There is coffee in the other room. I know it because I can smell it. Admittedly there are many smells in the morning but none these days that grab my attention more than the smell of coffee. It hasn’t always been that way for me.
Growing up, my Mom didn’t drink coffee nor did my sister or anyone I knew. I know this is shocking considering I was raised here in Portland where it seems impossible to walk or drive anyplace without hitting a drive through coffee joint or a Starbucks. Say what you like about the Northwest but we have really great coffee here. And it’s literally everywhere. Just the other day my wife and I were at a Safeway in Sherwood and there were three Starbucks within a stones throw of one another. Crazy.
A few weeks ago one of the other Loan Officers in our office brought in a machine that makes a single cup of coffee within just a few minutes. At the risk of seeming even dorkier than I already am, I have to admit that I can’t help watching this machine make a cup of coffee. It’s just the right combination of cool and nerd. Kind of like a bow tie with a leather jacket or something along those lines. Except much cooler.
My initial reaction to coffee was that the taste was a big letdown compared to the smell. And I still think that is true. Based on the smell, coffee should taste like magical unicorn soup. It should be a unimagineably delicious liquid ambrosia. But it’s not. Starbucks doesn’t sell magical unicorn soup. Instead, coffee is more like a towel full of motor oil and dirt that has been heated, strained and then squeezed into a cup. And maybe this is why there are so many things that people add to their coffee. On a sidenote, there is a coffee from Asia called Kopi Luwak that is rumored to be the best tasting coffee in the world. What is truly horrifying is that this coffee is literally processed through the poop of a cat-like critter that eats the coffee berries before they are ripe. Does coffee really taste so bad that animal poop makes it better? Inquiring minds want to know.
I know that for many coffee is as much a ritual as it is a taste or a smell. We wake up to it. We read the paper with it in our hands. It’s warm and feels good with our palms wrapped around our favorite mug. Especially now when by all reasonable measures it is still mid February outside. And, of course, there is the caffeine.
My daughter is just about to come downstairs and my contemplative moment will be ending here shortly. Thanks for sharing it with me. And, whether you are on your first cup or are several cups down the road, I hope you have a great day.