Coffee Rhetoric

Recently, I read an interesting and eloquently written article in the New York Times, penned by Judith Warner. She drew a stellar correlation between coffee and significant childhood memories, and transported readers back with nostalgic, coffee-related flashbacks. Everyone who has ever read this blog pretty much knows how much I adore the stuff. It's more than a simple addiction to caffeine. The smell, the look, the body, the richness of a dark roast, it's rich history... everything about coffee also stirs certain feelings and memories within me. I remember my mother brewing pot and then making a perfect mug full, warning me not to touch it before setting it on the table to settle just a bit. Of course I never listened for I always indulged in just a sip when she left the room. When I think of coffee, I'm reminded of how, at the precocious age of 13, excited I was to be skipping to the cafe downtown to indulge in a cup. I, a fledgling hipster, drawing the disgusted gasps of my classmates as they exclaimed, "Ew, you drink coffee? Yuck!" And how grownup I felt when I ordered an espresso or a mocha... eventually graduating to a Mocha Kiss (a concoction of coffee, chocolate, and Khalua liqueur)by the time I'd entered high school. Never having been carded.
Every now and again, I would coerce a friend to join me in my afterschool cafe jaunts, growing annoyed if they scoffed at the cafe culture and didn't act mature enough in said company. Despite the on again-off-again declarations made by experts, citing coffee as being bad for one's health, it never and still doesn't phase me.
There's a certain sophistication about coffee drinking. Of sitting across from a friend or loved one steam rising from cups, as you play catch up, engage in gossip, or just simply enjoy one another's company. The comfort of sitting in a coffee house people gazing, dreaming wide awake, lost in thought. There is definitely something about the coffee culture that prompts people to slow down. I remember being in Sicily and noticing the absence of take away cups. Patrons simply stood at the bar en route to work or some place else, downing their espressos and being in that moment. Using those few minutes to exchange pleasantries or catch up with the latest.
I can't fathom not drinking coffee. It has always played a significant part in who I am. It helps define my personality. More importantly, it sets the tone for the rest of the day or it makes it easier to cope, anyway. Perhaps this is why diners offer copious amounts of free refills and banks and most offices offer free, limitless cups of freshly brewed coffee to its patrons and co-workers.

4 comments

  1. Ahhhh.... your post made me all dreamy... I too love coffee... I often crave a cup late in the evening, but I put it off because I won't be able to sleep properly. I usually end up looking forward to getting up the next morning so I can brew myself a fresh cup with Irish Cream. Mmmm sounds good right about now actually ;)

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  2. Also, there's this Avenue near our downtown called Whyte Avenue, and it's full of these neat little shops that sell one of a kind trinkets, second hand books, local designers' creations, you name it... and in between all these little shops, are cafe's... the Ave. is lined with them for block and blocks.... back in the day my friends and I would walk Whyte on a Saturday morning, cup of steaming hot Java (mine usually a moccacino with cinnimon sprinkles) in hand, and browse the shops, buying scented candles, bracelettes, and other little novelties. We couldn't do it without the coffee, of course. It was our first stop those mornings :) Whyte Ave. would not be Whyte Ave. without the cafes.... Thanks for stirring those fond memories... I think I have some phone calls to make....

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  3. Every Anne Rice novel where a character describes a cup of coffee makes me salivate. That women loves coffee.

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  4. Coffee, what do you think of the general foods international brand coffee. I love the vanilla creame flavor.

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