I’ve been drinking decaf coffee in the mornings for few weeks if I’m working from the office. It’s hard for me to describe how it tastes.
My first experience with decaf coffee was when I was about seven years old. My grandmother drank decaf coffee when she ate donuts for breakfast. She would drink regular coffee any other time, but I think she felt like she needed to cut down on something when she ate donuts for breakfast. A friend of the family was staying with us at the time. When I came into the kitchen that morning, this friend of the family was pouring herself breakfast into a bowl from of a plastic storage container that my grandmother kept on top of the refrigerator. Grandmother hated cereal boxes. The cereal always went stale the next day, she said. Grandmother was eating her soggy donuts at the kitchen table, dipping her donuts slowly, and eating them even slower.
I looked at my grandmother, looked over at the friend of the family, and then back at my grandmother. Grandmother and I exchanged looks for a moment. The looks were our way of acknowledging to one another that we both understood the situation we were in. Our friend, who had just finished pouring the milk into the bowl, had started eating what she must’ve thought it was cereal. It was cat food. We didn’t know how to tell her, so we just ignored it. When presented with the choice of cat food or donuts for breakfast, I made a choice that I still feel pretty good about. I grabbed a donut from the pale green box on the table. Grandmother scooted her coffee over to me, and I dipped. I enjoyed the sogginess of the donuts and the taste of the coffee that smothered it.
It wasn’t that the coffee tasted like a donut, but to me the coffee tasted like a grainy bread. So that’s what decaf coffee tastes like to me. Grainy bread, and trying not to tell someone they’re eating cat food that they think is cereal.