From the time I was a kid, I always have fond memories of smelling the coffee beans roasting. This was an everyday occurrence to me because my parents owned a little diner in small-town america.
Yes, that kind of exact place you see on TV shows where the police officer is always sitting at the bar, the star comes in and orders some pumpkin pie and a coffee… think EXACTLY THAT!
When I was young, I used to sneak a cup of coffee occasionally as I was helping my parents out and working after school and on weekends.
I’d sneak around back when nobody was looking and pour myself a cup and then disappear out to the store room to quickly drink it. I don’t know why I used to do that, but it was a little bit naughty so I guess that’s just part of being a kid – rebelling!
The reason this memory is stuck so vividly in my head is that despite everything else at my parent’s diner being amazing – yes. Really…
The coffee was terrible. Absolutely undrinkable. I literally don’t know how anybody ordered it or finished a cup, let alone asked for refills. Given this was my introduction to coffee, in my later years as I grew up, I stayed right away from coffee because this is what coffee tasted like in my mind.
All grown up - mostly!
I got married at the age of 28 to a beautiful young woman. We had kids at 29 years old and settled down into a nice home. I got a job at a big tech company and life was good. We had everything we wanted.
One night I came home at about 6 pm and walked in the door to see my family. The kids were playing in the backroom and I sat down with my wife and said “I’m so tired. I’ve had one hell of a day at work.”she replied “Oh no! What happened, honey?”
I told her“It’s just exhausting. I’ve spent the whole day in performance reviews with my staff and I had to take them for about 10 coffee meetings” I added “The thing is, I absolutely hate coffee. So I had to sit there and smell something delicious, but all the time knowing that they were drinking dirty and stale water!”
She laughed out loud and spat her glass of wine all over the counter. She said“I have to be honest, I’ve always wondered why you never drank coffee.” and then said,“You know not all coffee tastes like that?…”I replied“Well, I think it does. Why don’t you prove it to me smarty pants!”
She gave me a cheeky grin and said “Ok, darling. Wait right there. Let me show you something I’ve been hiding from you!” as she winked at me and then walked off into the cupboard.
My wife had been hiding something from me… something HUGE!
In the cupboard, I could hear rustling around and she also knocked one of the containers of flour on the ground. I went to walk into the cupboard and she said“Stop right there. This is a surprise!”and I said“Ok, ok… settle down!” and I went back to sit on the kitchen stools.
About a minute later I heard a rumbling sound coming out of the closet and very shortly later I heard my wife’s voice say“ok, close your eyes. No peeking!” to which I replied “Oh come on. Just hurry up!” and she said, “Just do it please!”
I put my hands over my eyes and yelled out “Ok, I’m ready. Please hurry up!”
I heard her walk out of the cupboard. Frankly, it was hard to miss because she was giggling like a little schoolgirl. She walked up and sat in front of me and said“Ok, now no peeking!” as she put something under my nose…
The surprise of my life had been hiding right under my nose
I could instantly smell this beautiful, rich, roasted coffee smell and I could feel the heat from the cup on my face.
I told her“That smells beautiful. What is that?” and she replied.“It’s a surprise. Just trust me!” I said“It may smell nice, but I don’t want any. Coffee is disgusting!” and she said back “Please, just trust me. Have a little sip!”
I reluctantly agreed to have a sip, fully expecting this to be a favour to her and having no expectations, I took a little sip.
I took my hands off my face and opened my eyes and said “What the hell is that?!” and she smiled at me and said,“Well, I didn’t want to tell you this, because I knew you didn’t like coffee…” I looked at her a bit shocked, then she added “A few months back I snuck out and got a Keurig machine from the store and also ordered some Angelino’s coffee for it”
I stared at her, totally shocked that she had done this – but more so, that she had done it secretly without even mentioning it to me. I said to her“That hurts my feelings. Why wouldn’t you tell me something as simple as that?!” her eyes welled up and I could see that she was genuinely sorry, then she replied“Well, I knew you didn’t like coffee but I LOVE coffee.”she added,”I tasted this coffee a few months back at a friends house and I just had to get some!”
I looked at her, all covered in flour, eyes welling up, and said“That’s ok honey. I understand you didn’t mean to be hurtful” she jumped up from her seat and gave me a huge hug, and said, “I’m so sorry I’ll never keep a secret from you again!”
I took a step back, grabbed her hands, and said“Now that’s out of the way… what do you say we sit down and drink this beautiful Angelino’s coffee together and forget that ever happened…” to which she said, “Yes, please. Let me go and grab one for myself too!”