Girls Write Out
Sunday, April 01, 2007

I admit it. I've turned into a coffee snob. This rather surpriss my family, especially my parents, my brothers and my uncle Ron. They've swilled coffee by the gallons for years while I'm a relative newbie considering my advanced age of 55. I've only been corrupted since 1999. I can date it precisely to the first iced mocha Kristin forced on me at the Glorieta conference. One sip and I was a goner.

The thought of my fresh brewed coffee is what gets me up in the mornings. My mouth waters and my nose twitches at the smell of coffee. I think most people who don't even LIKE coffee think it smells yummy. Well, other than my husband, but we won't go there.

I was looking over some coffee facts today just for fun and found out something shocking. Only 27% of the people in the U.S. use something to sweeten their coffee. That means 73% are drinking it black. Much as I love my coffee, the thought makes me shudder. Is it that the people taking part of the poll thought their creamer isn't a sweetener? Think again and check out your creamer. All creamers, even milk, add some sweetness. Milk adds lactose which is a sugar. But all the artificial creamers like International Delights (my fave since it doesn't have transfats) have sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweetener in them. The only coffee I might be able to stomach black would be 100% Kona coffee. It doesn't have a hint of bitterness in it. But at $25 a pound or so, I can't afford to drink it every day!

Here's how far my snobbery has taken me. It started with an espresso machine at home, a Rancilio Sylvia that I paid $400 for back in 2002 or so I think. The next step was buying freshly roasted coffee. No Folgers for me like the rest of my family drinks! My current favorite is Panamaria from Echo Espresso in Phoenix. And then if I was buying special beans it only made sense to get a coffee grinder so I would extract the full flavor of the bean!

Clearly, this addiction is growing.

Next I tasted coffee brewed in my daughter's Cuisinart. I had to have one! With hazelnut International Delights and the right grind, it's as good as a hazelnut latte. Now Miss Sylvia has been sitting alone and abandoned for months. Poor girl. I've been feeling guilty about her solitude.

Here's the kicker: if someone offered me a box of DeBrands truffles but said I'd have to give up coffee for a day to get it, I'd have to turn down the chocolate. What has my life come to???

Writing Midnight Sea only fueled my obsession. All that coffee research just did me in. Luckily I learned newer research indicates coffee has the same antioxidant qualities as tea. I'll take what little justification I can get!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 5:50 PM  
  Comments (22)
Delicious Delicious
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

I'm with you on that morning cup of coffee. I used to make the bed the second my feet hit the floor. No more. I head to the coffee pot that Milton has going. I have to have creamer in it and a scant tsp. of sugar.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger allen said...

Black and hot...that's all I need. And for $400, that machine better bring to coffee to you bed and fluff your pillow:)

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

I drink my coffee black, Colleen. (ha, you knew it, didn't you?) I didn't start drinking coffee until after the birth of my 2nd of four boys--and at first it was merely for the drug effect to keep my eyeballs open! Then, I learned to love it. And it's good for your heart. Amen.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Allen, the aroma is enough. I don't need my pillow fluffed. LOL!

Crystal, I'm still shocked you could drink it black!

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Keisha-Michelle said...

I'm only 27 and sadly, I have inhaled coffee since the ripe old age of 5. My grandfather drank coffee all day long, so my grandmother brewed a fresh pot every two hours. My grandparents let my little brother and I load it up with milk and we each had two tsp of sugar. Gross as it may sound, we dipped our buttered toast into the coffee and we've been hooked every since.

Of course, as I grew older, my coffee tastes began to mature. Starbucks is my second home, and I am a regular at three different ones. Sad, I know.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Keisha-Michelle, I know exactly what you mean! When I was a kid my grandma did the same thing with the buttered toast. SO GOOD! I'd forgotten about it until your post.

For me, the coffee habit didn't "take" until Kristin came along though. LOL

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

I drink coffee any style any way. Black is fine but if I HAVE to stomach the cheap stuff (folgers) I must add cream to gag it down. Heading for Italy in 2 weeks - I'll probably never come home. Apparently the Italian java world is a whole new atmosphere!

Colleen, when I read your last book I could literally SMELL the coffee dripping from the pages. I was reading it around 11 pm one night and only the thought of being wide awake on a caffiene high kept me from brewing a pot!

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

LOL Jaime! I had some sleepless nights for that very reason when I was writing it. LOL

Italy. Wow. Let us know how the coffee tastes!

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

My favorite coffee of all time is Jamaican blue mountain coffee! Oh my....I could drink that black all day long! Even my hubby who doesn't drink coffee and doesn't love the smell adored the aroma of that brew every morning. But alas, since I can't afford it, I make do with Starbucks!

