a cup of coffee
fuelling memories and insecurities
I had my first cup of coffee around 2017, and I have been drinking coffee ever since. There is something magical about sipping a cup of coffee and going on about my day. If I remember correctly, I had my first “proper” cup of coffee at Bengaluru Airport, which was quite bitter. My cousin bought me my first cup of coffee. The bitter cup of coffee kept me up during my flight, however.
Once I got to IIT Kanpur, drinking a cup of coffee became routine. I would attend my classes, go to the labs, and wind down my days by sipping a nice cup of coffee at the Cafe Coffee Day outlet on campus. It helped that the CCD on campus was highly subsidized. A good cup of Cappuccino costs about ₹35. So I never felt like I was spending too much on coffee (although I probably did).
I do not know definitively if my coffee habit is hurting me because the evidence surrounding the benefits/downsides of coffee is quite split. I try to limit my consumption to a cup a day, although when I’m traveling, I drink more coffee. Lately, I’ve realized that I need something hot to sip on when I’m working or just living life generally — it need not be coffee. But, since coffee is quite readily available and cheap, it works for me. However, I’ve been trying to have hot milk or herbal tea instead.
A few friends told me that coffee makes them sleepy, which I find hard to believe. If I consume it late, coffee keeps me up all night. That is a recipe for disaster because staying up late is never good. I overthink every aspect of life and am an emotional wreck by morning. My biggest fears and insecurities get amplified to unbelievable proportions. I would think about things I’d do if people stopped loving me.
All of my fears were unfounded — my girlfriend waited for me at the airport holding up a sign (probably one of the sweetest gestures someone had made towards me in my 23 years of existence), my friends still had fond memories of me, and my mom was happy to hear that I was back in India. Yes! I am back, if for a short time, and I’m so excited. I go on dates, sleep, and work on my mandatory submissions. Of course, I’ve not stopped drinking coffee, but I make a conscious effort not to drink coffee late at night, or else the silly thoughts will return.
Getting a cup of coffee with friends cheers me up. It also reminds me of the past years and the friends I’ve left behind. Most of my productive conversations with friends and strangers happened over coffee — I received and shared anecdotes about the realities of life. In that sense, going to Vienna was one of the best things that I could have done. The coffee culture is amazing and hundreds of years old.
I wrote many issues in this newsletter somewhere at a cafe in Vienna. The coffee is more expensive, obviously, but I also get freshly brewed coffee and appreciate life just a little more. Most cafes do not have a problem with me hanging out there for hours — I can get some writing done, catch up with my girlfriend, and even study. As I write these words, I am drinking freshly-made instant coffee. I don’t see myself giving up coffee anytime soon. If you stop receiving new issues of The Windmill (yes! that’s the name of the newsletter), you can safely assume I’ve given up on coffee.
Thanks for reading till this point. Have a great week! Bye! 👋
Oh, before you go, please fill up a short survey here. We are trying to understand the willingness to pay for a cup of coffee. It seemed only fitting to float a survey about coffee in this issue of the newsletter. Thank you for the help!
This was so cuet! I love the little remarks people make to me about the amount of coffee (you and) I consume. That's an association I definitely do not mind having. Here's to more coffee dates!