web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Coffee and Me

Teens-031612

I love coffee, but I cannot drink it. This has been the case since my doctor issued the verdict last month – no coffee and no milk. I was quite disappointed to hear that as I love coffee, but I was determined to follow expert medical advice. That conviction, however, did not last more than one week into a new semester with a full course load. After three days of experiencing the overworked, sleep deprived college life, my determination began to waver, and I gave in. so I had a cup of coffee.

It was decaf and whitened with soymilk. It was bitter, it needed a lot of sugar to be sweet enough for my taste, and it left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth long after the cup was finished. And yet, I kept drinking it. Several times a week, I would drink a bitter cup of decaf coffee which I did not enjoy and which was not even effective as a stimulant. With every cup I told myself that I would stop. I questioned the logic of drinking something I did not like, but the logic was not strong enough. So, I kept going for the coffee because for me, coffee means something more.

It started when I was a small child, drinking a sip from my father’s coffee thermos which he would take every day to work. And from that first sip, I was hooked. Well, perhaps not quite hooked, since the next time I tasted it was several years later, and I did not enjoy it at all, but still, looking back, I see that first coffee encounter as a positive introduction to a drink that I would later come to enjoy.

I didn’t just enjoy coffee. It wasn’t just a drink. For me, coffee was comfort. Coffee was the warmth of a steaming brew in a disposable cup that I sipped in high school on those mornings when I really did not want to be in school. And a year later, in seminary overseas, coffee came to mean even more.

It’s not just that in Israel you can find the most delicious cappuccinos and lattes. It was the comfort of connecting with something familiar from home during those first few homesick months. And over the year, coffee came to mean friendship, the warmth of conversation and times shared with friends from different countries and states, on so many occasions, in various cafés around the country.

Even in Israel, despite the excellent quality of all things milk based, it wasn’t just the taste that made the coffee. As much as I loved my mochas and lattes, some of the best coffee I had was that shared with my principal, late at night in her apartment, which was always instant and usually decaf.

After completing the academic year and returning home, coffee was a tangible connection to Israel. It brought me back to so many places I had been, and while it induced longing to be back in the Holy Land, whenever I drank a really good cup, the way they make it in Israel, in some small way, I felt like I was back there.

Back home, post seminary, I continued to form positive associations with my special drink. As in Israel, coffee meant friendship and good times shared with my local friends who I had missed when I was abroad. And so, I kept drinking coffee.

When I started college, my coffee intake really soared. I needed the caffeine for energy on all those early mornings and late nights, and the sweetness was great company during all those hours I spent locked up in a room with nothing but my laptop and a stack of books. And of course, over coffee, I continued to make new friends and nurture old friendships.

But now I am told I mustn’t drink coffee. And so I don’t drink the real thing. I avoid the caffeine, I avoid the milk, but I can’t avoid the memories. The struggle to relent and have a coffee, compromised though it may be sans caffeine and milk, is still so very strong, and I often give in. And so I keep drinking bitter, decaffeinated coffee, illogical as it may be, because the associations I have with the drink are so very positive. Despite my best reasoning, I keep drinking something whose taste I don’t enjoy, and whose effect I have defeated by using the form without caffeine. Because to me, coffee is not just a drink. For me, coffee is comfort.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Coffee and Me”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The flag of ISIS
ISIS Calls on Muslims to Kill Non-Muslims Everywhere, in Every Way
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Yocheved Michelson
Teens-072012

When I think of how to describe my Zaidy to someone who has never met him, I find myself at a loss. I don’t know how to put my grandfather’s presence into words in a way that will sufficiently describe the picture I have of him in my mind. The fact that my most vivid memories are from when I was quite young make the task no easier. He was, simply, “Zaidy.” Regardless of profession, history or future, he just was.

Teens-061512

My friend’s mother died the other day. I went to the funeral, cried with the mourners, walked the traditional four cubits following the coffin to escort the dead to their resting place, as is customary at Jewish funerals, and then went over to my friend to offer my condolences. And then it was over. The guests went home, the family went to bury their loved one, and I went back to my life.

I love coffee, but I cannot drink it. This has been the case since my doctor issued the verdict last month – no coffee and no milk. I was quite disappointed to hear that as I love coffee, but I was determined to follow expert medical advice. That conviction, however, did not last more than one week into a new semester with a full course load.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/coffee-and-me/2012/03/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: