Monday, January 28, 2013

Familial Addictions

When I was growing up, coffee was a big deal in my home. I lived with my single mom and my dad visited us often (they were pretty good at being divorced co-parents). One of my fondest memories is of them sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee together. My mom also shared coffee with her friends, other family members and then indulged on her own throughout the day. Yes, the picture that I paint here is of a hardcore coffee drinker!

A few years ago my mom fell into an old habit of espresso in a tiny cup with 2 huge heaping tablespoons of sugar and a 50/50 mix of coffee and heavy whipping cream. She drank it all day long and, before I knew it, I was on board too. Espresso is yummy, especially when it tastes like candy!

And so the inevitable happened: we gained weight. I eventually switched to a French press with plain black coffee and was fine from that point on, but it took my mom a good year to quit the espresso. When she did, though, she lost 20 lbs! When she realized that it was the coffee that had added that weight, she was happy to switch to something a little less indulgent.

The thing with addictions, though, is that they're always lingering in the back of your mind. Some days just call for a hot cup of steamy espresso. Beautiful weather and blooming flowers triggers a desire for a tiny cup and a taste of sweet. My mom handled these moments with strong resolve, but that didn't stop them from coming. 

Then something intriguing happened ... 

My mom came over to my home help me brainstorm on how I was going to battle an ant problem that I was having. While she was here I made a pot of Starbucks (medium roast) coffee in my French press and offered her an array of creamers. She chose one that I wasn't overly fond of: International Delight Cold Stone Sweet Cream. I had bought it thinking that it would be amazing since I love Cold Stone ice cream, but I wasn't very impressed.

She kept going back for cup after cup and before I knew it my bottle of creamer was verging on empty! She found the concoction curious and kept staring at her cup like it held some sort of secret. Flash forward several hours and it hit her: the combo of Starbucks coffee and the new creamer tastes almost identical to her beloved espresso! 

She did a little calculating and realized that this was a guiltless way to bring espresso back into her life. She was so excited that I couldn't help but give the creamer another shot. Once I started thinking in terms of espresso and not plain coffee, it did take on an indulgent property! It has to do with the ratio. 

So here we are, two women in two different homes with two refrigerators which both hold a hefty supply of International Delight Cold Stone Sweet Cream. Bliss!


  1. I've been trying to cut back on coffee and switch to tea, but it's hard not to just sit back on a cold day and use my espresso machine that has been collecting dust lately. Now you've got me craving a nice big cup with some yummy creamer!

    1. If you don't load your cup with too much sugar and cream, coffee is actually really good for you! It's a great antihistamine so I make sure to drink an extra cup on high pollen days.


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