I started drinking coffee when I was 13 years old. Young, right? But it made perfect sense at the time.
I was a teenager with no allowance and parents who were not inclined to buy frivolous items. I needed a job. Bad. Without a car or reliable ride, I had to look for something within walking distance. There happened to be a gas station up on the corner, so I paid the owner a visit, lied about my age, and started pumping gas the next week.
On Saturdays and Sundays I opened up the station. I would walk up to the corner at 4:45 am in the dark, take out my key, and start turning on lights. I stocked the chip racks, stacked packages of cigarettes, and made coffee.
By 5:30 am the fishermen and contractors started trickling in. I placed little meal worms in Tupperware, filled up gas tanks, and brewed pots and pots of coffee. Somewhere along the line I started drinking it side by side with my early bird customers. A morning ritual, still in place a quarter century later, was introduced.
My later jobs as a waitress and teacher ensured that coffee remained a central part of my work life. The unusual thing is that it never played a prominent role in my home. My parents did not make or drink coffee and Jeremy, my husband, didn’t touch the stuff. It was always just me, brewing it for myself, pouring it into a travel mug, and going on my way.
That is until my husband suddenly started drinking coffee at the age of 37. The man who had never drank a cup of coffee in his whole life found himself desperate to stay awake grading piles and piles of high school essays. At first the cups had lots of milk and sugar, later just a bit of milk, and now straight black just like I take mine.
The same man who had no idea how to use a drip coffee machine two years ago gets up every morning and grinds the beans, fills the machine with cold filtered water, and pours me my first cup, often telling me the region and roast. I can’t remember the last time I bought coffee. Jeremy stops at his favorite roasters on the way home and selects our beans for the week.
When we travel he stocks up the camper with all our coffee supplies and one of his favorite things to do is find a local roaster wherever we are staying.
They say that people don’t change, but that is not true. Eleven years into our marriage, Jeremy started drinking coffee.
So this week’s episode is all about coffee and how to get the best cup while you are traveling this beautiful country in your RV. I hope you get to listen.
We had a blast interviewing our local coffee roaster and had an amazing tasting, comparing different methods of brewing. The whole time I was thinking how wonderful it is that we really do grow and change as travelers and spouses and people.
I was also thinking back to that first cup of coffee at the gas station. Almost every single thing about my life has changed.