Beep, beep, beep........It happens every weekday morning, the same way........I mutter under my breath thinking "what! I am sure I just fell asleep - It can't be time to get up yet?" I Roll over, and shut the alarm off and sit up in bed. The blackberry phone doesn't lie. Its signal, a friendly reminder to get me to hurry up and get on to the next step - Brewing Coffee!
I never feel completely awake until I smell the freshly brewing "elixir of life". I love coffee. I love the smell of the grounds like when you first lift the lid of a fresh can of Nabob. The "pop, and whoosh" when the outside air rushes in when the can opener first pierces the metal of the vacuum packed coffee container. Slowly, I turn the knob on the opener and the Arabica perfume is released for my enjoyment. With every crank, there's the smell of the fresh ground beans....Mmmmmm....stronger and stronger as I continue to circle the top of the can with my opener friend. Its like peering into a candy Jar.... Standing there...... you lift the jar top...... and look in to your favorite sugary sweet.
My love of coffee never really started till a few years after I was married. We actually got this cute little brew maker as a wedding gift, but at first it only came out when a visitor would call and politely ask "Hey, got the coffee on??" As a newlywed I would always worry when my guest took their first sip. In my mind I would think, did I make it right? too strong? too weak? bitter? I usually figured it all out depending on the reaction of the first sip to their mouths. It did not take me very long to perfect my own brew. Later, as I became a mother, coffee would be what kept me going during the day. Late nights, early mornings, rushing to a soccer game, getting groceries, or heading off to work. Car keys in one hand, travel mug in the other. It is a perfect balancing act.
Over the years I have experimented with all kinds of coffee beans and mixes. Lattes, Mocha's, Flavored coffee beans, instant (blech!), grind your own beans, pre-ground beans, even order on- line beans from around the world from an Internet site. I've had Cafe con leche (coffee with warmed whole milk) at a sea-side resort in Mexico, a micro cup of six dollar Cappuccino at a roadside stop in Italy, a blueberry coffee in Germany, and good ol' black coffee while standing under the arch of the Eiffel Tower. I've ordered giant mugs of truck stop coffee to get me to the next destination, while sometimes just an extra small will do the trick. I've had coffee with Baileys, coffee laced Italian dessert, coffee cheesecake, and even coffee mousse.
I'm not alone in my love of this little bean first discovered in Eastern Africa in an area we know today as Ethiopia. A popular legend refers to a goat herder by the name of Kaldi, who observed his goats acting unusually frisky after eating berries from a bush. Curious about this, Kaldi tried eating the berries himself. He found that these berries gave him a renewed energy. The news of this energy fruit quickly spread throughout the region Monks dried the berries so that they could be transported to distant monasteries. They reconstituted these berries in water, ate the fruit, and drank the liquid to provide stimulation for a more awakened time for prayer. Bet you will never look at a goat the same again. I think the little farm critter has just moved up a notch in the human world. Look what that hungry little goat did to mankind today.
Because of that goat we are united around the coffee shop table while we chat and sip our cups of love. We use the heat of that brew to warm our hands at a Saturday morning Christmas parade, or drink it over ice on a hot summer day. Some of us do not think twice spending our hard earned cash daily for a morning brew from Starbucks, or actually thinking the drive-through line-up at Timmies, despite being eighteen cars long, is really not that bad as we pull behind and wait to place our order.
Just about every Canadian knows who Mr. Tim Horton is. It would be funny to say his plan was to secretly take over the world "cup by cup". He is to Canada, what Sam Walton is to the United States. Bit by bit, town by town, City by City, he is creating a legion of fans, of followers, or as I like to say...coffee junkies. According to the latest press release, Tim Hortons just posted last quarter earnings of 639.9 million dollars to a tune of 94.1 million dollars in profit. This no chump change. Numbers do not lie and neither do die-hard coffee fans. Last time I checked on Facebook, that little cup of java, that so famously holds the title to the Canadian Oxford addition of the term "double-double" had 1,092,595 fans and counting. Check the fan list, and don't be surprised when you see someone there you know. I know I am there.