My dad is to blame for most of the things in my life; and I use the word “things” here with purpose. Coffee, music, art, whisky, beer, cameras, cigars... the list goes on. Things.
While I may speak on “things” here, his contribution is not limited by any means in its scope to that noun alone, but things are what is important with this conversation. I believe it's also important to note that I don't speak necessarily of just "stuff," because stuff is singular in its materialistic nature...the “things” I speak of are more along the line of the material world we interact with, the mortar between the bricks. And bricks being bags of beans bound for an espresso machine.
In addition to the “things,” I am not bashful to point out the fact that my father is most likely responsible for the majority of my vices as well, good or bad. I'm not upset about this in the slightest. It makes a lot of sense to me. We share similar DNA, nature vs. nurture, nurture vs. nature, what have you, no surprise we end up with some similar habits and nuances. Who the fuck actually cares? Where does mom come in you may ask? That's a whole other post in itself, but trust me-- she contributed her ass off.
My dad, pops, Big Dave, he's the one who set me on the path of coffee psychopathy. And again, I use a word intentionally here-- psychopath-- since Ryan has knighted me Sir Psychopath, Duke of Coffee Consumption. Which brings me to say, as life will have it, “things” and vices often times intersect. And when they do…
"...he's the one who set me on the path of coffee psychopathy."
There was a time when coffee was just another thing to me. As innocuous as a tissue and nothing more than a beverage frequented by those with needs I had yet to come into my own understanding of, let alone consciously empathize with. Coffee was and is a staple of our household and not a day goes by that a morning is not accompanied by a pot of the brew. To tell a tale as old as time, my story with coffee is inextricably linked to Cuisanart, a bag of 8' O'Clock whole beans, and a jug of non dairy creamer. Which may give you pause. Rightfully so. If you're here and you're reading this you may have just gotten chills down your spine. If you'll notice, not once have I mentioned that dad made "good" coffee (by today's impossibly steep standards), but he did make the damn stuff and he knew how he liked it. It was strong and fresh and consistent. And there's a lot to be said about all 3 of those attributes.
For all intents and purposes, this was the average household and this coffee was above average in a time and place when coffee made at home was morphed into a convenience and bastardized to be made fast and cheaply. There wasn't a big box coffee shop on every corner and most donut places were the same sickly orange that we see now. No one could just pop out and grab a semi to full on amazing cup of coffee. Especially not in the South Suburbs of Chicago. We had a 7-11? A White Hen? Lots of gas stations. And some rubble. And compared to that swill, this was good coffee.
The blue collar chap had taken the time to find a brewer with good reviews (in a time without Amazon or Google) and a good grinder. He cared. And you could tell. And I believe the beginning of me caring about shit like this started here. Because I could tell he cared and it was reflected in the outcome. And now I care about all kinds of shit and it drives the people around me nuts. And I don't care one bit. Because it's worth it. Because over the last 33 years the ends justified the means.
Dear ol' Da’ drank coffee every morning and often during late nights. He had long hard days and they all started with coffee in the wee hours. His routine was tighter than the nuclear clock and was all but left uninterrupted for days and weeks and months save for the occasional illness. 2 cups. Bathroom break. Back to coffee. Then he could function. And I relish in the fact that ritual is recognized and appreciated in the world and guess what? I have coffee every day. 4 cups before work. What? There has to be something I do better than him and I think drinking coffee is a good place to start.