Tell us how you started drinking coffee. Were you in high school or college and making it through all nighters? Did you get it from a family member? What drives your love of the bean?
I was a preschool junkie. My drug of choice? Caffeine.
It would be hard to avoid the habit, growing up in a coffee-loving family in New Orleans, home of dark and strong chicory coffee. Because of my French heritage, I had my own little demitasse cup in which to drink my cafe au lait (mostly warm milk and condensed milk with a splash of coffee) starting around the age of 3 or 4. I didn't get it every day, just on special occasions. I loved the smell of coffee as much as I loved the taste. When my mother would pour a freshly opened bag of coffee into the cannister, I loved to put my face up to the rim and inhale deeply, over and over. (Yes, I know I'm weird.) I begged for sips from the cups of my mother and grandmothers.
I started drinking a cup of coffee every morning when I started high school - with lots of milk and sugar. In college, I started smoking (ugh - I can't stand to think of that now) and I switched to black coffee, the stronger, the better. When I quit smoking, I started to add some milk to my coffee, but no sugar. These days, I don't really like the taste of sweet coffee - I love the bitter, smoky taste - it's the reason I drink coffee every day instead of tea.