It's no secret that what our parents eat influences what we put on our own tables, for better or worse. If you grew up eating only American cheese, for instance, you might not be inclined to reach for Roquefort -- but if you were raised on Camembert, Kraft Singles might hold no special appeal.
The same probably goes for coffee -- what we experience as kids surrounded by coffee-drinking adults may color our taste for the stuff as grown-ups. But how hard are those habits to break?
Read on after the jump to find out.
"My dad never touches the stuff," said Amanda Byron, director of coffee for a family of premier Manhattan cafés called Joe. "He always gets the 'You're from Seattle and you don't drink coffee?' line. My mom, however, is a coffee drinker. She used to give me little cups of it when I was a kid."
"I've never seen my mom put sugar or milk in her coffee, but I'd load it up," Byron said. "Then one day decided not to add anything, and I don't to this day. That was perhaps my first coffee epiphany."
Meanwhile, Alex Brown, a colleague of mine at Counter Culture Coffee, said that his father roasted his own coffee in the garage, using an improvised setup that "looked like a jet engine being disassembled, with all of these different components -- heat sink, blower motor from a vacuum cleaner, a colander from the kitchen, a thermostat, and a popcorn popper from the early '80s."
"He actually roasted that coffee, though," Brown said. "And it was really good, too!"
In my house, my father made a full pot of Eight O'Clock coffee every Sunday morning, which we would all drink (myself included, starting at age 8) while reading the newspaper. Not only would Dad brew it at nearly double strength, but he would also toss at least a full tablespoon of cinnamon into the grounds. Even though I now teach people the ins and outs of making the best and purest coffee possible, I still spend some Sunday mornings sneaking a shake or two of cinnamon into my grounds as I'm prepping my joe.
What were your parents' coffee habits, and do you follow in their caffeinated footsteps? Tell us in the comments.
Erin Meister trains baristas for North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee and sporadically maintains the blog Meet the Press Pot from her home in New York City. This is part of a series for the caffeine-addicted.