I had my first espresso at my first music show -- X at the Showbox in October 1982. I still have half the ticket, so I know the show was on a Thursday in October, and hat it cost $9.50 which probably seemed like a lot in 1982. I also have the business card from the espresso stand, which tells me only that in 1982 you could still call something "the espresso bar" in Seattle and it wasn't a joke. They offered, it seems, "quality coffee service for all occasions."
Certainly, they offered something for a 16-year-old to buy at an all-ages show.
The concert was a matter of considerable contention between me and my mother. I was planning to go with a friend-of-a-friend who was attending school at Seattle University (founded by Jesuits) -- she even offered to drive out to the wilds of podunk suburbia to fetch me. I assumed my mother would have objections to a number of aspects of this plan. First, that neither one of us knew the young woman I would be going to the concert with (she had gone to school with my corrospondence buddy Colleen Bray -- Colleen, if you're out there somewhere on teh Internets, you can drop me a line). Second, I knew my mother -- a natural-born morning person if ever there was one -- would object to the lateness of the hour. On a school night!
Oddly, neither of those anticipated objections turned out to be the problem. The problem seemed to be that somebody my mother knew from work had heard about some girl who went to a rock concert of some kind and had a beer bottle thrown at her head.
Really, it didn't make any sense to me at the time. Retroactively, I can assume that my mother's objection was the standard human objection to a proposed course of action: I've never done it, I don't know anything about it, it scares me, I wouldn't do it, it must be A Bad Thing.
Because her objections were so... shall we say... nebulous... I was able to negotiate terms: she would allow me to attend the concert if I went with a boy. Leaving aside the transparent sexism, I was pretty sure at the time that she made this concession because she thought I wouldn't do it. I didn't have any male friends at the time, and I wasn't exactly... you know... dating.
Hah! I showed her! I asked the son of some neighborhood friends of the family!
His name was Mike, and I barely knew him, but he said yes. He would take me to the concert.
He didn't have a good time, as I recall -- he thought the music was irredeemably weird, and that my FOF and I must be some kind of sick freaks for liking it and !!even buying t-shirts and stuff!! and the outing didn't turn into any kind of lasting friendship, which is too bad, but I like to think that both of us are, in the long run, better for the experience.
(Side note: when I was reminding my mother of this story a couple of years ago, she pulled out something that I didn't remember at all -- she claimed that she didn't want me to go because the PSAT was the next day. I pointed out that, if so, it didn't exactly hurt my score. Now that I see the concert was on a Thursday, I'm pretty certain that it had to have been at least two days before the PSAT, because I'm pretty sure I took the test on a Saturday. So, maybe it was two days before the PSAT, and that's what she's remembering, or maybe it's something that happened to one of my brothers.)
Anyway, my first espresso experience was pretty identical to Terra's, except that it took me considerably longer to discover the existence of mochas. There was a long delay between first and second espresso for me -- possibly as long as almost year, from October 1982 to Bumbershoot in September 1983. (Omigod! My ticket was only $4!)
I started drinking it regularly as a college student in October 1984, when I discovered Tony's Coffee in Bellingham. Usually I would go for drip coffee, the cheap option, but lattes or cappuccinos as a treat, and sometimes a mocha variant. (The Last Exit on Brooklyn used to have something called a Caffé Medici, with orange peel, that was to die for.)
I had espresso at The Delachaise in New Orleans, when I was starting to suspect that my headache might be caffeine withdrawal, and it was pretty much perfect.
My most recent espresso was a pseudo-Bibi Café, and this is why I love The Black Drop. I have gotten pseudo-Bibis for years, usually at espresso stands where they are unable to comprehend the simple instructions (take three shots of espresso -- once ounce of coffee Italian soda syrup -- over ice -- with soda water) until I have repeated them three times and gone into a kind of Five Easy Pieces routine (You have espresso shots? All right. You have ice? All right. Now combine them. Are you with me so far?) At The Drop, not only did they have no trouble understanding my request, they instantly recognized it as a pseudo-Bibi.