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Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

No doubt about it: coffee — strong and with non-fat cream. Many people have told me coffee was meant to be drunk black, but, though I’ve tried, I just don’t enjoy it was much. Why drink it if you don’t enjoy it? One psychologist believes that the kind of coffee a person likes can say something about his/her personality, too. Black: Type A person; flavored and mixed: young, innovative, adventurous.

I was raised on coffee. My father’s parents were from Norway, where coffee is a way of life, I think; he was certainly a coffee-holic. At his parents’ farm in Wisconsin, coffee was always on the stove. I remember drinking it, with a good deal of milk, from an early age. In those days, a percolator was the main brewing method, but I much prefer the drip method we use today.

A couple of years ago, my son and daughter-in-law bought us a Keurig for Christmas and that spoils me for other coffee. We brew a big pot in the morning and I have my three cups (more than that and I get edgy). For my estimated 3-4 cups during the rest of the day, it’s the one-cup-brewer, and I love it dark!

I like Starbucks (and a couple of other coffee spots), but I actually find their coffee a bit too strong, and often order a large cup with half decaf so I don’t feel ready to blast off.

I hate it when people make coffee weak — what’s the point? My daughters both do that, but they’re not true coffee drinkers: one pours in so much milk, its more like milk with coffee in it; and the other is a tea drinker. My husband, though British (now a US citizen), prefers coffee, and rarely drinks tea any more. Other US-Brits I know, still prefer the cuppa.

There’s even evidence now that “… Drinking three cups of coffee per day may help turn the tide against Alzheimer’s disease among older adults…”

And from Dr. Oz (Mehmet Oz): “You get the health benefits of coffee up through about the first twenty-four ounces. It’s the biggest source of antioxidants for Americans, and we think it helps prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well.”

Good news for those of us retired folks and coffee lovers of all ages!