Black Coffee with Sugar

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Feb 17 17:02:46 UTC 2004

I seem to be in a minority here.  I drink coffee with sugar only and would
never describe it as "black."  I've always thought of "black" as indicating
nothing but the coffee.  Lots of people drink it this way, including most
people I ever seem to have as guests in my home.  When I ask them how they
want their coffee and they say, "black," I bring them straight coffee
(adding my own sugar out in the kitchen, since I'm the only one who wants
it), and I've never had anyone ask for sugar.

When asked how I like my coffee, I always say, "just sugar."  If I'm having
coffee in a restaurant and the sugar is already on the table, I COULD order
it "black" and end up with my preferred drink by adding the sugar, but I
wouldn't consider that the result still qualified as "black," and it would
never occur to me to order it that way anywhere but in NYC, where I learned
the hard way that it's the only way to prevent them from dumping in milk or

(Scene at a NYC lunch counter during a dairy transport strike many years
ago which resulted in shortages of milk and even more so, cream:

Me (to waitress bringing coffee):  I don't want milk.
Waitress: That's all we have, sir.
Me: But I don't want any!
Waitress: THAT'S ALL WE HAVE, SIR (dumps cream in coffee).
Me (belatedly hitting upon the magic word):  BLACK!  BLACK!  I WANT IT

Peter Mc.

Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
******************* pmcgraw at ************************

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