Military Spouse Magazine

DEC 2018

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Page 21 of 35

W H A T W E L O V E We Heart Coffee Our long love affair with a steamy cup of joe. By Emily Carroll, Army Spouse COFFEE IS THE PIPING HOT LIQUID RUN- NING THROUGH THE VEINS OF MILITARY FAMILIES. Many of us begin our day with a cup of coffee and grow our circle of friends with a simple request: Let's meet for coffee! There are T-shirts and bags with cute sayings about the role coffee plays in our lives. There are specialty cafes that showcase complex images printed or hand designed on the top of vanilla lattes which we gladly share on our social media accounts. Coffee even comes in various flavors to celebrate the forthcoming of new seasons. We use pumpkin spice and caramel apple to welcome fall and holiday blends like cinna- mon to bring on the holiday season. Coffee has also played a starring role in America's mil- itary history for both troops and military spouses. Do you love coffee? A lot of us do! HIGH OCTANE , PLEASE! One of the first major conflicts where coffee took center stage was the Civil War. The government knew the value of coffee and caffeine. Union soldiers were given 36 pounds of coffee beans per year to use while in battle. By using water from canteens, puddles, brackish bays and even the Mississippi mud, they were able to brew their coffee beans. Because deliveries could not reach the southern ports, coffee could not reach the Confederate soldiers. In order to find a substitute for their morning coffee, popu- lar southern crops such as chicory, corn, rye okra seeds, and sweet potatoes were used for brewing. Of course, the soldiers found out it did not taste quite the same but it still created the atmo- sphere and mental break they needed from battle. During World War II, American troops adapted to their dislike for the strong espresso drink they were being served by watering down their coffee, thus cre- ating what is known today as "The Americano." Dur- ing Vietnam, not everyone had access to conventional heat sources. Once again, American troops adapted using the heat from C-4 explosives to boil the water. Coffee breaks were used to help troops collect their thoughts and rest before stepping back into battle. Back at home, GI coffee houses began pop- ping up in military towns, becoming a vital gathering DO YOU LIKE YOUR COFFEE "BLACK" OR MORE COMPLEX LIKE A "STEAMED, FLIPPED, TWICE WHIPPED LATTE WITH EXTRA SHOTS OF ESPRESSO?" place where servicemen could talk openly, obtain legal counseling and find ways to protest the war. Today, coffee is the most popular product sent to troops in war zones. Not only is it drank for enjoyment, but it also provides caffeine to get through long hours on duty or burning the midnight oil. Some coffee brands have special pro- grams set up to request coffee to be sent in bulk to deployed troops to help bring a little bit of home overseas. And there have been military-owned cof- fee companies launching because of the relation- ships and role that coffee has played during their military careers. GATHER 'ROUND! Meeting new friends and becoming acquainted with the spouses of a new unit can be a daunting and anxiety- ridden process. Military spouses have been using coffee as the thread to sew together long- lasting friendships for decades. The phrases, "Let's meet for coffee," Photo by Brooke Lark 22 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / DECEMBER 2018

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