Ah! How sweet coffee tastes, more delicious than a thousand kisses, milder than muscatel wine. Coffee, I have to have some coffee… — Excerpt of lyrics from “The Coffee Cantata” by Johann Sebastian Bach
In an effort to keep up with our kids, work and household and community duties, the hubby and I have been ingesting more coffee lately. (Don’t judge; Dr. Oz says it’s good for us, especially with a slab of unsalted butter stirred in.)
We tend to prefer our coffee hot, dark and rich, with perhaps a touch of added cream.
One of the simple joys in my life is waking to the aroma of a fresh-brewed pot, a daily and much-appreciated gift from my earlier-rising husband.
In the new months of our marriage, our coffee ritual was often somewhat leisurely–especially on weekends. Then, we could get up when we pleased and enjoy several cups of the steaming brown liquid while we read the paper and ate a satisfying breakfast.
That was so 1989.
With the arrival of Child #1, coffee began taking on new meaning; that is, it was a necessity rather than a luxury. When Child #2 entered the scene, followed just over two years later by Child #3, coffee became a lifeline, a beverage to be quickly gulped in order to maintain a critical level of alertness and caffeine in the bloodstream.
A mom can always dream, though. In the labor-intensive days of diapers, sticky fingers and car seat-toting, my mind sometimes strayed to a hazy, happy memory of extended coffee breaks with my spouse.
Over the years, we’ve grabbed our cups of java whenever and wherever we could. Coffee found other ways of inserting itself as a life theme, nudging its way into our kitchen decor (including wall art that plaintively pleas, “Coffee,” and two plaques bearing the words “New York Coffee” and “Coffee Company: Dark Roast,” respectively). Most apropos.
Now, with one child away at college and the remaining two in high school, we’ve occasionally found a few free moments to catch our breath and ponder really important questions, like: “Whatever happened to that cappuccino maker we got as a wedding present?”
“I think it’s tucked away in the back of the pantry,” I replied to my spouse as I struggled to remember the last time that machine had seen the light of day.
An initial pantry search proved fruitless, but I soon recalled having stuck it in the back of a topmost cupboard when we’d relocated across town two years ago.
Sure enough, there it was: a sturdy little white Krups unit, in need of some TLC. But after years of disuse, could it still press the espresso, froth the milk and leave the room smelling like a European patisserie?
On Saturday afternoon, my motivated husband aimed to find out. He applied himself to cleaning it up, unearthing the necessary utensils and popping open a can of espresso that was optimistically purchased some time ago.
While I was running an errand, an excited text message reached my cell phone: “Your cappuccino is ready!!!”
I promptly jumped into my “mom van” and headed for home. A pleasing scent filled my nostrils when I opened the door. On the counter sat a cup of homemade cappuccino, perfectly frothy and artistically sprinkled with nutmeg. Next to the cup–another nearly forgotten wedding present that happened to perfectly suit the drink in question–was a short, sweet note from my favorite barista.
Thanks, dear, for reminding me just how much I love coffee.