As can be observed from my earlier blog entry (Red bag was the object of desire), I was fond of coffee flavor as a child. Coffee, however, always meant a sweet drink. I never took black coffee. Actually, properly ground and brewed coffee was not so ubiquitous when I was a child.
It was therefore only at the age of 11 that I had a proper black coffee. I was with my mother's sister in a bar, in the southern city of Kokura. My aunt was a woman of the world. She had a wide knowledge of the pleasant and the adorable. She was a gateway into the grown-up world, at least in the eyes of the child.
On that day, for some reason I did not quite comprehend, the bar was open in the afternoon, and I was there, in the ambience of sophistication and posh. My aunt offered me to buy anything I wanted. I looked at the menu, and was quick to see that the most expensive item in the soft drinks was the "blue mountain" coffee.
"Blue mountain coffee, if you please", I said timidly. My aunt looked at me with her big round eyes. "You're a child, and yet you crave for the best", she said. "All right then, a blue mountain coffee. But listen, since you're taking it, no sugar or milk. You've got to drink it black. OK?"
I said fine. My heart was pounding wild as I took my very first taste of the black coffee. To this day, I remember quite vividly the sensation of the black liquid going into my system. It was the encounter with my life's first bitterness. And I didn't regret it.