My introduction to coffee came at a relatively young age. A special treat for us was upon that rare occasion when Mom would allow us to have a cup in honor of something special or a special day (like Christmas). It was served up with a large percentage of milk and two teaspoons of sugar.
Then, as I grew older and coffee became more of an everyday affair my tastes changed away from the highly-diluted, very sweet childhood recipe. In college I continued to add sugar, but it was one teaspoon and less milk than before.
Just after college the sugar gave way to artificial sweetener with the advent of Equal. (I hated the taste of Sweet & Low. Just never worked for me.)
Then came the coffee revolution, fueled by Starbuck's and its kin. Lattes, mochas, etc. But I mainly stuck with the tried and true "single sugar, some milk" combination of my youth.
Then came Paris. And despite discovering the wonders of Cafe au Lait and Cafe Creme, one day I happened upon a dark roast cup of coffee sans cream in a coffee and pastry shop a couple of blocks from the Eiffel Tower. I was hooked, and overnight changed my coffee preference to black with sweetener. And stronger than before. I began to use a coffee press as well as the coffee maker in our home.
Coffee serves an important role in my life. The basics of my cup have evolved, just as I have, and will continue to do so.