Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God Bless the Soul....

Let me start by proclaiming:

God bless the soul who first decided to grind and boil those funny brown beans!

What would you do if you didn't have your coffee?

I'm not sure what I would do. I don't know if I would have another vice. I don't know if I would replace my brew with chewing gum, sunflower seeds, soda.....I just don't know.

It is hard for me to imagine because drinking coffee is so ingrained in me. For heaven's sake, I have been drinking it since I was 13. I think by my age, it is a permanent fixture in the part of my psyche that harbors habits.

I just don't think I could get the same type of satisfaction from anything else. I enjoy the warmth of the cup - even on a hot day. I enjoy the smell, the taste, the texture and the site. I enjoy the environment that I am in when I drink it. It is comforting and calming; a place where i can be myself without anyone else's expectations boxing me in.

What other harmless vice could replace all those things? I would guess none. So, I am sticking to my good ole' cup o' joe.

What do you enjoy about your coffee vice?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I pulled up to my coffee spot this morning. SCORE! I got the parking spot right in front of the door.

I walked in and again - SCORE! My favorite table to the right of the soda machine was sitting there, empty, just waiting for me.

I get in line to order my Sunday bagels and sweets to take home to the family and for a third time - SCORE! The pumpkin muffins were freshly made and iced, waiting just for me to take home.

Now I am not a believer in fate, but I do believe that some things are just meant to be. I don't think that the stars aligning in a certain way will increase the chances that something good will happen. I believe that if we live our lives in a way that treats people the way we want to be treated - by the golden rule, we will be rewarded.

In this case, I am a faithful and loyal customer to my coffee spot. I visit it almost every morning. I am patient even when the line is long. I clean my table up after I use it. I am friendly and polite to the employees. In return, my coffee spot provides me with good service, a place to rest my weary bones, and some darn good coffee!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Coffee Culture

Isn't it amazing that there is a whole culture and language associated with coffee? This coffee culture looks and sounds something like this:

Inhabitants enter their caffeine habitat and form a long row, each facing the back of the next. They stand in silence, occasionally searching the clear glass vessels containing sustenance for the morning meal. Their eyes move from the glass vessels to tablets placed above them. They appear to ponder over their next move and how they are going to be successful in their hunt for nutrition and hydration. In turn, each steps forward until they are facing another inhabitant at the front of the row. The only sound heard is when the two communicate in a language understood only by other members of their culture. The language appears to only consist of adjectives, but somehow the communication is clear. The inhabitant in the line exchanges some currency - usually made out of some type of plastic, and within minutes, the morning hunt is complete. The inhabitant proceeds to either a designated eating area where an electronic device or informational material is observed; or to their transportation vessel where then they partake in fruits of their hunt - still in silence. -Mozilo, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sacred Grounds

As I looked at my facebook page this morning, one of my friends posted a comment that she was enjoying a nice cup of a very large coffee chain's coffee. Immediately, I began to crave a cup of that hot, dark, rich, liquid sunshine. I needed to fill my tank with a gallon or so of high octane morning juice.

Because my eyes were glued to my monitor, my thoughts wandered to how I could combine two of my loves, coffee and blogging. How could I could successfully juggle a steaming hot cup of liquid that is glued to my hand for about an hour a day and at the same time move my fingers at lightening speed across my keyboard? Do I get my coffee and bring it back home to sit in front of my computer, isolated from my coffee crowd; taping out words one letter at a time with my free hand? No - that just didn't feel right. Do grab the kids laptop and take it with me to my coffee spot where I can enjoy the atmosphere around me, but still be somewhat isolated in my blogging zone? No - that didn't feel right either.

What I have concluded is that I must keep my two loves separate in order keep the sanctity of each. I must stave off my desire to multi-task to more fully enjoy what energizes me. I must recognize that my two loves are on Sacred Grounds.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee

I get my coffee everyday. But Sundays are special.

