I didn’t like coffee when I was younger. 

But my Mom’s brilliant. She used to tell us about how she liked to put a scoop of ice cream in her morning coffee, and I’m not super smart, but I make the connection:



This wonderful relationship with coffee continued through high school. I’d drink it when I could, adding sugar, but not milk, so it would look like I was drinking it black. When I went to college, I started working at Starbucks.

Here’s the thing about working at Starbucks: as many drinks as you want while you’re on the clock. As many drinks as your stomach can hold.

So -

I’m really talented at excess, so I was drinking a giant Frappuchino every time I went to work. Then I was drinking the Frappuchino with extra espresso, and a cup of coffee - almost black, just a little whipped cream on top. Then the Frappuchino and a black coffee with a cup of whipped cream on the side.

Sidenote: I was getting these headaches. Bad migraines.

I had no idea why they happened, but I’d had them for years. Finally they got so bad that Sonia and I worked to eliminate any dietary causes, so I cut out sugar, coffee, dairy, bread, and everything except raw veggies. 

But I was still working at Starbucks while I was quitting everything. Work was not very pleasant.

When I was making coffee, I’d just stare down at the drinks, like a new vegan stares at cheese.

Then we started phasing the different foods back in, one at a time. I started eating bread again

I started eating dairy again

I started drinking coffee again

But it was only when I re-incorporated sugar

...that the migraines came back.

So, guess what I did? I cut out sugar, and started drinking black coffee, and black espresso at work. I love black coffee now, and I don’t like any sort of sweetener or cream in it at all any more, so we’ve come full circle.


I drank coffee so that I could get at sugar,


Now I don’t eat sugar, but I still drink coffee.


What a weird, sneaky drink this liquid joy voice is.


_ _ _


Epologue: coffee and parenting, revisited

My daughter probably won't need to be bribed with ice cream -  she’s already tasted the stuff, twice. Not because we gave it to her,  she can be pretty sneaky at times. When she was pretty young, she first tasted coffee by eating coffee grounds out of the trash.

Then we left a quarter inch of coffee in a mug on the table, before we could stop her, she grabbed the mug off the table and sucked it down.

Parenting win.