Vivalto Lungo. Dharkan. Capriccio. Ristretto. Arpeggio. Kazaar. Decaffeinato intenso.

It is safe to say that I have now entered the addiction phase of coffee-loving. No, it is not the caffeine that I crave in order to drag my weary body out of bed; it is the bitter, smooth, almost-nutty flavor of a dark roast permeating the air, flooding my mouth with flavor and my body with warmth for which I so desperately long.

The different types of coffee are like a language of their own, a smooth, flowing soliloquy that rolls off the tip of the tongue and makes me revel in its silkiness.

I would easily consider myself a coffee aficionado. Part of this stems from a tradition my mom and I developed when I was younger that has prevailed to this date: every morning before school, we will come downstairs in pursuit of a small cup of espresso from our Nespresso machine. We have together mastered the art of espresso creation, down to the perfectly foamed milk that we dollop on top of the coffee and the cinnamon dash that is added as a finishing touch. Once completed, on the un-rushed days, we will often go out to the porch and indulge, chatting about the day’s activities. Most school days, we are not this lucky, however, and we will simply stand around the kitchen, indulging in this momentary break before the overwhelming activities of the day sweep us away.

I can still remember the building excitement that accompanied the date of my thirteenth birthday. Prior to this date, I was only allowed to drink decaf coffee, which I viewed as the kid-friendly introduction to the world of coffee. My mom had always told me that she was allowed to drink caffeinated coffee when she was thirteen as well. The world of caffeine opened up so many new options; suddenly, I could drink coffee that was flavored with caramel, hazelnut, and hints of vanilla, each of them hailing from foreign countries such as Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico.

Admittedly, I will always enjoy the classic Starbucks flat white or cold brew; however, one of the best aspects of being a coffee lover is the hunt for local coffee shops that introduces to me new subtle flavors and ways of making a classic cappuccino. In new part of the country I visit, the way I get a sense of the area is by ensuring that there is a local coffee shop that has both a cozy ambiance and delicious coffee with multiple options for flavors, roasts, and milk (recently, I have began using almond milk in my coffee).

Coffee is a lifelong enjoyment of which I could never tire. Waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee is most days the only thing that pulls me out of bed; likewise, the prospect of ordering coffee at a café after school provides the motivation needed to get through five hours of work. The community of coffee drinkers is one that extends across the globe, connecting cultures and providing me with familiarity among strangers.

Photo by Jillian Furber




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