(and it loves me)
During my visit home for American Thanksgiving, I did something out of character that I have never done before at my parents’ home:
I drank coffee.
Our parents have never been coffee drinkers and mocked those addicts that needed their daily dosage to start their day as weak. Consequently, although I tried to drink coffee in all its various forms (mocha, latte, espresso), it was never something I could take to. Instead our family drank all kinds of tea, which, in retrospect, was probably healthier in the long run. (Although coffee is a good source of antioxidants.)
“But how can I take you out for coffee if you don’t drink coffee?” my favourite cousin would whine. Working as a barista at Marco’s or running a coffee shop, coffee was more than a frivolous pastime for her. Coffee, hot or iced, is an essential part of her day.
I clearly remember the day I accidentally fell in love with coffee. My boyfriend and I had been riding around the back roads of Korea and had finally stopped at a restaurant to eat some lunch. We removed our shoes and stepped up on the raised wooden platform and sat on square, flat pillows. After we ate a delicious bibimbap meal, a paper cup filled half full of coffee appeared in front of me. “Oh! Sorry!” my boyfriend apologized. “I forgot to tell them that you drink tea, not coffee. Do you want me to tell them?” Hating to cause a fuss and waste it, I decided that a half-glass of coffee (no more than three swallows at most) would probably be manageable.
It was delicious. I couldn’t believe it. It was sweet and hot. The slick it left on my tongue was reminiscent of chocolate. And it left me wanting more. From that day on, I branched out. The best way to do this was by signing up for “Coffee Tuesdays” at my school. Paying the equivalent of $5 weekly in advance allowed me to get a cup of whatever Starbucks delivered each Tuesday. Sometimes it was white mocha or sometimes it was latte. I began to learn what stronger coffee tasted like and how to add sugar or milk to make it work for me. Then my boyfriend got a coffee maker and we started having coffee on mornings we really needed the extra boost. People gave us coffee grounds for gifts so that gave us more reason to make coffee. Now we are living in Toronto, usually we have one cup in the morning with our breakfast and then some kind of tea after our dinner at night.
So I will have to say Korea opened my mind to the yummy goodness that is coffee. Other tastes I acquired while living there were mushrooms, eggplants and garlic. So good!! Before I didn’t go near them but now I love them and look forward to seeing them in the dishes I eat. Now I’ve left Korea, I await in anticipation of the culinary changes the country of Canada will bring me!
What tastes have you acquired since you've "grown up?"
*Danifesto Update: For Thanksgiving my cousin gave us a bag of coffee beans from Stumptown, a company known for good coffee. So this gift required us to break down and buy an actual coffee grinder. We found one cheap at Honest Ed's (a Toronto institution) on the edge of Koreatown. Haven't tried it out yet but looking foward to freshly ground coffee in the mornings!