It has been many, many years since I used to add “a little something” to my coffee. When I did, it was always brandy, or Kahulua, or some liqueur that goes well with a steaming cup. No longer. Not for many, many years, that.
I always drank my coffee black. Then I went to New Orleans for two weeks and had that magical chicory coffee with sweetened milk, and now I must have milk and sweetener in my coffee. After I went to Italy, I could no longer bear Folger’s, but must now grind my own beans and make my coffee fresh every morning.
A coffee connoisseur? I don’t know that I’d go that far, but I do love my java. And now I have another passion: Torani’s sugar-free syrups. I discovered them at Starbuck’s, of course, and then I found them on the grocery store shelf. My favorite is Caramel (the vanilla tastes kind of weird to me), but right now I’m obsessed with the Hazelnut. A little shot of that in my cup in the morning with some milk, and I am in fragrant caffeine heaven.
Still. Whenever I reach up into that cabinet above the microwave–the only cabinet on the coffee pot side of the kitchen that is tall enough — and grab that big bottle, I get a little shiver of recognition from the old days, the bad days, the days when I would start my day with a little something that almost destroyed me.
And then I think about how grateful I am…especially since this is gratitude month…and pour myself a nice hot cup of coffee and think about people who are struggling against that other type of bottle, who aren’t as fortunate as I am to have replaced theirs with the sweetness of sugar-free Torani syrup.