Memoirs of My America – The Power of The Bean

I always knew what I had.

Coffee, Ahhh, from that first palate burning sip. The perfect drink. Black gold. Brings you up, yet calms you down.

Like a good Colombian family, our day began with a silver pot percolating. In fact, I received my own first percolator at age three; my Spanish grandmother would fill it with the real bean, and my brother and I would sit and slurp up the steaming sweet smoothness. We would masterfully stir in the cream until it was the perfect caramel brown. We just knew how much cream to add, it’s part of the Andean DNA we came with.

Since age three, I have known of the power of caffeine. I have forever understood the coffee jokes, I got them – I’d even poke fun at my own left twitching eye.

I don’t apologize for my coffee habit, but I do apologize for bringing my husband down this same, indulgent path. Poor soul, he never stood a chance. One morning, after a particularly focusing round of the bean, I had him convinced he could run for President. And win. One more cup later he emitted a Howard Dean primal scream, and submitted papers.

Coffee. You can have intelligent conversation when you hold a mug in your hand, you are confident with a mug in your hand, you are clever and witty, sharp, focused, and the ideas are firing off in your head like a little boy with a cap gun.You’d be left with such a good feeling, that at times I could scarcely believe that liquid was legal.

My days are built around coffee. Get up, have that cup, be in a good mood, get it all done. The crazy-woman power walk around the subdivision, the 5 mile wide smiles, and the ideas for posts? bing bing bing 50,00 lined up and just waiting for the day to be over so I can hit Publish for the next one.

I’d finish a cup and start another. People would mention they were cutting down to two a day, and I’d quip, “Yeah, me, too … two POTS!” Hilarious. Coffee made me hilarious.

On the days of that perfect, centering caffeine buzz, where the balance of coffee ingested was just right that you loved everybody and everything and you’d be tearing your closet apart looking for your Life Is Good T shirt; you’d look in the mirror and loved that, too – with that youthful, coffee adrenaline cherry flush in your cheeks and only the two second attention span to not stare much longer.

To those of you who know just what I’m talking about, I know your mouth is already wetting and you just jumped up to get a cup. You want it – a hot, fresh cup of coffee to hold in your permanently coffee-clawed hand, fingers molded by the mug’s handle. You know you can smell it if you close your eyes. Ahhh … nothing. like. it.

Yes, yes, oh, yes, I do love my coffee.

And that’s how it went down with my good husband and coffee.

I feel so guilty about it. I wasn’t thinking when I poured that first cup of Bustelo for my husband-to-be twenty years ago, my only thoughts were like those of Nancy to Sid, “This is so good, I wanna share it with you, babe.”

I can only blame myself this morning, as I watch my wonderful husband savagely wipe the drops off his mouth from his third cup of liquid belief, while he has our innocent children plant “Vote For ME for Town Ombudsman!” signs on our neighbor’s yards.

I did this, and the only thing lessening the weight of these stakes in my arms is the thought of the Starbucks we’ll be passing in just four minutes.



Alexandra is an overanalyzing, oversensitive mother of three boys who somehow found herself named as BlogHer ’11′s Voice of The Year for Humor. She has been a mother since 1994, which means she hasn’t been right about anything since. She blogs of the sweet and the funny while trying to go unnoticed in her small town. You can find her at Good Day, Regular People. Did we mention socially awkward? We should, which is why the internet was made for her.


  1. Dang… I must be drinking the wrong freakin’ coffee!

  2. Drink of the gods. I’ve been hooked since age fourteen. Mmm….

  3. Nectar of the gods. Been hooked since age fourteen, never looked back.

  4. haha you have it bad….i started a little later than you….working on the loading docks is where i fell in love with coffee…the ol guys there got me hooked when we were unloading trucks early in the morning….

  5. My husband roasts our beans. One cup of ambition a day is all I can do, but it’s divine ambition, so one cup is sufficient.

  6. I LOVE that you had your own percolator at age 3! Of course you did.

  7. You’re kind of like Eve giving Adam the poisoned fruit, aren’t you? So what is it about this Bustelo coffee that makes it different from others? I just came over to the dark side about a year ago. I’m still looking for that perfect cup.

    • Oh, ho ho ho ho HO! (an expression, not calling you names … ) You MUST try the Bustelo, scout around, find it, you only need ONE cup.

      It always comes down, no matter what in your life, to QUALITY not quantity.

  8. Like Nancy and Sid?

    You are everything to me.

    I wish I still drank coffee – Turkish coffee. Mmmmmm.

  9. This was funny, but hit altogether too close to home. I would tell you about it, but my 2 second attention span is already up.

  10. Oh Alexandra, I am not sure what I miss more right now – my mobility or coffee. Now that I’m stuck I can’t just up and go to my favorite coffee shop whenever I feel like it. And I don’t know how to make coffee! (I know, I need to learn!) And I am reading this post on one of those dark, rainy, sleep Monday mornings where I desparately need me some…

    I am going to look up BUSTELO now!! Loved your post :-)

  11. I have fantastic memories of hanging out drinking coffee with you, lady! Even out of a student-store vacuum pump – it rules!




    • Right? The magic intimacy of bonding over shared coffee. So much more than a mortal beverage. The shared coffee and conversation was a turning point that weekend, on where and how and when to take a direction change.

      THANK YOU.

  12. Oh, Alexandra. You ARE hilarious.

    And damn. I read this and miss the sweet and bitter taste of coffee, too. So very much. Decaf is just not the same.

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