I was enjoying a cup of coffee that, between the efforts of my daughter and the barista, had been specially concocted, just for me. It had a familiar taste to it, but I couldn’t quite place it.
My husband gave up coffee and all caffeine years ago. The few exceptions he’s made to that choice have been for a cup of true English tea while we were in England, a very rare cola as a mixer and an espresso when we go to Italy. Otherwise, he has staunchly denied any offer of a caffeinated beverage. At times, I wish I was more like he is, and able to let go of my love affair with what I call my “happy juice”, but so far it’s not been a successful. Until the day that my happy juice and I part company, I will continue to enjoy a steaming cup of earthy tasting brew.
As I took sip after sip of my drink, I would roll the flavor around on my tongue and then pay attention to the flavor that swirled around in the back of my throat. I could pick out chocolate, and coffee – of course – and something buttery and something sweet and then something smoky. That was the part that was throwing me.
Typically, I drink my brew black and straight up, but variety is the spice of life and my daughter thought I might like this for a change. Slurp… a look of consternation as I try to identify what I’m relating this flavor too and then, slurp, another sip.
Stumped, I called my husband in and said to him, “I completely understand your choice not to drink coffee, and I’m not trying in any way to compromise that choice. I want you to know that I respect that, but I’d also like you to taste this. Just a little sip. I’m not asking you to chug it or even take a big swallow. I promise… I don’t want to change what you are doing, I just need help identifying a flavor.”
I had delivered my plea with sincerity and respect and a small bit of helplessness – all of which I had meant – and was staring at my husband with my cup in my hand, offering it to him.
He sat very still and looked me in the eye for a long time and with one of the most serious and thoughtful looks on his face he said to me, “Ok, Eve.”
He got the flavor right away – Skor candy bar.