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September 30, 2011 / beatricebunny

Raspberry Mocha Amore

This week has me ruminating on taste and memory.  I will never pretend that I can write so elegantly about my own experience compared to something like Proust’s madeleine, but it is amazing how completely immersive a memory brought on by taste can be. 

 On Tuesday, I took a 7 pm fitness class in the same office park as my office.  As a result, I decided not to go home and then return.  Instead, I headed to the ubiquitous office park Starbucks.  Since it was a nice day, I ordered an iced drink and sat out on the patio.

 Normally, I’m a bit of a puritan about my coffee.  I either drink it hot, strong, and black or iced, strong, with a little milk or cream.  No sweetener, no flavors.  But, I wanted to try something different, so I ordered an ice coffee with a little milk and a little raspberry syrup.  I got my drink, settled into my seat and took a sip. 

 Suddenly, I was 15 years old and sitting with my friends in a dark little coffee shop in Lexington, KY.  Back then, there was no such thing as “too sweet” for my coffee.  My favorite flavor was a mocha made with raspberry hot chocolate.  I think it was called a Raspberry Mocha Amore on the menu, and they came in a mug so large that I needed two hands to lift it to my lips, covered in freshly whipped cream and chocolate swirls.  The drink was a feast for the eyes as well as the tongue. 

 That coffee shop, those friends, that time in my life was so important to the adult I’ve become.  I discovered my favorite poets, started reading different writers, learned how to debate, met boyfriends… And despite all of that, I hadn’t thought of it in years until that raspberry coffee blend hit my tongue. 

 I took a sip… savored it.  Took another sip and realized, a little sadly, that I don’t actually like the taste anymore.  It’s too sweet and not something I enjoy.  The memory was nice, but the past is the past, and there is something refreshing about realizing that you are not the same person that you used to be.

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