The Beverage Maven

I love to drink.

Oh, wait…  That didn’t come out quite right.  What I mean is that I generally have a drink within reach.

Hmmm…  I seem to be digging myself in deeper, don’t I?

Okay, what this is really about is that I like to have a beverage close at hand when I work. Most often, it’s water.  I drink lots of water each day to stay hydrated. I don’t drink a lot of soda. At my age, I find it too sweet to handle in more than small doses. The idea that anyone needs to drink 32 oz of cola in one sitting is beyond me.

And I have nothing against a glass of good wine—white or red, sweet or dry—nor the occasional frosty beer. And I reserve mixed drinks for vacations because I just don’t want to stock all the ingredients.

But my day always, and I do mean always, begins with a cup of coffee or tea.  Lately, it’s been coffee with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon.  But for years, I drank tea (Earl Grey, hot).  I love a good cappuccino or latté.  I’m not a fan of flavored coffees, or any hot drinks with sugar added.  And I’d rather drink my coffee black than put a powdered non-dairy creamer into it.

I didn’t always drink coffee or tea.  At the meal hall in college, after lunches and dinners, my tablemates would lounge with coffees and cigarettes.  I was never a smoker, and after my freshman year, I felt a little foolish trying to look fashionable with hot chocolate. But it wasn’t until my junior year, when I spent eight weeks in Oxford, England, that I learned to seriously drink tea.  Hearty black teas with a smidge of milk to ward off the cool, damp winter chill. Brewing from full leaves instead of dunking tea bags.  For many Brits, a “cuppa” tea will solve practically anything.

I’m not as fond of herbal teas, but I like the clean taste of mint in a tea.  And I’ve tried catnip tea, which is mild and makes my cats go berserk every time I brew it. I lean toward herbal teas when I get sick or when I’m trying to cut back on the caffeine.

Then I returned home to my college theater department. As a stage manager, one of my duties was to brew a pot of coffee for the cast each night.  After the first week, the director took me aside. “You’re never going to learn to make a good cup of coffee until you drink coffee,” he told me. And he was right. I spent the next four weeks developing an appreciation for a good cup of joe and learning how to get the best flavor out of Mr. Coffee.

For the record, I still drink hot chocolate on cold winter mornings (few and far between in Florida). I remember how surprised my husband was the first time I made cocoa for him because I used milk instead of a powdered mix in boiling water. Yeah, I do use milk, and I heat in on the stove, not in the microwave.  And I put in a teaspoon of vanilla, 1-2 Tablespoons of cocoa, and 1 Tablespoon of sugar.  Stir slowly and bring to a simmer. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows.  Yum.

I love the camaraderie of sitting with friends and sipping our beverages as if there’s nothing more important we need to be doing. I love the peaceful mornings where I sit with that first cup of coffee or tea and browse the Internet for headlines, my favorite blogs and check my email. Despite the caffeine, coffee and tea encourage me to take life at a slower pace and enjoy the taste, the temperature, the aroma and know that I’m part of a society that shares an appreciation for these same things.  It’s amazing the enjoyment I get from a pile of beans and leaves!

What about you?  What’s your favorite beverage? Are you a coffee or a tea drinker, and how did it become a part of your day?

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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8 Responses to The Beverage Maven

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, the girl in the picture holding the cup of tea or coffee could be a caricature of you. All she needs is blue eyes. :)

    I drink tea most of the day. One of favorites is green tea with jasmine. I love the flavor. For the evening, I usually drink different herbal teas. And a beer. I occasionally drink wine, too, but I seemed to have developed an allergy to red wine, which was my favorite. :(

  2. I’ve had a love affair with coffee since high school. Usually it’s black with sugar (especially first thing in the morning), but I love flavored coffees and cappuccinos and lattes. Instant coffee when I need a quick cup. Powdered capp for an afternoon treat. If I’m out and about, gas station capp.

    Tea’s good, too, but I leave it for when I’m not feeling well, or feeling blue. And the catnip tea is both tasty and fun (once the cat smells it).
    B.E. Sanderson`s last blog was …This Just In

  3. Lori says:

    Never been into Coffee or Tea, but I do love hot chocolate! It’s funny, like you mentioned, when I go to a coffee shop with friends, I’m the only one getting hot chocolate.

  4. Amy R says:

    I am like Lori – I never could get into coffee or tea but do like hot chocolate. If I get together for “coffee” with friends I am the one drinking water or hot chocolate. My favorite drinks are water, milk and apple juice. I do like sweet, fruity alcoholoic drinks occasionally!

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi AMy,

    I’m a coffeeholic! And proud of it. Lol. I also drink tea. Raised by a Brit, I learned early on how to make a good cup of strong black tea and yes, with a smidge of milk! Now I also drink Earl Grey and Jasmine teas by the pot to mix up my coffee. What I can’t drink is hot chocolate! It’s far too sweet for me.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Update on books, just released, in progress, and upcoming

  6. Amy,
    coffee dates with my good friends are my favorite time to drink it ;). I also like flavored teas, and I love, love, love cocoa!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …The Next Big Thing

  7. Amy, I love real, fresh ground coffee, either made with a French press, or my espresso maker.

    I love tea, too, though. Earl Grey with a little milk, or rooibos. I grew up in South Africa and even though that’s the only place rooibos grows, I didn’t like it much until I moved to the actual place where rooibos comes from. Unable to avoid being offered it wherever I went, I choked it down (it’s an acquired taste) and subsequently acquired it. Now I love it. I also love mint tea.

    With hot chocolate, I’m a bit of snob and only drink hot chocolate made with hot milk and melted dark chocolate on the stove. And I don’t do that often. It feels too much like dessert. :)
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Release day for The Emperor’s Conspiracy!

  8. Misty Evans says:

    Coffee, strong, with a touch of milk. My hubs roasts beans and grinds them every couple of days. I enjoy a good cappuccino or latte, love iced coffee and a few specialty coffee drinks.

    If it’s tea, I prefer Earl Grey, hot or cold. My whole family loves iced tea and I grow mint in my herb garden (voracious stuff!) to flavor it with in summer.

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