Coffee has become recognized as a human necessity. It is no longer a luxury or an indulgence; it is a corollary of human energy and human efficiency.
– William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (1922)
It was November 23, 2010. We were in Surf City, North Carolina, getting ready to fortify ourselves before another grueling day. As the thin, black liquid oozed into the stained carafe, we stood bleary-eyed.
We were roommates, Marine infantry officers, perpetually sleep-deprived from the training, the planning, the preparations for war. Back then coffee was little more than a bitter, caffeine-delivery system. It was just what we needed to stay awake.