Coffee Identity

I like to treat my interviewing process as if it were an experiment, often including questions that might surprise my interviewee or make me look like a fool. About a year ago, I decided to ask my subjects how they took their coffee. I felt like knowing how much sugar they put in it or how strong they liked it would tell me a lot about their personalities. I was not wrong.

When interviewing my past editor, she confessed to take her coffee black with only one sugar. It was exactly what I had imagined. Her strong personality and truth-telling mantra go parallel to taking coffee as strong as it can be.

The next interview was a second reassurance that coffee orders do reveal a lot of details about a person. This time I was interviewing a close friend, who also happened to be a journalism student. When the time came to answer the question, she said: “I like it strong but I can never go all the way black. It’s something I’ve never allowed myself to do.”

Her answer struck me by surprise. So, she has never allowed herself to be completely strong. Instead, she has decided to keep a bit of sweetness in life, to maintain a balance between comfort and risks. Let’s just say her personality isn’t far off: she is a sweet, friendly graduate journalism student who stands strong on her points of view and goals.

The experiment totally proved me right. The only question still remaining is: why? Why would your coffee hold any relation to your personality?

Personally, I believe that we drink coffee because we want to feel awake, start the day off right and maximize our productivity (don’t forget it’s also a small addiction). We take coffee to fulfill our potential, to complete us in the mornings. In tandem, the coffee we drink should feel like our own, a little piece of our inner selves.

We’ve all developed a close relationship with our coffee. It might sound like a euphemism for addiction, but I am completely in love with the coffee I drink. It’s sweet, yet strong, not too sour, not too sugary. It’s perfect and only perfection could get me out the door when it’s November, nearing finals, and it’s still 90 degrees outside.

Originally published on Young in November, 2014.


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