To those who don’t understand, a cup of coffee is nothing more than a vile brown bean juice - halitosis in a cup, with cream or without. Regular partakers, like so many addicts, sport trophies of stained teeth and caffeine shakes and brown drips on white shirts. Without it, they simply cannot function.
To a true connoisseur, a perfectly brewed cup is on par with the finest decanted red wine -- first noticing notes of vanilla through the olfactory membranes of a finely-tuned nose, then tasting for sweetness and body, bitterness and finish, like each sip is an experience and not just a drink.
And to the rest of us?
Coffee is a ritual. A reminder that, no matter where in the world we last dropped our luggage, we can instantly transport ourselves to a place of comfort: an iron table on the streets of Malaga with a plate of churros and a cafe con leche; a shared Nicaraguan hostel kitchen with its Mad Hatter assortment of tea cups and mugs and natural brown sugar; drizzling Seattle alleyways with orange glowing lights from corner coffee shops and barista-filled take-out cups keeping our hands warm.
To us, coffee is more than bad breath and burnt tongues. It’s a reminder of home. It’s a memory of travel. It’s a constant that, in its various forms, can be found throughout much of this great wide world. It’s a part of culture. And, as the most experienced travelers know, it will help keep you regular.
Hey. Nostalgia and a laxative in a single cup? What’s not to like?