Sunday mornings are special for a few different reasons. First, it is the one morning of the week that my family has breakfast together. We eat, read the paper and share a meal of bagels, sweets and coffee. Secondly, it is the one morning of the week that no one is rushing to get out the door early for school or work or getting up at the crack of dawn to go to work out. Lastly, it is the morning that I take about an hour to myself to just chill at my coffee spot.

I have a different routine on Sunday mornings than I have for every other day of the week. I get up and and ready for the day before the rest of the family gets up. I am out the door and on my way to the coffee house before they are stirring. When I get to my caffeine palace, I find my usual table, to the right of the soda machine, plop down my refill mug and magazine, and then go and get in line to order. On this day, I order not only my brew, but also bagels and sweet treats to take home to the family. I order two refill cups o' joe - one for me and one for my husband.

Instead of heading right home, I spend sometime with me, myself, and I. I open my magazine. In the quietness of the Sunday morning landscape of my coffee spot, I can read, think, and relax in preparation for the upcoming week.

Once I have had my chill time, I head back home to my family. I put out the bagels and sweets, and we enjoy our Sunday morning breakfast. Each one of us benefits from my coffee spot on Sunday morning. I get my time to recharge myself for the week ahead, and my family gets not only bagels and sweets, but also a better adjusted mom and wife.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh For Shame

I has been several days since I last posted at Chat and Brew. It is not that I have nothing to say about my favorite coffee joint. Nor is it that I have lost my passion for my cup o' joe in the morning. I have been MIA because of....well.....shame. I have been unfaithful to my beloved coffee confidante.

Like so many others, my attentions have been captured by an alluring and seductive suitor. It flirted. It persisted. It distracted me with it's captivating appearance. This cunning courter that I write of ensnared me with the tantalizing and all powerful proposal of a free cup of coffee. In my weakness, I succumbed to it's advances.

It was good; a delicious and bold brew donning a beautiful blue and white accouterments. Steamy and hot, it enticed me with an aroma that was robust and unyielding. I drank it, for that moment, unabashedly.

However, at the next break of dawn, a wave of contrition engulfed me as I realized what I had done. My heart sank as I thought of the joy that my coffee spot had brought me and how flippantly I had betrayed it. I vowed that morning that my a.m. cup would fill from no other font than it.

Shall I encounter this suitor again? Perhaps. Will I fall prey to it's diabolical plan to lure me from my one true coffee love? I pray not.

With a firm will and a steadfast heart I will do my best to stay true to my coffee house.

(Recap: I had a free cup of coffee somewhere else and felt bad about it.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Beans

I love walking into my coffee spot in the fall.

The shop brews an autumn blend coffee that is absolutely delicious! It is a nutmegy, rich, dark roast. Perfect with a little cream and some honey.....oooh, it's so good. Pair it with one of their warm pumpkin bagels, and there you have it, the breakfast of queens.

It seems that everyone in there is in a different mood when fall rolls around. People are a little more pleasant, a little more talkative, and a little less likely to complain at the long lines. I'm not sure why this happens. Maybe it's because here in the southwest, where it is still 100 degrees during the day, the fall menu signals that cooler weather is acomin'.

We don't have the fall foliage like a lot of people do. We don't have "sweater weather" in October - that doesn't come until December. We don't even have harvest festivals and parades that are a staple in many areas of the country at this time of year. All of the autumnal activities that usher in the fall just don't happen here. It's almost a little sad.

But, here, at least in my little corner of the southwest, I will choose to be joyful even though we don't have a true fall. I can be happy that the cooler weather is coming - the forecast says we'll be in the upper 80's next week. I can enjoy the changing color of the bagels as they add pumpkin flavored to the mix. And I can and certainly will enjoy the fall beans!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Can't Stay Away!

OK, now tell me if this is pathetic.

