The mid 1980s. Lying in bed. Warm under the blankets. The house is quiet. My baby sister still asleep in the room next door. My Dad is awake and the dim light from the kitchen filters through the rest of the house. I hear the familiar sounds: The cabinet door opening. The coffee cup being placed on the bench. The kettle being switched on. The slowly increasing hiss of steam. The teaspoon clinking against the cup. The fridge door opening, a pause, then closing again. The click as Dad switches off the kitchen light. His slow footsteps. My Mum’s voice in a whisper, coming from her dark bedroom “thank you.”
The simplest of rituals is one of my most treasured childhood memories. Knowing that Dad would always wake up and make Mum a coffee, every morning, holds so much significance.
The symbolism of this hot, aromatic, drink goes far beyond the drink itself. Important conversations in my life happen over a cup of coffee. Everyday conversations in my life happen over a cup of coffee. Coffee is part of my chain, central to my connection with family and friends.
When I was growing up, my parent’s house was a hub of people visiting. Friends, neighbours and family would always be coming over. The first thing Mum would ask when they walked through the door was: “Would you like a coffee?”
This simple ritual, long established in my parent’s house, has moved in with me at my own house. The coffee machine is the star of our kitchen. The first thing we ask when people come to visit? “Would you like a coffee?” Once the coffee is made, the conversation begins. Talking about life, kids and dreams.
Strangely enough, I never drank coffee growing up. It was always something reserved for the adults. On my very first date, with a guy I had met at university, he insisted that we go out for coffee. Too afraid to say that I didn’t drink coffee, I said “yes.” Sitting there at Cafe Trevi on Lygon Street, my apprehension quickly set in. What if I didn’t like it? My first ever cappuccino arrived. Years of watching my mother and her coffee filled my senses. Slowly, I scooped the froth, teaspoon by teaspoon into my mouth – savouring the hot, milky bubbles. Then the first sip: my mouth was overwhelmed. The second sip stole my heart. I had fallen in love…with coffee.
That very same man now wakes up before everyone else. He quietly goes downstairs and switches on the coffee machine. He checks his emails while the machine warms up, then proceeds to make two soy lattes every morning. He calls up the stairs when they are ready, “Josefa, your coffee is ready.”
The conversations over coffee that have filled my life with memories and with lessons are conversations that I want to share with you. On the last Thursday of each month, Conversations over Coffee will open up as a blog link-up, open to all who would like to join. Each month a theme will be set and the only request is that your post be connected to that theme.
The first Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday January 31, 2013 (7am EST).
The theme is Conversations with My First Love.
I am looking forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee (or tea) with all of you, sharing each other’s stories and enjoying our own conversation over coffee.
Do you enjoy coffee?