National Coffee Day

Kage Baker liked coffee … no, I tell a lie. What Kage liked was caffeine.

To this end, she drank many pints of Coca Cola every day, because she also preferred her beverages sweet and cold. She’d tried warming up Coke but the results were not good. And before you make too much of a gagging face, Dear Readers, I must point out that she got the idea from ancient Dr. Pepper commercials, which used to actively recommend heating that for a winter-time drink.

It’s horrid, by the way. So is hot Coke, although it’s actually marginally less horrid than hot Dr. Pepper. But faced with the lack of warmed potability in her favourite beverages, Kage was forced to resort to coffee in the mornings. It gave her brain the initial needed kick-start; as soon as the neurons resumed their little do-si-do across her synapses, she would switch gratefully to Coke.

Even long days at Dickens Fair – I, desperate for caffeine and determined to be true to the ambiance, live then on Earl Grey tea brewed strong enough to use as ink. Kage drank Coke in her tea mug. And, often, with a healthy dollop of rum in it … it’s amazing how her role as a housekeeper/cook let her indulge in that with no guilt, whereas mine as lady of the house prevents me from clandestine tippling. Two old ladies at the mercy of their costuming, I fear … though Kage figured out how to outwit it. I’ve always been too susceptible to my corsetry.

Yestreday was National Coffee Day. Yeah, I failed to notice or celebrate it. I didn’t drink nearly my normal quota of the sacred drink, either, which explains a lot – why I staggered through the day in a daze, why I fell asleep before midnight, why a headache plagued me so much of the day. Maybe even why my computer didn’t want to turn on this morning; I am willing to believe in a semi-cyborgian symbiosis there, wherein the electronics I am closest to absorb caffeine through my fingertips.

But I forgot! Oh, shame upon my head and nervous system. I am making up for it today, though, and can feel the bright sparks in my mind moving more freely as my cerebro-spinal fluid is diluted and replaced with coffee …

If you, too, Dear Readers, rely upon caffeine for part of your electromagnetic energy and forgot to celebrate it yestreday – join me today and drink even more in penance and adulation. I recall Kage at one point declared Lord Ermenwyr the patron … something … of coffee, late one night as we careered through the San Joaquin valley in desperate search of the mermaid sign of ease. He’s certainly the embodiment of elegant nerves and twitchiness.

Me, I’m going to go pour myself another cup from my daily carafe, and keep waiting for the UPS truck to get here. It’s got the next 4 pounds of my monthly allotment of Mullah Coffee on it; not even the Bay Blend beans from Trader Joe’s can quite compare.

I really need another cup …

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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11 Responses to National Coffee Day

  1. The four basic food groups sugar, chocolate, caffeine and nicotine


  2. Kate says:

    Eating tobacco gives me a belly-ache, so I usually replace it with alcohol. Seems to work well!


  3. Neassa says:

    I’ve always taken my caffeine sweetened and solid. I run on Chocolate!


  4. Kate says:

    Yes, you do, Neassa. As much as I love chocolate (and I do!) it doesn’t have enough of a caffeine kick for me by itself. Although authentic Meso American drinking chocolate – cold, frothy, and unsweetened – comes close.


  5. Mike Young says:

    I remember nights at Black Point after I got my coffee press. Strong coffee good company and long nights of wonderful stories. Good times I am sorry my daughter won’t get to experience it. Once again thanks to you both for some of my best memories.


  6. Kate says:

    Ah, Mike – you folks were the best next-door neighbors we had anywhere.


  7. Tom says:

    Our pal Jeff Kust, primo guitaristo, came to visit for a while, and brought with him beans he roasted himself – Ugandan, Rwandan, Sulawesian, indonesian – and, Oh! how wonderful.


  8. Kate says:

    Tom – I prefer African beans and roasts over others, for the most part. With a wee bit of some clear-flavoured Mid-eastern blend for fun. And nothing beats fresh-roasted! Most Americans rarely encounter really recently roasted beans; once you do, the flavour is revelatory.


  9. Kate says:

    And yes – I am a coffee snob!


  10. Carolyne says:

    @Mary Lynn: a denominational quibble. The four food groups are sugar, chocolate, caffeine, and ALCOHOL. Although there may be libertines who substitute other, ah, recreational indulgences for one of the Holy Quaternity, all those in its devoted orders honor The Four and celebrate with the Holy Host of chocolate-covered espresso beans and zinfandel.


  11. I recently discovered that marshmallows are stupidly easy to make and taste way better than store-bought. I also found caffeinated marshmallows on Think Geek. This got me to wondering if I could make my own and if powdered caffeine was available. Amazon sells a 10g (yes, GRAMS) bottle of powdered caffeine for $10. I ultimately decided that this venture would end in tears (or the death of a friend by caffeine poisoning).

    Also, have you been introduced to the Black Blood of the Earth yet? (Origin of the stuff and where to buy it


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