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Monday, January 11, 2021

What’s the first thing you do every morning? Me? Coffee! Before I can even consider doing anything else, I pour my first cup of steaming, fragrant brew. After nearly 40 years, my husband knows not to talk to me before I’ve had my first cup—I wouldn’t remember what he said anyway.

I started drinking coffee when I was very young. My first memories are sitting down with my Granddaddy Thrailkill and sharing a cup. Of course, mine was a cup of milk with just enough coffee to tint it a bit and his was black as pitch. But that didn’t matter to me: I was drinking coffee.

Coffee has been around a long time. From the legend of the caffeine-hyped goats in Ethopia in the 1400s, to monks drinking the brew to stay awake for evening prayers, to the fashionable of London visiting one of the 300 coffee houses in the mid-17th century, coffee is a permanent part of all cultures around the world.

Many times through the centuries, governments and clergymen have tried to ban coffee with little success. Mecca, Italy, Constantinople (Istanbul), even Prussia, where Frederick the Great tried to convince the populace that beer was a better choice for breakfast.

The Dutch brought coffee to New Amsterdam (New York) in the 1600s. After the “tea party” held in Boston Harbor, coffee became the American beverage of choice.

Coffee is said to have fueled the American Civil War. Soldiers wrote in their diaries of their need for their morning cup more often than they did rifles, cannons, or bullets. Men ground their own beans and brewed coffee in little pots call muckets. Some carbines even had built-in grinders so the soldier never went without.

There’s even a statue to coffee. At Antietam in September of 1862 19-year-old William McKinley made the most unlikely coffee run ever, dodging through heavy Confederate fire to deliver vats of coffee to the Union troops. No wonder he was elected president thirty-five years later.

Ah, that fabulous brew. Love it or hate it, it’s fully entrenched in our lives and in our kitchens.


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  1. Oh, Tea for me, but I can so relate to the need for one first thing.

  2. Never likes the vile stuff, but I've been around enough people to know how important tat first cup is.

    Thanks for a fun read. Doris

  3. I used to get up in 4:30 in the morning to get ready for work in the ER. I don't think I could have faced that without that morning cup of Joe.

    I'm retired now. I don't always need that bolstering cup of coffee; sometimes I have hot tea instead now.

    Thank you for the light-hearted blog. I needed something fun to read. All the best to you, Tracy!

  4. Coffee... the elixir of life. haha Enjoyed your article. The adults in my family were coffee drinkers. I didn't acquire the taste until my late 20s, when I worked on a thoroughbred race track in Cleveland. I learned that in the winter you could hover over a steaming cup of coffee while shivering in front of a space heater in the tack room for added warmth.