RT Cunningham


Black Coffee Always Marks the Beginning of My Daily Routine

black coffee Technically, the black coffee I drink isn’t really black. Black means without any form of creamer or sweetener added. I don’t add any form of creamer but I add sugar. I would have to drink it incredibly weak to drink it without sugar.

If I can’t get a cup of black coffee at the beginning of my day, for whatever reason, my day is not going to go well.

Black Coffee isn’t Really Black

Although it may look black when it’s in a cup, coffee is never black. It’s dark brown, just like the coffee beans it comes from. And coffee beans aren’t really beans. They’re seeds. People, especially Americans, have a habit of naming things other than what they are.

I rarely drank coffee before my first time on a Navy ship, in 1983. I preferred soft drinks. It was on that ship that I learned to drink black coffee without any sugar and without any creamer. We ran out of soft drinks, sugar and creamers (both dairy and non dairy) while we were off the coast of Lebanon for more than a month. We didn’t run out of coffee because the cooks made it weak.

I started drinking coffee regularly after that but not black coffee. My coffee had to include sugar and some form of creamer.

Drinking Black Coffee in the Philippines

I couldn’t drink anything hot at all when I first moved to the Philippines. Josie, my wife, and I arrived at the beginning of the hottest month of the year. It took me months to get used to the humid heat enough to drink coffee again. I’ve never gotten completely used to the humid heat and I probably never will.

I drank a lot of coffee during the first six years of living here. I stopped adding creamer at some point because I liked the taste of the coffee more than the creamer. While black coffee with sugar is sweet, the sugar doesn’t mask the flavor of the coffee like creamers do.

When I say “a lot of coffee”, I mean it. Except for the rare occasions when I drank rum and coke (for a party or something), I drank nothing but water and coffee. I started drinking less coffee when I switched to black coffee.

These days, I rarely reach three cups of black coffee on any given day. Most of the time, I stop at one. Later in the day, I’ll drink a glass of juice over ice. I’ll drink ice-water the rest of the time. If I have the money, I’ll sometimes buy beer. Actually, Josie holds on to my money and she buys the beer we both end up drinking before retiring for the evening.

I Won’t Drink Black Coffee at Restaurants

The coffee at fast-food restaurants is always too strong to drink it black. I always add sugar and cream (or milk) to the coffee at those places. I’ll do that even at sit-down restaurants like Sit-N-Bull.

It’s a different story altogether when I buy iced coffee (cold coffee in a can or jar). There are various mixes and flavors to choose from and I like the sweetened black coffee more than the other choices.

Over the years, I’ve known a lot of people who can’t stand the taste of coffee at all. I don’t think their preferences, many of which are soft drinks, are as healthy as coffee.

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By RT Cunningham
April 28, 2018
Coffee, Food and Drink