I had a rather peculiar day out with my friend recently. A day made strange when he revealed to me that he had never – ever – consumed a single drop of coffee – ever. He is 23. He explained this abnormality by taking me through his medical history, specifically how the doctor had told him as a child that hot drinks were bad for his asthma. Ignoring all of his past doctoring advice, I promptly took him to a coffee shop and bought him his very first black bean caffeine drink. I asked him to note his sentiments when consuming his first three coffees ever. Here they are..
My very first experience of drinking coffee was certainly one to remember!
It was … disgusting. However I realise now that ordering an Americano as my first ever coffee was a big mistake – talk about jumping in at the deep end! It was so strong and bitter and tasteless. I love bitter high percentage cocoa dark chocolate but this was on another level!
I drank it slowly and with every sip, I’d add another sachet of sugar. I must’ve had at least 4 sugars by the end (I lost count) and it didn’t improve the taste whatsoever!
I got to a point where I held my nose and downed it because my friend had finished his coffee 30 minutes earlier and wanted to leave! I remember the tears streaming down my face and the coughing afterwards. There is just one word that can adequately describe the experience: torture!
Fast forward 5 minutes and boom, the buzz was beyond amazing. I’m a person who generally lacks energy, but after drinking my first ever coffee it felt like my eyes were wide open and I could see everything. I was very much in touch with my surroundings! Everything was so clear!
My second coffee experience wasn’t as memorable as the first. I decided to make my second coffee a homemade one. An Americano again. It was still disgusting but not as disgusting as the first one. Maybe I’d got used to the taste a little bit?
But this didn’t stop me resisting drinking it. I’d keep having a sip and then putting it down and ‘forgetting’ that I had a coffee to drink. My friend kept asking if I’d finished it, but after half an hour my mug was still pretty full!
I ended up downing this drink as well but thankfully, it didn’t make me cry!
My third and final coffee was a completely different experience. My friend decided to end my suffering by revealing to me that there are weaker ‘nicer’ (but more unhealthy) coffees to drink. I chose a Mocha. It was sweeter and more palatable. All in all, It was a nice experience to look round a coffee shop and feel like I fit in because I have a coffee in my hand that I enjoy, rather than a nausea inducing Americano or an orange juice. I felt like a proper adult!
Although it was preferable to an Americano, it still wasn’t so delicious that I wanted to drink it every day, like so many people do.
I’d love to try an Americano again and see if I can get used to the taste. It wasn’t as bad the second time. So what about the third time? or the tenth?
I put myself through this torture to see what I was missing and …well… I don’t think I’m missing out on too much. Coffee doesn’t taste amazing to me and whilst the buzz is quite fun, I don’t need it. I’ve realised though that there is one thing that I am missing out on, namely the bonding element of making a cuppa with another person and how the drinking of hot beverages can be a social occasion . I’m glad that I’ve had this experience and can now comfortably drink a coffee when I want to bond with people – new friends, potential employers.
I just know that I won’t be wanting an Americano, nor will I be crying if forced to drink one.
(Photo – Eli Woodbine, UK, 2015)