Coffee. It’s not for me.

14 Sep

Recently, on my way to the kitchen to heat up my lunch, I overheard this comment: “A broken lock isn’t going to stop me from getting my coffee”. I politely laughed because a)it was my deputy director and b)I didn’t know what else to do but what I was really thinking was “wow, you need a support group. That is not healthy behavior”. I guess I don’t understand because I don’t drink coffee. There. I said it.

It’s such a relief to get that off my chest. I don’t drink coffee. I never have. I just don’t understand the appeal of a drink that gives you god-awful breath and stains your teeth. And it wasn’t until I became an adult until I realized what a social stigma it is not to drink coffee. I have yet to walk into a work kitchen, attend a meeting or commute without seeing the unmistakable signs of the legions of coffee drinkers. I’ve gotten used to the stares and gasps when I turn down offers for coffee. I’ve gotten used to this question: “How do you function? I’m no good before I have my coffee!”  I’d like to answer that I wake up just fine in the morning and I have actually found that an almost 4-year-old screaming “Mommy!” is probably just as effective of a jolt as caffeine but I just shrug and smile.

My dislike for coffee is not a mystery. I can pinpoint the exact reason why I can’t stand it.  I can trace the origins all the way back  to my 11th grade math class. My teacher, who made me sit not only upfront but directly in front of his desk, was a sweaty mess of a man who always reeked of coffee and consistently had a drip or two stuck to his moustache. His coffee aroma was so strong that I think he might have bathed in it. He had coffee stink lines coming off of him that were so thick you could capture them and make another cup of coffee.

Then there was his breath. Dear Lord, his breath was the worst smell I have ever smelled. Imagine a landfill steeped in coffee and then covered in warm milk; that’s pretty close to what Math Teacher’s breath smelled like. It was so overpowering that most days I wished to lose my sense of smell. I had to smell this first thing in the morning, every morning, for 9 straight months. It was enough to ruin the drink for me forever. I cannot look at a cup of coffee without immediately flashing back to my math class horror. Then I start to relive the smell and the awfulness of it all and I run, not walk, away from the coffee.

There’s nothing that anyone can do or say that will get me to start drinking coffee at this point. And boy, do people try. But my repulsion is so strong that I made it through college, grad school, and living with a newborn all without drinking coffee. I think I am one of the few people left on earth who will go into a Dunkin Donuts and actually get a donut.  In fact, the only coffee pot I have cost $12 and comes out only when my parents visit (and sometimes not even then. They go down the street to Dunkin Donuts because I don’t have coffee filters or coffee grounds. Or is it coffee beans? Whichever it is, I don’t have either).

So now you know one of my secrets. I don’t drink coffee. I hope we can still be friends.


21 Responses to “Coffee. It’s not for me.”

  1. Heidi September 14, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Right there with you. Can’t stand the stuff. People look at me like I grew an extra eye when I say no to coffee.

    • theemptykitchen September 14, 2010 at 11:18 am #

      heidi, it so good to know there’s another one like me out there!

  2. stephb September 15, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    count me in. i hate the stuff. i also had a math teacher with wicked coffee breath. 9th grade algebra. still remember it. i don’t like tea, either….(hot or cold)

    • theemptykitchen September 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

      now tea i like. there must be a club of stinky coffee breath math teachers that has a multi-state network.

  3. Candee September 15, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Jana – count me in too! I cannot stand the smell of coffee and I had the task of making the morning coffee at 2 of my previous jobs. I also do not own a coffee maker so my mom has to drink instant if she wants it in my house 🙂

    • theemptykitchen September 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

      i could not be happier that there is a whole army of us out there! noncoffee drinkers unite!

  4. Martha September 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Wow. Gross. That teacher sounds absolutely revolting.

    I love coffee, but recently determined it might be the ritual of coffee that I love so much. To me there’s nothing like lingering over a nice cup of coffee in the morning. But I totally get why people don’t like it and I think it’s really weird that you’re being stigmatized for it.

    • theemptykitchen September 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

      i don’t get the stigmatization either. but, i’ve accepted it. i get the ritual part being nice but i think there could be a less stinky drink 🙂

      • Martha September 16, 2010 at 10:44 am #

        Right… Like tea! Which I like just as much as coffee…

      • theemptykitchen September 16, 2010 at 11:30 am #

        or beer! ok, so that’s kind of stinky but it’s much easier to mask than coffee!

  5. Sarah September 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    hahaha this cracks me up. i enjoy coffee but only drink a cup a day. like martha mentioned, i love the ritual of coffee. when i’m at my parents i don’t usually drink any because they don’t have creamer, so i’m not addicted (seriously- no headaches or anything). i just enjoy it! but i didn’t for much of my life so i understand what you’re saying. 🙂

  6. Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary September 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Add me to the list of people who don’t drink coffee. I don’t have any negative associations, but I just don’t like the taste. I don’t even like coffee-flavored ice cream or coffee-flavored candy. Just can’t stand the taste.
    I do, however, have a french press in the house. Because after all, though I don’t drink coffee, I do sometimes have guests. 🙂

    • theemptykitchen September 17, 2010 at 8:50 am #

      i’m with you barb. anything coffee flavored is just gross, including ice cream. i do have one question, though…what is a french press?

      • Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary September 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

        A french press is a device for making coffee. (Sorry, I should have said so!). It’s smaller than a regular coffee pot, and not electric. I posted a photo of my french press in this post about kitchen items I never knew I wanted. (It’s the last picture, on the bottom of the page.)

        The funny thing is that although my parents both drank coffee while we were growing up (and still do), none of their kids drink coffee. One of my brothers likes coffee flavored ice cream, but the rest don’t even like that. It’s odd. 🙂

  7. skyraftwanderer April 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    I also do not like the taste. The only time I have liked the taste is after having 4 or 5 spoonfuls of sugar and thats just plain unhealthy, so I just don’t drink coffee at all.

    I do love tea though. Tea is amazing on so many levels.

  8. Hannah October 17, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I don’t drink coffee either. I don’t like the taste. But I have always loved the smell ok fresh-brewed coffee in the morning.

  9. Anonymous November 28, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I don;t like the taste either, except RARELY get a taste for it. (last time was like year 1995) I’m an insomniac anyways, so I use that as the excuse. I have gotten the “What, you don’t drink coffee?” a lot. Someone at work offered to let me use his Keurig breech loading coffee maker if I get the ammo for it for myself. I never tried it. (Note: a round of Keurig ammo is called a “K-Cup”.)


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