Back before my local branch closed, I used to go to Tim Horton’s for coffee every morning. Each time, I’d get a Medium Double-Double. That’s two cream and two sugar. One morning I went in and the woman in front of me ordered a medium coffee with eight cream and eight sugar. “Goodness,” I exclaimed out loud. “That’s not even coffee anymore.” She chuckled and said, “I don’t like the taste of coffee.” So I asked her why she was getting it and she just shrugged. The guy making the coffee looked at me with a face that said, “I don’t know why she’s getting it, either.”
My local Tim Horton’s isn’t there anymore. Just an empty building sits where I used to get my morning cup. Not being a fan of Dunkin Donuts, I’ve taken to making my own more often. Along with making changes to my diet and way of living, I started making changes to my coffee. I dropped from two sugars to one sugar. Than no sugar. A time thereafter, I dropped from two cream to one cream. And more recently, I’ve taken to drinking my coffee black. When I made that final switch to black, it’s like a whole new world was opened up to me. For the first time, I was drinking real, pure coffee. The rich complex flavors were no longer being blocked by the sweetness of the sugar. The cream was no longer dulling it’s amazing flavors. I was tasting true coffee and it was better than any coffee I’d had before.
I used to be scared of black coffee. Worried that I wouldn’t like how it tasted. So I would dilute the flavor with sugar and cream so I could get the caffeine without having to taste any unpleasantness. And real coffee can be like that. It can be very strong at first, even bitter. But once you’ve tasted it, there’s no going back. It’s just not quite the same with cream and sugar anymore. You want the real deal. You want the richness of the coffee to coat every bit of your palate. You want to taste every complex flavor it has to offer. Columbian. Dark roast. Arabica. Etc. Once you’ve had it black, you’ll wince every time you see a coffee with cream and sugar because you know that the more you add, the further away from being coffee it becomes until eventually it’s not coffee anymore.