My favorite was Suisse Mocha. Inspired by Swiss chocolate, this flavor had the most inviting aroma. I also liked Cafe Vienna which was flavored with cinnamon and Orange Cappuccino, from Italy. All you needed was a cup of hot water, a tin of coffee and a spoon. Money was tight for my parents back then. My brother & I didn't know it at the time because they always provided for all of our "needs" and most of our "wants". So spending hard-earned money on fancy coffee was probably a big stretch for my mother, but she did it anyway. Truth be told, she enjoyed it as much as I did! When I went away to college, Mother would send me packages to lift my spirits. She called them "goody pokes". They included candy bars, cookies, or other supplies that I couldn't find in the small village of Cullowhee, but there was always a tin of International Coffee nestled among the other items. A cup of that coffee would transport me back to my home and I could almost picture Mother sitting across the table from me enjoying a cup.
During the recent Christmas holiday, I organized my kitchen pantry and discarded out of date items. As I burrowed deeper into the pantry, I uncovered a bag of ground, chocolate-flavored coffee. I instantly remembered that Mother had put it in my Christmas stocking years ago. It was still sealed so when I opened it, the fresh aroma filled my nostrils. I wasted no time in readying my single-serve coffee maker and brewing a cup. I added a detail that was a trademark of Vera. She always liked to drink her coffee or tea from a china cup. No clunky ceramic mug or Christmas cup would do for her. She wanted a dainty, china cup. In fact, she loved china cups so much that she started collecting them. I am proud that she entrusted them to me several years ago and I proudly display them on the buffet in my dining room.
So this morning, as I drink my customary cup o' joe, I am remembering many times in the past when Mother & I shared coffee, laughter, and most of all...love!