Today is International World Coffee Day. Its inaugural year was 2015, yet why didn’t we honour coffee before this? It is truly inspired to devote a day to the wonderfulness of coffee.
I can safely say it is one of the unspoken loves of my life. It can seem unappreciated, invisible even, yet remains an integral part of my day.
My love affair started with coffee the year I was studying for my masters. I had to complete many a late night writing up my dissertation. When roommates had retired to bed, it was my cup of coffee that guided me through the late hours or early shift of cramming. I will never forget its companionship.
It has always been with me through the tough times – heating up a bottle in the middle of the night (OK, less needed when I was breastfeeding), I would press on the kettle, the boiling sound breaking the silence of a 5 am kitchen. I’d measure two heaped spoons of instant coffee into a mug, pour over the boiling water and stir, add milk. And that first sip was like manna from wakefulness heaven. I could feel it hitting my veins, bringing a kind of optimistic alertness to my day. I can do this! With coffee by my side – I can keep going for the whole day! I can get on top of the laundry, host a playdate for a group of exuberant four-year olds. I can bring the kids out to the playground until sunset! I can do this!
Coffee was always my hero. It made me feel I could accomplish the impossible. In a coffee fuelled bout of energy, I can make dozens of dinners and freeze them for a month goddamit!!
I notice its presence when new parents are out at the playground, pushing their double buggies. Exhausted mums at the playgroup or tired fathers and mothers standing beside the GAA pitch for an early match. The zombified looks fall away, parents become visibly perked up, more open and more present. It is like the prescription medicine of parenthood. It is a misunderstood parenting vitamin.
I love coffee so much that I love at its finest and at its instant granule ordinariness. Some people only love coffee when it is in its Sunday best black-tie self so to speak – the coffee machine, percolated type. This kind of coffee lover considers itself a more loyal coffee lover, but I can take coffee in any form, any time, anywhere. I am ever loyal. If you don’t love it as its worst, you don’t deserve it as its best.
I know coffee loves me to! It helps me to become a whole person in the morning. Mostly I am unable to speak unless a good measure of it has passed my lips. Like a fierce and loyal friend, it helps me to face the day, makes me feel that the traffic, the school run, the commute to work can’t be all that bad.
It can come in many outfits, forms and nationalities even. Whether it be latte, mocha, espresso, cappuccino, frappuccino or americano, the essence of coffee itself will always be one of the loves of my life. No matter how you take it, no matter what fancy way it is served, I always know it, recognise it and love it for its true self.
It is one of the unspoken heroes of motherhood. Where would we be without it?