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Coffee Time!

I've already covered some of the things that I like to eat here at the computer, and now I'd like to tell you what I drink (among other things). Coffee! Just the sound of the word makes me light up. Think about it. It's something you can drink at any time of day, with other people or alone, while working, at rest or at play; you can have one cup or several without any adverse effects (unless you count the jitters).

And coffee comes in all sizes, shapes and flavors. You can have instant coffee, coffee brewed in a coffee maker, French press, buy it ground or grind the beans yourself. If you don't like making it yourself, you can always go to a place like Starbucks or a local café where you can have, in no particular order: espresso, latte, mocha, macchiato, cappuccino, plain old black coffee, ristretto, café au lait, iced coffee, decaf, and the list goes on.

It used to be that instant coffee was the norm. Some of you who are old enough might remember the Juan Valdez commercial. Though some people may be drawn to instant coffee because of its taste or quick preparation, there are so many varieties of coffee on the market that it's hard to choose. Coffee started out in present-day Ethiopia. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: "One of many legends about the discovery of coffee is that of Kaldi, an Arab goatherd who was puzzled by the queer antics of his flock. About 850 CE, Kaldi supposedly sampled the berries of the evergreen bush on which the goats were feeding and, on experiencing a sense of exhilaration, proclaimed his discovery to the world." Now it is a worldwide sensation: you can get coffee from Kenya, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Hawaii — and let's not forget Colombia and Brazil. Dizzying, isn't it?

Why do I drink coffee? Well, a good reason is that it gives me an extra boost because of the caffeine. I would never drink decaf because it defeats the purpose. It just turns into brown water (for me at least). I also like the fact that it is hot, or warm — especially on a winter day. I am not a coffeeholic, though. Most days I have one cup, and when it's cold outside, I might have another in the afternoon at about 5 o'clock. Most recently, I was given a nice little espresso type machine put out by Nescafé called

. You get pretty good quality espresso as well as other drinks such as hot chocolate and tea, and the process is clean. You just fill the tank with water, pop in a pod containing the drink of your choice, and turn on either the hot or cold water switch. In less than five minutes you have a delicious beverage.

But there is get a third element that does not have a rational explanation. To me, coffee is like magic. First there is the sound of the coffee maker or espresso machine, followed by the aroma — then the taste, and then the desired after effect, making me alert. It is a ritual that I never grew tired of. I would like to think that my translations are alchemy —the transformation of what I drink; something that is tangible in the written word that I carefully craft on a daily basis.

This is often the case of gourmet or quality foods and beverages. Consuming is only a part of the experience. Do you drink coffee? If so, what time of day? With others or alone? At home or at work? What makes it special for you?

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