So, according to the National Coffee Association (yes, there is such a thing, and it’s their centennial year!), today is National Coffee Break Day! Yay! I mean, for me, everyday is Coffee Break Day, but still yay! Do any of y’all remember this video? It’s included on the NCBD website, and it explains the secret of legendary actress Cicely Tyson’s success:
I love that Jerry Zaks gives her notes and rehearses a slap with the coffee in hand. That’s my kind of rehearsal. I also love that she has to almost literally shake off the caffeine high in order to process that she has just won an award. Brilliant. ‘Cause, honestly, in this one, she looks like she could use a cup or two.
Beautiful, classy, and a leetle low-key. But there clearly must have been a samovar or something backstage, because if you keep watching, she practically bounds up there for a second time. And I say, good for her! Hold on tight to your dream, baby. (And as much as I dig ELO, isn’t “Hold On Tight to Your Dreams” a counterintuitive choice for a coffee commercial? Coffee should help us wake up, right?)
Anyway, I love coffee like a junkie loves needles. I can drink it any time of the day or night, and I can drink whole pots of it. I like it black, thanks, and I prefer actual coffee to an espresso or an americano – which is espresso with water added to it to make it more coffee-like – although I will happily drink any or all of those. But it’s gotta be black. If I’m having beignets at Café du Monde, I might pop a Lactaid and go for the café au lait, but that’s rare.
(Y’all remember when HBO used to show videos between movies? And they played this one in the heaviest rotation possible?)
I don’t know why I love coffee so much. When I was a kid, I remember my grandma giving me coffee milk, which was basically milk with a couple of spoons of coffee in it. Or maybe she’d let me finish the bottom of her coffee after it had gotten cold. But I don’t really remember when it became this necessary part of my life, when a coffeemaker became a vital household appliance. Maybe it’s because I worked at Royal Blend on Metairie Road when I was an undergrad. I don’t know. But I love it, and although I’ve tried to give it up, I keep coming back to it like a bad relationship.
My favorite is Community Coffee New Orleans Blend. Yeah, this New Orleans boy loves his coffee and chicory. I like Café du Monde’s ground coffee and chicory, too, and I just found a place in Park Slope that carries it. Also, at Carnival time, I also really love Community’s Carnivale Cake, because it tastes like King Cake.
Speaking of coffee, did y’all hear that Starbucks is introducing their new 31 oz. Trenta cup size? But did you also know that PJ’s of New Orleans has been offering a 32 oz. size since summer 2010? It’s only for iced drinks, but still. Get ya a big ol’ iced coffee in one of those, and you’re good for the afternoon at least.
So, Happy Coffee Break Day! I wanted to include a final video of Charles Nelson Reilly doing “Coffee Break” from the original How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, but I couldn’t find it. Enjoy this fabulous ’70s relic instead.