My Friend Coffee

I stand in front of my coffee pot this morning willing her to work .  Come on ‘ole gal, have you got one more in ya? She has been on the fritz lately. I woke up to find her over-working again. Trying to brew pots of coffee in her sleep, much like an aged mother on auto-pilot, rising, pulling out the peanut butter and jelly for her children’s lunches, slowly realizing they have long since grown and left the house.

I stand staring at the pot and ponder coffee itself, how much it means to all of us. I wonder what pioneer coffee tasted like?  It must have been coarsely ground. I imagine it was thick and bitter, perhaps, tasting like a pint of Guinness Lager.

Coffee has certainly come a long way since then.  It is a refined as a bottle of wine now. We choose beans based on region, roast and aroma. We then grind it to the perfect consistency depending on the method used for brewing.  How about the range of coffeemakers on the market today? They range in size, functions, type-pod, carafe or espresso.  Mine, I confess is nothing fancy, a $20 Mr. Coffee, but it does the job.

I often equate my life to a cup of coffee. I have a standard cup of coffee life. It is consistent, tasty, does the job, no frills. However, I do have a decadent side, which sometimes screams for a latte with all its sophistication. But can you live on lattes?

My mind wanders to other things. I am surprised we haven’t started naming our children after coffee… Latte, Misto, Macchiato, Espresso, Cappuccino….They say people are like their dogs, are they like their coffee? Well, men are “I take my coffee black like my men, or look at that tall caramel macchiato over there. Yummy!”

One of the few things my mother in law and I have in common is our love of coffee. Hers is usually laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream, but nonetheless, coffee brings people together. We call it by many names, joe, java, mudd and my favorite “the juice.” There is a Starbucks on every corner and the infrequent independent cafe with purpose. It is a staple in the lives of so many.

But what does this coffee do for us? Coffee has always been there to give me a boost in the morning, a reason to get out of bed. Many mornings on the way to work, I would stop at my neighborhood Starbucks as a treat. I loved standing in line amongst my neighbors taking in the heavy coffee aroma. It always got the day started on a positive note.

Coffee shops are gathering places. The Starbucks by our home in California was our Cheers.  My husband would open the door to a bellowed out NORM!-well, SCOTT in his case. The courtyard was where friendships were forged as our children played at the splash pad and the dogs mingled.

Since our move, one of the things I miss the most is that familiarity; meeting my friends for a cup of coffee at Starbucks or Panera. My eldest son grew up on both. Every morning you could find me, my son, stroller and big yellow lab at either location. I loved that I could get my exercise, walk the dog, keep the house clean and feed everyone for under $5 (2 bagels and a coffee.) “It is a win-win,” I would explain to my husband as he scrolled the bank statement adding up my monthly expenditures at Starbucks and Panera. A happy mother is a happy household!

My other link to coffee is friendship. I still talk to my BFF on the phone and we reminisce about the days in the ‘hood. Oh, how we wish we could meet at the Panera or Starbucks for coffee talk. We send each other coffee gift cards for every special occasion. My BFF insists that coffee tastes better in a mug. A mug says sit and stay awhile, relax and enjoy.

My friend coffee-what would I do without you? Whether it is a fancy brew in a fancy cup accompanied by a wafer or a good solid cup o’joe, coffee has significance for most adults. Ah, yes, ‘ole gal you came through again. Ahhh, coffee in my cost-co made photo mug, a dash of Italian sweet cream coffee mate. Well, the Truth is…I would miss my cup of joe terribly if I ever turned it in for a life of latte.

We all have coffee stories…what are yours?

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