If you give me a good cup of coffee, I will want it black.  I won’t want to disguise it with creamer or sugar or any of the other additives with which people feel compelled to ruin coffee.  There are reasons for this.

The primary motivator for my black coffee drinking habits is my dad.  Before I ever drank coffee, before I ever wanted to drink coffee, I was indoctrinated by my dad about the infallible truths of coffee.  One, a real coffee drinker drinks their coffee black.  Two, real men drink black coffee.

Now, obviously, when I started drinking coffee at age 14, I was not drinking black coffee, but heavily flavored mochas, lattes, the works.  It took me until around age 20 to work up to black coffee.  And then I think it was to prove I could, more than anything.  And to prove I am a real coffee drinker.

As for men… when I went to Canada, I found myself surrounded by a sea of guys who were drinking, not coffee, but tea.  And they would put cream and sugar in their tea.  And I was confused.  Do men drink tea?  Do men drink girly tea?  What?  I had a hard time reconciling this with my dad’s truths and with the truths of the Northwest.  However, I do think that if you are a man who does not drink coffee, while I will still question your masculinity, you have two ways to help validate yourselves: wear plaid flannel and grow a beard.  Or simply drink coffee, black.  (Although, the other two things are nice, also.)

The other reasons I like my coffee black are taste and the ability to impress other coffee drinkers.  If you are going to drink coffee, be a coffee snob.  Don’t buy Folgers or Maxwell House.  Please don’t do it.  Invest a bit of money into a good bean.  Personally, I’ve been drinking Kicking Horse’s Kick Ass coffee lately.  It’s delicious.  And buy your coffee in bean form, get a grinder, and grind it fresh.  You will not regret this decision.  (Plus, beans hold their flavor way longer than grinds.)

As for impressing coffee drinkers, I’ve found that when I’m out and about, getting coffee, and I say “no room” or “just black,” I get impressed looks from those serving me and those who drink coffee.  Because they know the truth, as I know the truth: real coffee drinkers drink their coffee black.

So buy a good bean and drink up.  You’ll be glad you did.