Dao of Coffee

9 Apr

Things are slow right now on the personal growth front, which means a relatively stress-free life, but also means Kasini and I have less to write about.

Besides lovingly nurturing this little blog project, I am a husband, father and carpenter. I am also a writer.

There are a few things necessary for a writer to write: solitude, inspiration, motivation, and coffee. I do not include talent or skill in this list, as those are things needed to create a writer, not things needed for a writer to produce product. I speak of coffee, as opposed to vodka or whiskey, because I have not yet entered the self-destructive phase of a writer’s life cycle. Some day, when I have several best sellers under my belt, I will spin a silken chrysalis out of printer-paper, to eventually emerge with wings of brilliant satire and a bottle of bourbon clutched under one arm, hurling invectives at any who disturb me. Until then, I consume copious quantities of coffee.

Today, it is cold outside, it is inexplicably snowing in April, and I feel the need to pound out a few thousand words on my current opus. My coffee intake will likely double or triple. In tribute to this nectar of the gods, I give you the Dao of Coffee, a repost from another blog of mine.

Coffee is about ritual, and about serenity. Whether you make your own coffee in a French-Press or Moka, or get it at the same joint every morning, it’s about ritual. It’s part of how you start your day, and it’s not all about the caffeine. Ok, it is mostly about the caffeine, but the ritual is vital. If it weren’t, we would just suck on a tea bag. Changing the ritual is bad. Shops close, change ownership, or hire new help. Just when you get your barista trained to make your 12oz. mocha with a little cinnamon, they hire this new lurpy kid who does not know a macchiato from cappuccino.

Hell, the British and Japanese understand the ritual importance of tea. They set time aside every day and have elaborate ceremonies to celebrate it. Why should coffee be any different? Implying that coffee should be rushed and not savored simply because it comes from a different plant is paramount to botanical racism. Don’t be a racist, respect the coffee.

Coffee is also about enjoying the moment, not about speed or excess. That moment when the first sip burns your tongue but is so damn good you don’t care; the complexity of flavors washing over your tongue, nutty, fruity, chocolaty.

I am seeing a lot more drive-through coffee windows around here. Coffee is not about convenience, or speed. Do not rush coffee. Some people complain that our society is suffering because people no longer get together for Sunday dinner, they work the Wal-Mart night shift instead. I disagree. Society is suffering because we no longer take time in the morning to enjoy our coffee, and watch the sunrise. No, now we power down a 20oz. vanilla-half-calf white-chocolate-frozen-mocha-latte. That’s not coffee, that’s a French desert. Coffee should be 6oz. or 12oz. at most. 20 freakin ounces demeans the coffee. It’s not a Big Gulp damn it. Starbucks has killed good coffee. I’m not talking about the coffee they roast, that’s en entirely different post. I’m talking about how they approach it. 20oz. monsters with enough cream and sugar for an entire day’s calories. They make their aberrant concoctions so damn sweet it’s become a soft-drink. You’ve seen their bottles of sickly sweat frapa-crapa in convenience store coolers. I know you buy them, don’t deny it. It’s ok, there is help.

Take some time this morning, go to your local coffee shop, order a 12oz. coffee (do not use the words ‘tall’ or ‘venti’ or anything else in some made-up foreign sounding language designed more to be marketable than understood), grab a newspaper, and sit down for 15 minutes. That’s it, just 15 minutes for yourself, that’s not too much to ask is it? Get up a few minutes early if you have to, but take the time to enjoy the morning, enjoy your coffee, and enjoy yourself. You’ll thank me.

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3 Responses to “Dao of Coffee”

  1. tattooedmamma April 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I’m sure you’ll consider this a sacrilege, but I’ve never had a cup of coffee.

    • Myrddwn April 13, 2011 at 12:17 am #

      How about tea?
      The important thing is not rushing through your morning. Take time to savor a moment, doing anything that pleases you.

  2. Bayani April 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    My preferred ritual is tea. A good cup of tea can make your day that much better, a bad cup of tea is still lovely.

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