 tablespoons of coffee for every twelve ounces of water. Yes, I actually read the directions on the package.
How This Affection Began
My first memory drinking coffee was next door at my grandmother’s dining table. I was probably five years old or so. My Swedish grandparents had coffee and a sweet every afternoon. If I happened to stop playing outdoors and knock on their door from the garage, my grandma would bow down and give me a kiss and hug, inviting me in. Then she’d pour evaporated milk into one of her teacups about halfway, add sugar and then enough hot coffee to stain the mixture a light beige.
I felt so grown up having coffee with them, listening to their conversations in Swedlish.. a combination of Swedish and English that I never learned. Perhaps they preferred the privacy of speaking a language my sister and I didn’t understand. The only words they taught us were “tack så mycket” and “varsågod”. These mean “thank you so much” and “you’re welcome”. My sister and I also learned to count to ten, but I’ve long forgotten that.
My grandmother was born in America, but lived her early life on the farm as if they were still in Sweden. They spoke Swedish, attended church in Swedish, and continued the tradition of fika, the coffee break. The men would eat a hearty breakfast, return to the farmhouse for lunch and then return once again for the afternoon coffee break with a sweet roll. As the oldest child, my grandmother must have learned how to make a Swedish coffee roll at an early age. When I was a little girl, she often made cookies, froze them and pulled one out for me during her afternoon coffee break with my grandfather. It seems they always had a slice of her homemade cinnamon coffee ring.
Coffee Brands We Love
When I realized Swedes drank more coffee than any other ethnic group, except for Finland and the Netherlands, I understood why it was so important in my family.
At one time, I subscribed to the Swedish Gevalia coffee club, drank coffee from around the world, earned an airtight ceramic storage canister and loved every minute of the strong coffee, lightened with half and half and sweetened with sugar.
Soon, the chain, Dunkin’ Donuts arrived near me. After my first cup, I was converted from Gevalia to the Dunkin’ house blend. There were times I’d feel the pull of Starbucks when I was living in Denver, but since I had to pay extra to drink a palatable cup, I opted for McDonald’s coffee when I was away from home. You see, I bought Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in bulk before the chain arrived in Denver. I could always brew my favorite cup at home.
Why Somethings Still Matter
Oh, how I love coffee. It’s clear to me why coffee brings me peace, is a type of love in a mug, and will never be replaced by tea. There are too many beautiful memories, aromas, and love mixed up with it.
Do you have a similar experience with coffee, tea, or one particular food? Do you find comfort in it?
I’d love to hear about it in a comment, email or we can continue discussions when you sign-up for my newsletter.
Tack Så Mycket,
4 thoughts on “Oh How I Love Coffee in the Morning”
Beautiful memories – thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Leslie.
A memory applicable to us both was my introduction to evaporated milk by our great grandmother. Visiting them back sometime in the fifties she would give me a bowl of fresh picked berries submerged in evaporated milk. To me it is like a candy that I crave to this day. I also do remember our grandmother sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee….. I wonder if it was simply the taste that attracted them to evaporated milk or some necessity of growing up in difficult times. As I write this to you I know that I have a dozen cans in my pantry.
Tack Så Mycket my cousin!
I love this Mike! You spent more time with our great grandmother than I. My only memory of her was on her deathbed. Thank you for supplanting it with my favorite berry, the raspberry (my own choice). I think the evaporated milk was more available than the cream they would have used on the farm. And the thickness was a nice association. Varsågod!
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