Back in high school I realized that it’s in my nature to write and sit in cafes. Obviously, I had to like coffee too. Except I didn’t.
Not with sugar.
Definitely not with cream.
Refusing to give in to my taste buds I told them they’d have to accept their destiny as a coffee drinker. And, they’d have to learn to drink coffee black. And if the taste buds couldn’t manage that right now they’d just have to pretend.
At some point mild dislike turned to gotta have it love. Surely, it has nothing to do with the caffeine. Only once, in the years since high school, did I temporarily give up my morning cup of coffee. It was a late summer fling brought on by a fever. By fall it was over. Those cool mornings yearned for sitting on a porch, looking into the city’s distance through the haze of steam. I haven’t looked back since. My 2, 3, 4 cup a day routine has been my constant companion even through blistering summers.
Now summer is something I haven’t been able to force myself to love. To like? Sorta. To tolerate? Most definitely. When I’m woken up by the noise of three fans attempting to ease the heat I need those extra cups of coffee. It’s just…you know…so hot. In the morning I think about cold, sweet, iced coffee. Except I don’t really want a lot of sugar first thing in the morning. Oddly, sweet is the only way I like iced coffee. Until I tried a sample of Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee during a shopping trip to Central Market.
What the temptation was driving me to take this sample of nothing added coffee over ice is unclear. Perhaps it was the coffeenista talking with such obvious passion. In between the dairy and frozen sections I drank the little cup and thought, “well, now that’s a cold coffee I could drink black. Hunh.”
This was at Summer’s beginning. Every so often, when the heat really started to depress, I’d remind myself of this coffee. Then, the pretending started. Instead of trying to make summer taste better with sugar or cream I was just going to pretend it was something totally different. I bought the fall edition beers, butternut squash ravioli topped with roasted vegetables seasoned with sage, and long sleeve shirts.
Turns out some types of pretending don’t work. The mornings might be a little darker, but the afternoons are still inching toward 100. It was time to stop pretending and try cold-brewing. For this first time effort I used a recipe found on the Slate website. The mint was alternately a refreshing surprise or a too sweet addition. Interestingly, the weekend I made this brought on some truly cool mornings. The pets played outside long into the 8 o’clock hour because the A/C wasn’t kicking on. Loosely wrapped in a cardigan I cupped a hot cup of french press coffee. The iced coffee sat in the fridge waiting its turn.