Of Coffee and Memories

The other day we went to the Aurora mall, one of the last indoor malls on the front range, to kill a few hours before heading to Monte and Erik’s for the Superbowl.  We hadn’t been there in some time and it always brings back such memories.  It prompted me to republish this article that I wrote some three years ago for a local newspaper before I became their food writer.  Three years later, Doug works at the coffee shop mentioned and Bret is now a part of our family along with Emily and Bret’s daughter.  So, here’s to that sweet cup of coffee and memories…

coffee cup

Smells and tastes can evoke such vivid, sometimes forgotten, memories.  All the colors, and voices, and laughter emerging forth as one takes in a heady sip.

Grandma and Grandpa’s house was on South Pennsylvania in Denver while I was growing up.  Rose bushes, climbing vines, the bay window, and porch swing wait for me in memory.  The smell of Folgers and cigarettes takes me directly to their round kitchen table where Grandpa amuses me with stories.  Grandpa’s tales of being a real cowboy still enthrall me.  Grandma stands at the stove cooking our breakfast.  I can smell the eggs frying in the skillet, filling the kitchen with salivating aromas.  She taught me how to fix the perfect egg.  I sip Folgers coffee from my own wee cup, a two ounce white porcelain mug that just fits in my hand.

At the hint of raspberry chocolate flavored coffee the laughter grows deafening as my best friend, Susan, and I dance around the living room in boxer shorts and t-shirts singing along to our new favorite performer, Harry Connick Jr; our teenaged hearts just wild over our new celebrity crush.

It is New Year’s Eve and it is going to be a blue moon.  We make pot after pot of raspberry chocolate coffee while very seriously and demurely watch foreign films until the clock strikes twelve.  We run outdoors, mugs in hand, to greet the New Year under the enormous full moon.

Last week Emily’s boyfriend gave us a pound of coffee his father had roasted. Jamaican Me Crazy is the name.  I was unsure of what flavor that would be!  I poured the boiling water over the earthy grounds in the French Press and poured myself a cup.

I am surprised to find myself with my young children some dozen years ago laughing and walking around the Aurora Mall.  We go there a lot to keep busy and take in the sights.  We play on the magnificent merry-go-round that holds court in the center of the mall.  The childhood, seemingly hand cranked, music fills the air.

Near the merry-go-round is my favorite shop with walls lined with unique and daring coffee blends such as Coconut macadamia, Hazelnut with real pieces of nuts, Irish Cream, and my favorite Chocolate Pecan.

Grandpa has just bought me a new coffee maker.  He jokes that it does everything but bring you a cup of coffee!  It grinds and brews at any designated time (new at that time!).  At home, as the rich liquid brews we turn on the Martha Stewart Show and see what creativity she has in store for us.  This was a tradition we carried on until just a few years ago; Martha and Coffee.

Even now, Doug and I sit in Grumpy’s Coffee sipping our respective brews, soy peppermint mocha for him, black dark roast for me, sharing the paper, greeting all the familiar faces, and making new coffee memories.

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