Savoring a good cup of coffee

Last Christmas I received a gift I use pretty much every day: one of those trendy, one-cup coffee makers that must have been just about the hottest Christmas present a year ago.

Making sure it is all set and ready to go the night before, the first thing I do each morning is ooze down the hallway to the kitchen, push the button, set the mug in place (sometimes I even do that the night before), and head back down the hall to get ready for the day. When it’s done in about a minute, my first cup of coffee is all ready to savor.

Consider how far this process of brewing coffee has come. No longer do we have to percolate or drip or even hardly wait for the perfect cup of coffee at home. And now it’s possible to easily brew just one cup at a time, if that’s what you want.

Of course, these days there are many options for the coffee drinker. If you like a little fru-fru with your coffee, there’s cappuccino, latte, frapuccino, and espresso. With the right equipment, it’s possible to make those drinks at home. It’s always fun to hang out in a (local) coffee shop, too, as I’ve been known to do when I can.

Do you like your coffee bold or medium or maybe light? And do you remember when those terms used to be “weak” or “strong?” I prefer to call mine mellow because I really don’t care for coffee that bites back. I found that was the norm among New Englanders when I lived there, and later I discovered that pretty much everyone used cream and sugar in their coffee. Lots of it. So of course it had to be strong.

In a way, though, what I like the most about coffee is that it’s sociable. “Come over for coffee” has such a nice ring to it, and I think it’s better than “come over for a drink,” which may be a more common practice in other places. Nothing is much nicer than lingering over a cup of coffee with a friend, as we taking the time to catch up with each other as we all too often don’t manage to do because we think we’re too busy. And how nice to stop for a cup or two on an afternoon visit with my mother, which I have been doing for years.

I wonder how many cups of coffee have been served at the old oak harvest table that sits in my kitchen now. Those cups have been part of celebrations, disappointments, planning sessions, craft nights, baking days, sales calls, even meetings and receptions.

Of course, coffee is great for bracing up to another morning and/or commuting, but such moments are even better.