I’ve heard stories about my Grandmama and coffee. I recently had this confirmed because I wasn’t sure if I was actually remembering this story or if I had somehow made it up and convinced myself that it was real. After talking with my aunt, I now know that it was very real. Grandmama’s kids weren’t allowed to even get out of bed until after she’d had her first cup of coffee. While that’s a pretty strong dedication to coffee, it probably speaks more to the reality of having four boys and a girl in your house.
I don’t remember ever experiencing that rule when Kevin and I would spend the night at their house. I do, however, remember that Grandmama tried to pass along her dedication to the magic bean. There were several times where I’d be sitting at the breakfast table with her and she’d offer me a cup of coffee. I tried it a couple of times. She’d always suggest I put a lot of milk in it.
It never helped.
I couldn’t stand the stuff.
So when Christy and I were in Ethiopia to bring Mihret home with us, I found myself in a nice little dilemma. Ethiopians love their coffee. They’re quite proud of it. I knew we were going to participate in a coffee ceremony or two and I didn’t want to offend our hosts, but I was genuinely concerned about gagging on the coffee or needing some kind of flavored drink to serve as a chaser to wash away the expected coffee nastiness.
I never had to chase the coffee. It turns out, Ethiopians know how to make a pretty amazing cup of coffee. I guess it makes sense. After all, they’ve been doing it for centuries. I’ve never experienced a drink like it. It was pretty fabulous.
Call me a coffee snob if you want. I don’t care. I really don’t like coffee. Unless it’s made by the experts – and even then I only enjoy it on a limited basis. Fortunately, they brew a pretty good cup right here in town.
And I like to think Grandmama would be OK with that.