The black liquid that keeps me going

I can so incredibly look forward to my first cup of coffee in the morning. When I wake up by the alarm, so not ready to face the day, I just want to turn to my side and fall back asleep.

But there are three kids that need to be ready for school, lunches to be made, breakfast to be served, papers to be signed.

Like a zombie I turn on the water in the shower and slowly I feel a bit of life coming back. I think about my day and what I need to accomplish.

That’s the first time it hits me: ‘hurry up, I need coffee!’

Getting dressed and entering the kitchen.

Hello house, good morning.

better coffee pot

I pour water in the machine, add the coffee, gosh that smells so good!

I press ‘brew’ while unpacking the dishwasher. It’s my little daily challenge: can I unpack faster than the machine can brew its black magic?

The sound and smell of the brewing coffee makes me happy.

I won (again!) and start making lunches when the loud peep-peep-peep indicates my liquid is done.

Time for a first cup. While scanning the headlines of the NY Times I slurp this black magic potion. Ah! It is so much easier to face the day, the drama of the world, with coffee in your system. If nothing else, at least I have caffeine in my blood.

After the first cup it is time to wake up the kids. How wonderful it must be to be woken up by the lively cheery voice of your mother, with the smell of coffee on her breath. (Not?)

I remember a song from long ago by a Dutch band VOF de Kunst in 1987: ‘een kopje koffie‘ (‘All those people in the big offices, you are not allowed to disturb them, but if the coffee lady can put everything on hold, if she wants to.’)

How true.

Moving to the US meant a change in my coffee routine. Ever ordered coffee in the US? Big mug with light black liquid as opposed to the small cup with dark black liquid in the Netherlands. It took me a while to find the right coffee brand, the right machine and the right coffee shop (which here in the US is genuinely a place to get coffee) to take care of my addiction. When out, I usually order a cappuccino, because nobody brews a drip coffee like myself.

Enjoying my second cup while the kids gobble up their breakfast cereals. Getting them ready, sending them outside, give them a kbetter espresso machine.jpgiss with even more coffee breath before the yellow bus takes them to school.

I walk back inside, contemplating if I should brew a fresh pot, and dreaming of the day that I can afford my own espresso machine.

Oh coffee!


Edith Schriever

About Edith Schriever

I am a Maine-igrant from the Netherlands. While my scientist husband fell in love with the beautiful research institute here, I fell in love with Mount Desert Island. Mountains, ocean, wild life, peace and quiet! A culture change? Yes, a bit. Americans are not at all like the Jerry Springer audience I saw on TV when living in the Netherlands, well, at least not everyone. Portions are big and toilets small and low; I have learned to embrace the cultural differences.