When I was younger, I was an avid coffee drinker. Brewed or instant, it does not matter. The word ‘tea’, then, was no more than just a word in my not so extensive vocabulary at my command then.
Today, of course, I am as much as into drinking tea as I am into drinking coffee. That as well as into other types of beverages.
But coffee is still my beverage of choice whenever I am dining out, especially when I just had my dream dessert of ice cream with brownies.
On the subject of coffee, I remember once coming across this headline which read “Today is International Coffee Day”. It was eye-catching enough to make me stop and read more of the article.
Apparently, International Coffee Day was on October 1st (well, fancy that!) and it had come and passed without much of a whimper.
But having read that article, it did make me stop and look back at my coffee drinking ‘career’ and try to make sense of it all.
‘Sense of it all?’, you might ask.
Well, coffee was once upon a time looked upon as a pretty bad drink. The (negative) effects of coffee eg caffeine etc were deemed to be not at all conducive to good health.
To make matters worse, the poor beverage was even once touted as (possible) cause of cancer, much to the despair of us coffee drinkers, and was one of the reasons frequently highlighted as to why we should stop drinking coffee.
The fact that most of us coffee drinkers were also tobacco loving junkies, of the smoke kind that is, and not of the chewing kind, made the sense of despair even more acute, as smoking too was highlighted as a culprit to bad health and a more potent cause of cancer compared to coffee.
As for me, I put my hands up and admit that I am a coffee drinker. Designer or otherwise, sophisticated or just plain uncomplicated, instant or brewing required. Arabica, robusta, and whatever ‘ca’ or ‘ta’ there might exist in the world of coffee, it does not matter to me.
I find that, as I grow older, the coffee that I drink, most often than not, complements not only with the mood I am in, either down-to-earth or just plain ‘hip’ (LOL. Where’s an emoji when you need one!), but also with the surroundings I find myself in at that moment in time.
But as I grew older, I also noticed that my intake of tea has also increased, with me now being able to name a type of tea as my favourite kind, and not a brand.
As it is , my favourite tea at the moment is jasmine tea. Something of a balancing act in the latter stages of my life, I reckon.
Anyway, back to the article on the International Coffee Day. Apparently, efforts to promote and celebrate International Coffee Day were first initiated by the All Japan Coffee Association in 1983. Due to a lack of publicity, I guess the efforts are still ongoing.
Upon reading the article, an interesting piece of trivia that emerged was that the first coffee beans were thought to have been discovered in Ethiopia, where it was cultivated.
Another piece of trivia is that during the 15th century, the Arabs in Yemen took a liking to the brew and from there, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee gained in popularity, first in Asia and later in Europe via Italy and onward to the Americas.
Personally, I can’t remember when I had my first taste of the brew. Over the years, I guess I have developed a liking for a cuppa of hot and strong coffee, earthy and not too sweet, of course. The kind of coffee that brings me back in time when my family would sit around the dining table, and just talk. That and the laughter.
Back then, the choice of coffee for us simple folks was mainly limited to the coffee beans sourced locally and roasted with margarine, the kind of coffee beans that you could find at the local market’s coffee traders.
It’s always easy to find your way to their stalls. Just follow your nose as the sweet smell of coffee beans being roasted wafts through the air.
Instant coffee were already available back then. But they were not cheap, comparatively, and thus assumed a sort of status symbol as only families with the extra budget can afford instant coffee.
Today, with the many types of coffee available, each packed in attractive and bright packaging, headlined with exclusive sounding brand names, makes buying coffee for the household a very tricky chore. Gone are the days when you can just go and buy coffee off the shelves, your coffee shopping all done within a few seconds.
Nowadays, it would not be surprising seeing people spending a little bit more time at the coffee section, going through the many types of coffee available, and despite having gone through several packets, have yet to select one.
Some though make a fast and safe decision and bought not only one packet but instead, several packets, all of different brands.
Now, that would be a method to resolve your coffee shopping for the next few months.
Next time when you have your morning mug of coffee, take a look at your coffee before taking a sip and just imagine that the coffee you’re drinking, from humble beginnings, it’s now part of a global multi million dollar industry.
How time flies.