Coffee, tea or cocoa? Name your poison! (A reprisal)

Last February, I asked the readers of the Record-Eagle this vastly important question and most of my responses came from family.  So I’m trying again with my ‘Foodie’ readers.  Don’t get me wrong… I can listen to my family talk food all day and often do.  I just want some perspective.  Are we the only ones obsessed with our hot beverages?  It cannot be so…  I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say to this:


Two very devoted coffee drinkers raised me. My Dad said he knew that he liked my then-boyfriend, now-husband the first time they met because Lindy offered to buy my Dad a coffee during the first period break at a hockey game. He did however, have reservations when my husband asked whether he’d like cream and sugar. Dad said, “Why would I want to wreck a perfectly good cup of coffee with that junk?” Dad likes his coffee really strong. In fact, he was banned from making coffee at his office because he was the only one who could drink it.

My Mom drinks coffee so strong that it has, quite literally, given panic attacks to guests. Well, actually it only happened once, but I think my point is made. The son of one of her friends had palpitations, sweats and couldn’t sit still after drinking a demi-tasse of Mom’s joe. She occasionally drinks it with half-and-half (probably so that the coffee acids don’t eat through her esophagus and stomach lining…) Mom never measures. She doesn’t need to measure. If she fills the filter it’s probably almost strong enough.


My husband needs a cup or three of coffee in the morning to feel human. He has a couple cups throughout the day to keep on keeping on. We have five kids. Who can blame him? He used to drink it heavily sweetened and very pale. He now drinks it black except for the occasional afternoon cup with a little flavored creamer. He stopped adding all the goodies to his brew in an effort to become more fit (a successful attempt, I might add.)


Our pastor once half-jokingly stated, “Never trust a pastor who doesn’t like coffee.”


…And me? Odd gal out that I am, I’m almost exclusively a tea drinker. As a kid I loved tea. My mom says that on Saturday mornings, I’d wake up before everyone else and make myself a cup of tea to drink while I watched cartoons. As a teenager and younger adult I used to drink vast quantities of coffee. (With parents such as mine how could I do otherwise?)


One day, coffee suddenly stopped agreeing with my constitution — probably too much of a good thing. Decaf coffee tastes like it was brewed in a rusty tin pot filtered by a dirty sweat sock. I hate cola. My only caffeine option was tea. I am now a certifiable tea nut.


I order fabulous loose-leaf teas by the pound. A quote on my favorite tea store’s website says, “Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.” (Billy Connolly) In fact, I got myself set up to have a wholesale account just so I could keep myself in great tea. I just discovered a fabulous tea blend called Chocolate Cream. Oh yummy, yum, yum! Listen to this description:


“Rich, sumptuous, and indulgent describes this blend of black tea, coconut, cocoa bits, chocolate chips, peppermint, and flavor. The aroma and flavor of creamy dark chocolate is so pronounced you almost feel guilty.”


Oh my. I need a cup now!


I had a friend who visited my house nearly every day after school. When he entered the door, my Mom and I would greet him with our automatic, ingrained response to anyone who crossed our threshold, “Would you like some coffee? Tea? Cocoa?” …He would stare at us with an incredulous expression and remind us that he didn’t like hot drinks. He never quite got through to us. I still assume everyone likes one of those in a devoted way. I still ask everyone. Heck, I even asked the UPS guy one day. He looked cold.


Last winter, I was back in touch with that old friend for the first time in over a decade.  One of the first things I asked him was whether he rememberd how thick-headed I was about offering him coffee, tea and cocoa.  He laughed and informed me that now he was slavishly devoted to coffee and he blamed me.  I win.


What about you? Coffee, tea or cocoa? Do you take it plain or doctored up? Hi octane or decaf? With snacks or without? Name your poison!


**Since I am now sitting on a beach somewhere I will be unable to agree with or tease you all about your choices.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be where wi-fi isn’t, so be patient with me.  I will get back to you all and in the meantime talk amongst yourselves.  Topic?  Coffee, tea or cocoa.  Discuss!


