Coffee as a Way of Life – July 10, 2013

lovescoffeeAs I’ve stepped into a regular rhythm of writing, I’ve discovered the surroundings that help me enter into this creative process.  First, I prefer to do my writing in the morning.  I’m not necessarily a morning person, but I’ve found that if I don’t start early on, the writing will inevitably get delayed.  Second, I like to write from the desk in my room.  I finally have a) space for a desk in my room, and b) a desk that I really like.  I’ve never been a great decorator, but I really enjoy the space I’ve created on and around my desk.  I can write from other places besides my desk, but I feel so homey and comfortable here that it has quickly become my preference.  Finally, there must be coffee when I write.  Again, I can write without, but my ritual has become my finding a quiet morning and sitting down with coffee as I type away.  But coffee is not just present when I write.  It is also a part of my daily rhythm in life.

If you were to ask a friend about my interests, my guess is that coffee would be mentioned fairly early on.  I receive coffee beans and gift certificates to some of my favorite local shops as gifts frequently.  When I travel, I usually research the area for unique coffee shops.  I spent close to four years working in a coffee shop.  In my ever changing life, coffee has been one of the few constants (Jesus would definitely be on that list, in the top position).

Ironically, I hated coffee growing up.  I even hated it when I got hired to work at Starbucks.  Yes, true confession.  However, working for a coffee shop was my gateway into a coffee soaked lifestyle.  I moved up the spectrum, starting with Frappuccino’s, then flavored lattes, finally landing on brewed coffee and Americanos.  Ultimately, my interest progressed to the point that I stopped liking the coffee from Starbucks.

I appreciate the caffeine boost that coffee provides, but what I really enjoy about it is the experience.  Holding the warm cup in hand, smelling the deep aromatic scent of a good coffee, and that first sip, so comforting and welcoming.  And I love when I have a slower morning and can really enjoy that cup of coffee.  I love having good conversations over coffee.  I love trying a new roast, or experimenting with different brewing methods.  I love pairing coffee with the perfect dessert, and that first bite that just melts away in your mouth.

At times, coffee can feel like a warm blanket to my soul. It’s a welcome to the day, while also inviting me to pay attention to the complexities that surround me.  In a strange way, it’s not just about coffee.  It’s about an experience.  A comfort.  A rhythm of life.

So, reader, what is the warm blanket to your soul?

In case you’re curious, here’s what I’ve been drinking lately:

–          Morning coffee: Just finishing off a bag of Dapper blend from Handsome Coffee Roasters, brewed using my aero press.

–          Iced coffee: I have a few bags of coffee I was given for my birthday, so I’m trying to use them before they go bad.  I just made a batch of cold brew iced coffee using Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelbessa beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

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