I am unashamedly addicted to coffee. I take mine strong, with one sugar, cream, and milk. Each night I look forward to waking, and having that first cup of steaming hot coffee. If I don’t get the coffee exactly right each morning, it can make or break my day. Well that’s an exaggeration, but I really do enjoy that first cup of the day.
Australia has a coffee and cafe culture. We love our coffee here, and I believe we have some of the best coffee in the world. I like a good barista coffee, but I’m also partial to instant. No, not that $4.00 a jar rubbish, but a good quality, dark roast.
I’m not a fan of drip coffee, but as I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the US, and I’m marrying an American later this year, I have had to learn to tolerate it. My fiance, Jim, loves the McDonalds drip coffee and buys big containers of it from Walmart. On my last trip to the US a couple of months ago, I started out small— half a mug each morning, and slowly built up to a full cup a day. I may not have been able to get my hands on the good Aussie stuff, but I needed the caffeine hit so I didn’t hurt someone, or myself. Lucky I built up a taste for it, as once I arrived in North Carolina, every food establishment refilled my coffee cup at least fifteen times in one sitting. Unlike Australia, where you can beg for that second cup, I had to beg them to stop the refilling. Even if I hadn’t taken a sip from the last refill, the waitress still managed to pour in a couple of extra drops every time she passed the table. I was too scared to put my hand over the mug as I was sure she’d just pour straight onto it out of habit. I was struggling enough to sleep with the jet lag and time zone changes, but added to that, I was also wired from all of the coffee.
As much as I may complain about drip coffee and the automatic refills, I do love how much Americans love the stuff. There’s something homely and comforting about the smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen, and the joyful sound of the coffee machine letting you know it’s ready. The constant refilling of your cup in any food establishment is a little reminder of home comforts, and who knows? Maybe I’ll be slamming them down as fast as they can pour them once I’m Americanised.