I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a very young child. Most likely, I was younger than I appear in this photo. I estimate 4 to 5 years old. I can remember the day I had my first cup because its taste seared that day into my childhood memory.
My family had driven down from Detroit to visit my Grandma in Columbus, Ohio for the holidays. My mom has a big family, and my Grandma had a very big house. In the mornings the family would slowly come down from the upper floors to gather at the table in the kitchen. My grandmother would make hot chocolate for the kids and hot water for instant coffee (my mom’s favorite), or a fresh pot would be percolating on the stove for the other adults.
For the kids, she made this awesome toast with butter and sugar broiled in the bottom drawer of the stove. The key – put the butter and sugar on before toasting. To this day, I prefer buttering my bread before toasting it. I also liked to dip my toast into my hot chocolate and stuff it into my mouth before the soggy part fell off.
On this day, I asked my mom, “what does coffee taste like?” She poured some coffee with cream into my empty cup. I didn’t like it but was still curious. I don’t remember whose idea it was to try it with sugar but I did, and my taste buds exploded! From that day forward I began my mornings drinking coffee with my mom, substituting in an occasional hot chocolate now and then.