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Had my Cinnamon Dolce Latte this morning, Robin!! I'm with you there!! Always wanted to TRY Jamaican Blue Mountain but am having a hard time justifying $25/1/2 lb! :)

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

C, if this is the extent of your addiction you're doing GREAT. :)

Consider it an endearing flaw. A cute quirk. A thing that makes you wonderfully you!

I say, enjoy!

Love, R

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm on deadline today. I had a triple this morning. And I'm still tired. That is not good. Crystal I started after my second boy too!! Hmmm. Coincidence?

At 4:11 PM, Blogger SaraBeth said...

I hate coffee but I love the smell. A bunch of my friends drink coffee, so we meet at Starbucks a lot - fortuantely they have non-coffee based drinks too - their peppermint hot chocolate is amazing! ;) But that is one place I love to walk into because it smells so good. The best is the Barnes and Noble that has a Starbucks inside, so I get both the smell of new books and of coffee! ;)

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I used to be the same way, Sarabeth. Loved the smell but the taste left me cold. I'm not quite sure what happened. . . LOL

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Girl, you have to go buy some of Millstone's Chocolate Velevet coffee beans. My absolute favorite. I use powdered Coffee Mate in mine. While it may have a slight amount of coconut sweetner in it, it doesn't "sweeten" the coffee.

It's not too bad, cost wise. About $14.00 per pound. But since you only use a small amount per pot ...

Well, it's my only vice.

Okay, maybe not my only vice, but golly, a girl's got to have her coffee.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Is that flavored coffee, Ane? I'm not a big fan of flavored. Or is it just that it's smooth? LOL

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I sort of feel bad that I just throw some coffe in a pan and boil it up cowboy style then strain it into my as midnight. Ok, I've been putting some creamer in it lately. And I'm thinking about getting some Hazelnut creamer. And some sweetner. And a nice, expensive coffee maker. But for now, this works for me. Even reading it sounds disgusting to me. But it wakes me up! When I sell a book I'll have to buy me a super-duper coffee machine that fluffs my pillow.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger mazzucasinswaziland said...

I'm a black coffee drinker through and through. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a latte for fun (like one might choose to have soda with dinner) but, when it comes to that first cup (or in my case pot), it has to be black. To taste the rich flavors, allowing them to dance in your mouth as your eyes slowly open and you feel that buzz awaking your's almost like a divine encounter :)

With all of these coffee drinkers, I have to say a little something about Fair Trade Coffee. When you buy whole bean or even go out for a latte or mocah, ask if they have Fair Trade (there's a little symbol on the corner). When you buy Fair Trade products, it ensures that the coffee growers get a fair price for what they're growing (it's sad how many don't) Starbucks sells Cafe Estima, which is rich in flavor, yet light on the palet, and you can know that you are making a difference in someone's life! And, if you go someonewhere and they don't sell Fair Trade, ask them to look into it! You'd be surprised at how many people don't even know about it, and how many people think it's a good idea.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

If you don't have anyone nearby that sells free trade, please look into my lovely friends' Christian website that sells many free trade items to help establish a fair wage in third world countries!

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Katie, are you kidding me??? LOL Are you a cowgirl? LOL I'm cracking up here.

I'm not sure if Starbuck's uses free trade coffee in their espresso drinks. I'll have to ask. I buy it from the roaster here in town though.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Okay, I just gotta chime in here. I was a black coffee drinker until International Creamers came out and I switched just like that. I've been drinking coffee since college days and that's been a while. I'll take half and half if no flavored are around. My fave is International Caramel/Chocolate. Add a dollop of low fat whipped cream and it is almost like Starbucks Mocha. Note, I said almost, not exactly. Love it. And love their holiday chocolate mint creamer too. When I want an extra boost I'm off to Starbucks for that. Usually does the trick when I'm about ready to nod off.

At 2:10 AM, Blogger mazzucasinswaziland said...

Starbucks espresson isn't Fair Trade Certified. However, one barista told us that Starbucks pays more per pound than the average coffee company, so I guess that is better than nothing. But can you imagine what it would do for the Fair Trade movement if they did?

Also, a great way to get your church involved is to look into Equal Exchange. They sell fairly traded coffee and tea and specifically partner with churches (we were at a Presbyterian church, but I know they have relationships with lots of other denominations). When you buy from them, they send you posters, brochures, and videos to help promote and teach on how your congregation is making a difference. Now, it's all our church back home uses for fellowship times!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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