I got of work around 12:30 and had to run some errands. I had to get gas, find a birthday present and get home by 2:20 for my daughter to get home. As I am running the last errand, I see that I only had a few minutes to get home. I had an internal argument with myself about just heading right home or stopping for my cup o' brew. The cup o' brew had just too strong of a pull. It won the argument.

Even when pressed for time, I HAVE to stop for my coffee. My favorite brew summons me - like a moth to the flame; like a magnet to steel; like a bee to a flower.... Well, that may be a bit dramatic. I'm not sure why, but even when pressed for time, my desire for my cup wins out. I am weak. I just can't stay away.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Fresh Cup

My routine has changed just a bit....

I started a part-time job so my morning coffee stop has been moved to an afternoon, after work coffee stop.

In the morning I see the same old crowd - the regulars - my fellow coffee connoisseurs shuffling in to the store and up to the counter to purchase their cup of caramel colored sunshine. So, this afternoon while I was enjoying my bagel and p.m. coffee, I was able to see my favorite coffee joint from the afternoon perspective.

Sitting next to me was a man I had never seen before. The manager (with whom I am on a first name basis) introduced me to him. He was a very nice man. He had a wonderfully positive attitude and seemed genuinely interested in who I was and what I was doing. He was cheerful, and full of conversation. He was also physically challenged.

Now I don't know what the nature of his challenges were, but I could tell that whatever it was, didn't hold him back. I was so inspired by him. I also thought about challenges that I may face in any given day from a different view. I realized that a lot of them are challenges I make for myself. Regardless of where they are from, it is up to me to rise above them and do it with a positive and joyful attitude.

Now don't get me wrong...I love the morning crowd; the same old brew - I mean crew. But sometimes, it is nice to mix it up and try a fresh cup!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Creature of Habit....

As usual, I stopped by my coffee joint this morning.

I stood in line, ordered my usual bagel toasted with peanut butter and 99 cent mug refill. I paid my $3.33 bill and then headed to the self serve coffee pots to fill my cup.

I looked at the brew signs as I do every morning. I assessed the various roasts and then decided on the vanilla hazelnut I do every morning. With one hand I grabbed the honey bottle and the other the creamer carafe and poured both in the bottom of my cup. I then placed my cup under the spout and watched as my cup filled with hot, caramel colored liquid. I gave my cup a swirl, grabbed a wooden stirrer and a few napkins, and off I went.

With cup in hand, I made my way over to the first table to the right of the soda machine, wiped it off, pulled out my chair and sat down. The coffee cup and bagel basket each had their place in front of me. It had be this way to accommodate the book that I was reading this morning.

From the corner of my eye, I saw some of the other regulars. I gave the expected "How ya doin'" wave, and quickly returned to my coffee and book.

Now what is so special about this? Nothing really. It's just that I do this same thing every morning. It has become such a part of my daily routine, that if I don't follow it, my whole day is messed up...we're talking cranky, frustrated in just plain not fun to be around. I am completely dependent upon this morning ritual. I have truly become a creature of habit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Different Brew

As I entered my usual coffee spot this morning, I came upon a big yellow school bus parked outside the front doors. Now I have seen students before, in fact, I see some students there almost every morning. But never before have I seen them bussed in.

I watched them as I enjoyed my cup of java and bagel.

They sat in groups at the various tables. The groups seemed to represent many of various "high school culture" groups. There were some with brightly colored hair and piercings, some that looked to be athletes, some that looked to be what we used to call the preppy group.

As they ate their various breakfast selections from the bagel/Kids, pastry case and drank their coffee drinks, sodas and juices, they chattered away in their teen language. Some of the conversations were mellow and quiet while others were spirited. Still some were melodramatic, carried on in the way that only teens can get away with.

I am not sure what the group of teens was doing there, but I have to applaud them. Although they were in a big group and among their peers, they were polite and respectful to those around them. They cleaned up after themselves, and conducted themselves with maturity while they were there. They were quite a different brew than what I often observe in large groups of kids.

I wonder what the bus ride was like after the caffeine and sugar kicked in......