My Love, Where Have You Been All My Life?

One hour.

One hour of sleep is all I got the night before we found our love.

One full hour and the rest of the night was a wallow of restlessness.

This isn’t the only time I’ve lost sleep. Insomnia is perfectly normal in our household and perfectly healthy…even though it’s really neither normal nor healthy. So, when the alarm finally rang, I was technically already awake.

And I was cranky.

“I need coffee,” I said in a raspy voice, similar to a cigarette-wielding Fran Drescher. Frank woke up and was surprised by my demands. After all, neither one of us are coffee drinkers. It’s that reason why we can’t really grasp why people need coffee; why there is such an incessant need to be woken up by the smell of arabica beans (if that’s what they’re called).

Truth be told, I’ve never had a good coffee. It was often muddy, practically burnt-tasting and just too strong. Worst of all, any time I tried to drink coffee, even just a small cup, I would be jittery the entire day with my heart racing, up half the night, and ridden with fresh new pimples on my face (you heard that right, coffee makes me break out).

I haven’t even mentioned coffee breath yet.

Our hotel Le Meridien in Vienna offered two free espressos or capuccinos at Le Moët. Not being one to turn down free things, we tried it out. I sat, half-asleep, at our little table in our little corner of the world, completely oblivious to other people who had taken up the hotel’s offer of a free cup of coffee. While my husband, the guy who can sleep like a baby was happily planning the rest of the day, I was growing a little more cranky. “Look at this cat,” he said, waving his phone in my face, “it looks cranky! Ha ha! That’s you!”

“Maybe he’s cranky because people wave their phones in his face,” I said, killing any and ALL joy that could have been that moment.

It may have been no more than five minutes before the barista placed two cups of cappuccino in front of us.

The only coffee I will ever positively adore. The only coffee I will ever positively adore.

“Ok, how do we do this?” I asked because coffee is so foreign to me. As far as I know, you add sugar and you add a lot of creamer. How it even became coffee, I will never know. We both pondered the sides of sugar that had been provided with the coffee and then decided: hey, who needs teeth, and placed all the sugar in the cappuccino.

We took our first sip. And it’s from that point on that no amount of journal notes could describe to you the feeling I had at that very moment: that is, is this what coffee is supposed to taste like? The cappuccino was actually good. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold, it was just right. We felt a little like Goldilocks at that moment, you know the one who inadvertently committed a home invasion attempting to find a comfortable bed.

Maybe it was that barista, maybe he really knew how to make an awesome cappuccino. Maybe he was professionally trained or maybe he slipped a little bit of crack into our cappuccinos. I don’t know. But, what I do know is that I finally figured out why people go all gaga over coffee. With each sip, I was much more awake and happy.

“Ok,” I said, “let me see cranky cat again.”

“I got a better one,” said Frank. “Check out this ninja squirrel!” Who knew that a little bit of warmed milk and a tinge of coffee would make ninja squirrels so hilarious. I guess that’s why people like coffee…for the squirrels… And because it tastes so good.

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14 responses

  • Once I started making coffee at home I couldn’t go back to Starbucks again. I don’t even go near the black water drip coffee that most people consume. I’m a huge snob at this point.

  • What a great story! And nice use of Grumpy Cat to aggravate :)

    That coffee sounds wonderful! I’m a recent convert–I always had the reactions to caffeine that you did and usually prefer tea–but like Mr. Snarky Nomad there, I only like the good stuff. It’s an expensive habit to pick up and I purposely don’t drink it every day so I don’t get addicted. I make pour-over coffee at home using a cheap coffee funnel I got at the Japanese $1.50 store (Daiso–have you been, it’s so much fun! There are a few in LA: I save the espresso drinks for coffee shops–bonus points if they are in Europe :)

    • I thought I was the only one who preferred the caffeine from tea. My husband enjoys a good tea, too (and we’re partial to milk tea). I haven’t been to Daiso, but now I want to see what it’s all about! =D

  • Cute story. The coffee there sound divine. The history of coffee though is as varied as the different ways of preparing it. I do like the coffee in Vienna surely, had a great time hopping between cafes there. Also worth trying all the ways different cultures prepared coffee.

    • Hello ladies,

      I never thought about the cafe culture in Europe. But, that Barista was amazing. Like he was trained in it. It was the most perfect cup ever.

  • As a fellow non-coffee drinker, it’s nice to meet someone else who isn’t a slave to the bean! I can’t drink coffee for similar reasons—whenever I do, I get all ragey not too long afterwards and then crash big time a couple of hours later after I’ve let my anger exhaust me. It’s way worse than a toddler on a sugar high, so I avoid coffee at all costs. Strangely, I can drink iced coffee drinks, though I learned in Vietnam that I can only have 1 of those before things get ugly. Alas, for the safety of mankind, I’ve learned to just stick to tea!

    • Those Vietnamese coffees are insanely addictive. I’ll literally be up for days with just one. Oy vey, it sucks how our bodies process caffeine. Tea drinker here for life.

  • I don’t drink much coffee either. The timing of this post is funny cos I just had the first cup of unsweetened coffee that I liked last Sunday. It was freshly-roasted Sumatran coffee. And it was free, courtesy of a friend who’s about to open a coffee shop and needed guinea pigs.

    I’m a little insomniac, too, and I find a warm cup of honey and a Terry Pratchett book help me sleep.

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