By Nikki Jamieson
I am a coffee addict.
Yes, I know that there are way worse things to be addicted to, but never the less, I, the newest reporter on staff here at the Taber Times/Vauxhall Advance, am addicted to the nectar of life, that turns baggy-eye monsters into functioning humans, that is coffee.
I have been drinking coffee on a daily basis since my teens. What has started off as an, ‘Oh, may I have a cup with you?’ with my parents on a weekend afternoon, has evolved to ‘If I don’t get my cup in the next ten minutes, I will cease to function and will not be held criminally responsible for what happens next’ in the morning on a daily basis.
Do not get me wrong; I love the taste of coffee. I may take mine with sugar and milk, but it is a well-cherished ritual to have in the morning before I begin a busy workday. Coffee has helped me in some tough times, such as when I was studying for my first exams in high school, to when I was struggling to finalize my thoughts on a essay for a Canadian history course in university, to when I was writing a financial management exam worth 50 per cent of my final grade, to looking for a job last summer.
Of course, there are times when you pay for your dependence on coffee. Case in point, one rainy Sunday in Halifax when I ran out of coffee. The convenience store at the bottom of my apartment complex was closed, and, not wanting to be drowned in the high wind rainstorm raging outside (for those who have never been to Halifax, the rain tends to go up instead of falling straight down), I decided to go without for the day.
Worst. Mistake. Ever.
Que the migraine of migraines, which had lasted throughout the entire day, practically immobilizing me and rendering myself useless for the entire day. I got no sleep that night because of it, and the next morning a mere shell of myself had staggered out to the closest coffee shop, ordered the largest size they had and cried sweet tears of relief when I chugged the thing, piping hot, in the next five minutes. I then proceeded to buy out the shelf of my chosen brand, and have never again allowed myself to run low.
Being a lover of coffee, or at least dependent on it, is something I had in common with most of my peers in university. If I wasn’t hanging out with friend at someone’s place, we were at a coffee shop, where everyone orders their usual and sits there for two hours drinking the same drink. Group project? Let’s all meet at a coffee house. Want to study on campus? There’s always a chair available by the coffee stand in the library.
And then we move to the realm beyond mere coffee, to cappuccinos and chocolate-covered coffee beans and flat whites. More ways to ingest coffee, but look cooler while doing it. Get flavour shots or sprinkle cinnamon on the foam. Or, better yet, get whipped cream on your drink and watch those around you look in envy as you sip that piece of heaven.
Just be sure not to make your usual order something ridiculous, like quarter-strength dry soy latte, double-shot, two streaks of chocolate syrup, cinnamon stick on the side, two brown sugars, no whip and heated to 85 degrees.
That makes you look like a Hipster, something that was cool for the first five minutes but is now looked upon with scorn (besides, we all know the cool Hipsters are those who don’t even try to be Hipsters, they just are).
And then, we get to something magical; flavoured lattes.
Yes, it’s all just a shop of flavoured syrup, but you have not lived until you have tasted a peanut butter latte.
These days, my coffee orders have gotten simpler and less, since I have been drinking more tea, my second go to drink, to combat that twitch I developed after graduation (to be fair, a coffee twitch is a rite of passage for all aspiring journalists), but some days there is still nothing that hits the spot like good coffee in your favourite cup. Until then, come morning, bean me.