I have a confession to make (Expect to read even more of these confessions, I have a guilty conscience OK! I’m not perfect!) I am addicted to those delicious sachets of coffee goodness mixed with instant milk and artificial sweetener! I am a recovering instant coffee addict!
Now after confessing this to you, you’re not going to believe what I have to confess next!….Ready for it?…
I was never much of a coffee drinker!
In fact I hated it despite getting my quals in Café operations in high school (I don’t have to like it too make it!) I tried lots of things to make coffee taste more bearable like adding more milk, adding more sugar, adding other flavours, I even tried coffee without coffee, that was my perfect coffee, a mocha without the coffee!
So how is it that I went from coffee hater to instant coffee lover to an instant coffee addict?
Well somewhere between juggling assignments, exams, work and some standard of actually having a life I discovered an amazing property of coffee, its ability to make me less of a morning monster. It had the ability to create a more perky, cheery person who pisses off all those other sleepy heads in the morning!
It was quite by accident I discovered this. One morning when I was a few years younger I woke up after a very late night of studying and felt nothing short of death slightly warmed up. While staring at the uninspiring choice of cereal in the pantry a glimmer a few shelves up caught my eye. Glowing like a beacon of morning hope stood a tin of instant French coffee with a pretentiously posh (for instant coffee) maroon foil label telling me this was the classy thing to drink.
“Hmmmm, I wonder will this disgusting beverage wake me up?”
At that point I just wanted to have at least enough energy to get me through to lunchtime when I could have a nap in the school library.
“What the hell, I’ll just add a bunch of sugar, down this disgusting thing they call coffee as fast as I can and voila, I might actually wake up!”
And that’s what I did that day and the next day and the next day, and two years down the line you guessed it still making that cup of sugar laden instant coffee in the morning.
Now over time the flavour slowly grew on me, I got more adventurous with my instant coffee choices and started to buy caramel latte, mocha and any other variety of naturally sugary instant coffee.
“Hey, this coffee stuff ain’t too bad at all!”
When I moved to China I didn’t have the luxury of purchasing those great instant coffee brands, fail after fail I tried brand after brand of instant coffee, it took 9 months to find that perfect brand! China morphed me into an instant coffee snob (which I blame on the low quality of China’s instant coffee). If it wasn’t my favourite brand “Super” Cappuccino or Irish Cream” quite frankly it was crap and I’d rather have tea than an inferior brand (I’m sure this makes the supermarket who actually stocks this brand very happy!)
So there’s the story of how I came to love instant coffee but what about getting addicted?
Well I have one word that answers that “teaching!”
Being an ESL teacher particularly for children requires a lot of energy, which despite appearances, my energy is in fact not at all boundless! Teaching children, who bless them made my day fun also made me tired so by midday after already having one coffee in the morning it was time for a second caffeinated kick!
I made the mistake of once telling my students on a day I was particularly grumpy that…
“Teacher Sasha ran out of coffee today and she gets very grumpy when she hasn’t had her coffee so it would be in your best interests to behave!”
They didn’t quite understand my complicated sentence but they did understand its meaning because every time I was grumpy after that they would ask me “Teacher Sasha have you had your coffee today?”
I became even more addicted to coffee when I started working for an education agency in Shanghai doing both management and teaching. The job was stressful my boss was a bit of a douche and my office cubicle was very uncomfortable and uninspiring. Though what it did inspire me to do was up my coffee limit from 2 a day to 3 a day! And sometimes even 4 if I was going to go out late the same night.
But despite my addiction to instant coffee and many other things (watch this space) I don’t like being addicted to things and tend to nip them in the bud as quickly as possible after finally getting out of a place of denial and convincing myself that I do indeed have a problem! Once I quit that highly stressful job in the education agency and just went back to teaching I got my coffee intake back down to 2 a day. After a while I slowly weaned it down to 1 though occasionally (as I’m now writing) I will have that 1 additional afternoon coffee, just for a treat, you know this blogging business is hard work!
My favorite and most creative instant coffee concoction…
1x Sachet of Instant Cappuccino
1 x Dash of Almond Milk
A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
l(Now doesn’t that concoction sound just divine!!!)