The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had

I haven’t always liked coffee. As usual with my life, there’s a ridiculous story to go along with how I started drinking coffee. It was May of 2005 and it all started with a good, no, a great salesman.

“This coffee is grown in a high altitude, volcanic region of Guatemala. It’s really good for you! It can cure cancer!”

He said something like that. I wasn’t interested. My brother and I had wandered into this cigar, rum, and coffee house in San Pedro, Belize. Neither of us smoked, and neither of us drank coffee, so I can’t seem to recall what the draw was for us…

I kindly explain to the guy that I don’t drink coffee.

“Just try some, you’ll like it.”

It was at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C) outside and it was still mid-morning. I had zero interest in a hot, bitter cup of coffee, regardless of this guy’s miraculous claims. But he persisted. I’m fairly certain he never actually heard me say ‘No’ despite my repeating it at each of his requests. His persistence finally wore down my defenses; I yielded to the pressure and tried my first sip of real coffee.

I say ‘real’ coffee because I had grown up making ‘coffee’ for my mom; Taster’s Choice instant coffee… and I had tried just enough Folgers/Maxwell House to know definitively that I did not like coffee.

But this wasn’t bad.

Then, he added a little sugar.

Now, now it was pretty good.

Then, he proceeded to add some rum cream.

I had to draw the line here. I mean, we were here with a church group on a mission trip and it’s like 10am. Again, I tried to resist but, when I wasn’t looking, he slipped in a few drops, enough to change the colour from deep black to a rich, creamy caramel.

I didn’t want to be rude at this point.

To this day, this was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had.

So we bought a pound of coffee beans (no, we had to pass on the rum cream). Never mind that neither of us had any way to make coffee. Never mind that neither of us had any way to grind these coffee beans. It would be several months before either of us could enjoy our purchase. Greatest salesman I’ve ever met. And I’ve loved coffee ever since.