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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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So how many of you out there are hardcore coffee drinkers? When I was visiting my Dad, he took me to a gourmet coffee place. The store owner obviously knew him well; as soon as she saw him, she told him that some specialty coffee he was waiting for had come in. An excited conversation about the subtleties of brewing, tasting, the specific geographical origin of these beans, etc. ensued. I listened in awe and with a growing sense of inadequacy.

I'm not really a coffee drinker. I drink it on occasion with Jodi and Allison on practice nights, sometimes brew myself a single cup about once a week. The only way I've ever been able to drink it is with enough cream and sugar to completely eradicate any coffee flavour whatsoever. I've also never been able to make coffee properly. Case in point: our friend Scott Dixon came to visit a while back, and asked if he could possibly have some coffee. I said sure, but warned him that I can't make it very well. No problem, he said with a careless wave of his hand, coffee is coffee, I'll drink anything. So I made him a cup and set it in front of him as he read his book. Half an hour later, the mug was still full, and Scott confessed (looking incredibly guilt-stricken) that he had tried very hard to drink my coffee but finally had to give up.

Still, I found myself fascinated by the animated discussion between my father and the coffee woman several days ago, found my mouth watering at the euphoric descriptions. So I caved and bought a 1/4 pound of Kenya AA+ (the plus is vital, you see...regular Kenya AA is not supposed to be nearly as good). Brewed myself a cup, cautiously tasted it WITHOUT ANY CREAM AND SUGAR.

And was shocked to find that it was actually ok. More than ok, really. Maybe some of this was psychological ("this is really good coffee so I must like it!"), but for a brief moment, I actually got a glimpse into what it must be like to be a True Coffee Drinker.

So I find myself teetering on the brink of the I jump?

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