  1. says

    Great post!! First of all, laughing and agreeing with your description of decaf. My coffee/tea preferences and styles actually change with the seasons. Here are my rules:

    1) Coffee is always good, but it needs to be strong and without cream/sugar. We make ours in a french press.

    2) From late Spring through early Fall, it’s iced coffee all the way. I love doing the cold, slow brew overnight method at home and am hopelessly addicted to the Starbucks Iced Americano. Black. One of my coworkers tried it and described it as a cold, dirty ashtray in liquid form.

    Homemade iced tea is always always good in the summer too (mostly black, but I like a little green mixed in also).

    3) Winter and cold spring/days – loose leaf tea. Usually black or oolong – I adore Golden Monkey, Russian Caravan (a smoky blend) and some of the Formosa teas. Still haven’t found a green that I really love. Great tea resource is a little shop in my parent’s town – Cooks Shop Here – they actually close down each year for a tea trek to China for research and buying. They are serious foodies and tea-ies. If you’re ever in Northampton, MA, you should check them out.

  2. says

    Coffee is just okay. I drink a small cup on weekday mornings at work, when I’m in the mood, just to have some flavor in my mouth so I don’t think about lunch too early. 😉

    I like tea, especially cold. My favorite is the pure green bottled teas I can pick up at the Japanese market. No sugar, no added anything, just straight tea. Yum.

    And I love cocoa in the winter. It’s funny because as I’ve gotten older, I never eat sweets, especially chocolate, but I can’t resist good hot cocoa when I go home for the holidays.

  3. admin says

    Hi, Andrew and Melissa, thanks for your comments!

    I’m more of an Earl Grey person myself, and the last couple of years have become partial to Lady Grey, which appears to be Earl Grey with lavendar flowers–love the bergamot and lavendar combination. And like you, Melissa, I love good hot cocoa. One thing that made cocoa even more attractive was when I learned how to make homemade marshmallows, which are beyond description when melting into a mug of creamy hot chocolate; we especially enjoyed the mint flavored and raspberry flavored versions. Oh, and cinnamon with nutmeg, orange…I guess we enjoyed them all. :-)


  4. says

    The answer to your question is yes! I like them all. And I will try anything coffee, tea, cocoa related once and more than once. One java item I have not tried yet is espresso, I think I got the spelling right. My brother in law loves to play jokes on us. While we were on vacation with them he gave a chocolate covered coffee bean to Matt thinking he would get a weird reaction from him…you know he is not one to show his expressions…he just looked at my brother in law and said…interesting. It was too funny. We both love a good cup of coffee in the evening. I drink coffee and some tea through our the day.

  5. says

    Thanks for your visit to my site! That is funny that you named your crock pots!
    Funny Stuff! Oh and there is a SAint for a mom with 5 boys..its called Saint Zanax! And the other one is called Saint Jack Daniels!!!!LOL

  6. Heather says

    Oh great. Just happened to come across your blog, and find myself subscribing to yet ANOTHER feed. . . LOL! I love it all. Hot cocoa, great teas, and definately COFFEE! It’s a must have.

    I’ve been sick the past week,and my husband realized exactly how sick I rally was, when I hadn’t made coffee first thing (and didn’t drink any all day) for two days. Fortunately today, I am feeling better, and yes the pot is on.

    Love the story of your Mom and the friend’s son who had a panic attack.


  7. Rebecca says

    Jen- I love the chocolate covered coffee beans. If I eat too many, though, you have to scrape me off the ceiling.

    Leslie- Saint Zanax… I like that. Maybe I should name the whirlpool bath that I’m coveting St. Zanax (when I get it, that is!)

    Heather- I hope you’re feeling better. I think I’d call in a priest if my mom eschewed her coffee due to illness. And I’m glad you liked the site. Come back often!

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