I’ve always been against putting things in my coffee. Mainly because it wastes time that could be used for more coffee. But, Jason makes an interesting case here.
When I first started drinking coffee, the only way I could enjoy it was if it included a little half-and-half and a ridiculously large amount of sugar. You remember that scene in True Romance where Christian Slater’s character said he wasn’t satisfied with the sweetness of his coffee unless the spoon was sticking straight up? Yeah, add a few more spoonfuls and that was me. At the time I thought it insane for someone to want to drink their coffee black, because my palate and mindset wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the drink for its true flavor potential. Instead I opted for a beverage that granted me the necessary energy to start my day early, as opposed to my previous practice of just zombieing around until roughly 10AM. Then one day I was told by my doctor that I needed to make some major lifestyle changes, as I was teetering on becoming prediabetic (I’m sure it only had a little to do with my coffee preparation; it was more like I was getting older, and my stationary habits didn’t jive well with my preferred food and beverage choices.) So once I was successfully scared into compliance –“But Doc, aren’t we ALL prediabetic?” may have been uttered at one point- I started running around my neighborhood every morning, and eliminated oranges, potatoes, and white rice and flour from my diet.
And as for my coffee? Well, it turns out I’m not a big fan of the chemical taste of artificial sweeteners. But since I needed the pick-me-up in order to effectively do ANYTHING before noon, I started drinking it black. This led to two things:
1) I started buying better coffee, as I was now unable to drown away the usual bitterness I got from most of the store-bought brands, and
2) I became quite a snob about what type of coffee I drank.
My worst habit I still tend to catch myself doing is looking at people who drink their coffee with cream and sugar with utter disdain. But dammit, coffee is meant to be drank BLACK! The WHOLE POINT is to taste the rich, smoky, often fruity and earthy flavors at the same time, as if you can actually taste the other things that were planted in the same soil as the coffee in whatever region it was grown. To add anything else is nothing short of bastardization. I mean, I now drink it black, so clearly this is the way it’s meant to be.
However, I’ve since been told by my doctor that I’m in far better health these days, and no longer run even close to the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. So that, topped off with the fact that I still get a bit of a sweet tooth every once in a while, means on a rare occasion I like to add a little something to my coffee. And as a Texan, I’m privy to a great deal of information on Mexican culture. One thing they tend to enjoy is adding a little piloncillo to their morning cup o’ jose, which is a type of brown sugar made by evaporating cane juice and molding into little cone-shaped, well, ‘pylons’ would be a good description, seeing as that’s how the word is translated in Spanish. You’ve probably seen them in the produce section, if you’re anything like me and enjoy going to the local mercados for good prices on skirt steak.
Anyway, grab one the next time you’re there, and shave a little into your coffee the next morn. It’s got a very nice, almost caramel-like flavor, and compliments coffee quite nicely. Plus it’s the same color as coffee, so you can still tell folks you drink it black, y’know, if you feel the need to fool people into thinking you’re manly because of the way you consume items.
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