Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Source of Sanity

Good Morning, Beautiful.

Coffee has really been there for me. It has taken on many different roles over the years in my life. In highschool, I didn't really have a taste for coffee. Coffee shops had just begun to spring up around the Ohio area, and I didn't know a thing about what they sold, and why they started to be so popular. Then when I was about 15, I applied to work at a Gloria Jeans Coffee shop in the mall. This is when it all started. When you learn about all the coffee drinks, and then have all-out unrestricted access to them, including your own Gloria Jeans coffee mug in which to make them, you become accidentally, hopelessly, crazy addicted.

I would come home from my shift and my mom would ask how much I had drank, or how many chocolate covered espresso beans I had eaten. On my days off I would have to check myself into rehab to make it through without my 2 or 3 white mochas complete with 2 shots of espresso each. Or pop plenty of advil.

And so the lifelong caffeine addiction began.

The smell of coffee beans. Of coffee being ground. Walking past a Starbucks. Waking up in the morning. Getting up early. Guests over for dinner, and dessert. Meeting a friend to chat. Date night. A walk pushing the stroller. All these things scream COFFEE for me.
I then moved to Chicago for school and my senior year worked at another Gloria Jeans coffee shop. More addiction. More free coffee. More addiction. New favorites. Old favorites. More addiction.

Coffee has walked me through life. Life in highschool with one job and homework. Then onto 3-4 jobs in between highschool and college. Coffee was HUGE in college through those endless sleepless nights. The French Press stood proudly in my dorm room, getting used constantly. I think it broke. Then on through my first pregnancy while working and going to school (sorry Maddy, your addiction has been explained!!). And now as a mother with 2 small kids, especially a newborn, with back to back sleepless nights and feedings, all while entertaining a toddler with more energy than I have in a week, I continue to run to coffee, my oldest, dearest friend.

There is just so much I could say. I love French Press coffee (pictured above.) If you love coffee and you haven't experienced this kind of coffee, I suggest you buy a French Press and discover what you are missing. The coffee is ground more course, measured into the bottom of the French Press, gets boiling water poured over it, and then the strainer sits on top for a few minutes. You then push down the strainer and should get a creamy gold colored film on the top, proof that you have made the perfect kind of French Press coffee. This coffee is so much better (if done right) to regular coffee.

This label, this brand, this name has brought me so much grief. And debt. I can't walk by without breathing in deeply the smell of my favorite drink, an iced caramel latte, or as I've been corrected lately, an iced caramel macchiato since I like the caramel drizzled on top as well. After all those years at Gloria Jeans, I have become a Starbucks brat. Sorry Gloria.

So after studying coffee, telling others about coffee, sampling coffee, being a college student, and a tired mom, that gives me the right to have some working knowledge of good coffee. So I will compile a small list of some of my favorites for you. Enjoy!! And for petes sake, go get yourself a cup of coffee!!!!

Starbucks: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Gloria Jeans: White Mocha (iced or hot)

Dunkin Donuts: Plain 'ole coffee (with any addition of flavoring)

McDonalds: New Caramel Frappe

Caribou Coffee: Caramel High Rise, Mint Condition

Coffee to buy for home use: Trader Joe's (any brand, theirs is awesome!!), Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks (love the packaged stuff, but brewed in store - YUCK!!), Gloria Jeans (anything is good, really!! especially White Russian, Pumpkin Spice (in the Fall), and French Vanilla).

There is so much more I could say, but I'm exhausted and have a dirty kitchen and house that needs tending to. If you have any other good suggestions for coffee, please comment!! I'm always open to trying better and new stuff!!!

1 comment:

  1. I would never label myself and addict, but if you ask my sister about my love affair with coffee, she would tell you I'm completely smitten.

    You should really go visit Ipsento. Their coffee is roasted in house, and is just fabulous - very earthy flavors. Brewed strong. Good with plain old half & half and sugar. If you go there, and if you like coconut, I recommend their signature drink - The Ipsento. A wonderfully delicious balanced blend of milk, coconut milk, espresso and honey - if you feel especially daring, make it "sassy" with a dash of cayenne pepper. Sounds strange, but it's beautiful. The Nutella mochas are pretty darn amazing too. Their iced herbal tea is great with some agave nectar stirred in. Oooooh that's the taste of Summer.