"On the eighth day, God created coffee."
I'm up and my brain cylinders are starting to pop. Lying in bed was so comfortable and warm, but I longed for that first sip of warm, sweet java. After filling the coffee maker with water and adding the fragrant ground beans, I leaned against the counter, my eyes at half-mast, savoring the gurgling hiccup of the coffee maker and smelling the rich aroma as it filled the kitchen.
I don't apologize - I add creamer and sweetener. Because to me it adds to the richness and comfort of the beverage. Purely black, dark, unsweetened coffee tastes like a chemical concoction - much like I imagine drinking isopropyl alcohol would taste if I was just trying to get drunk.
Time for a refill.
I'm back. I was just thinking that coffee is actually a bit like cookies and ice cream. Even when not so great, it's still pretty damned good! It definitely enhances the experience of mornings, and for that, it's one of life's treasures...
"Coffee has two virtues: it's wet and warm."
Mythological origins of the digestion of the coffee beans include a goatherder named Kaldi who noticed his goats being energized and dancing after nibbling on the bright red berries of a bush. So, he tried it himself. Excited at it's mind-enhancing properties, he brought them to an Islamic holy man who, not unexpectedly, disapproved of them (presumably because anything that makes one happy must therefore be bad, right?) and tossed them into a fire.
What happens when coffee beans contact heat? That warm, sensory aroma that many prefer over its taste. So the roasted beans were raked from the embers, put into hot water and voila! The world's first cup of coffee.
Over the years, coffee made its way into Arabia, and into the western world through the Ottoman Empire - the same folks who brought us comfortable foot rests! And what brought upon the demise of that empire? I suspect too much lounging and drinking warm java! ;-)
In 1600, Pope Clement VIII "baptized" coffee, making it widely accepted throughout Europe. Now, if modern folks were just to get the current Pope to give the nod to ganja . . . I'm just saying!
For the sake of brevity, let's just say coffee made it's way through Europe to America before some dude named Joseph Starbuck made it a household name... Actually, the name Starbucks, according to the company's fact sheet, comes from the name of the first mate in Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
But that's another story ...
"A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness tasted and time well spent."
But seriously, when we speak about enjoyment of coffee, where it came from and how we make it are really beside the point. The satisfaction is an intrinsic one.
Along with wine, food and beer, enjoying it is one of those meaningful life experiences that bring us together. Bring us to the moment, as we savor something that induces warm, comfortably connecting sensations alone or with friends. The coffee break has become synonymous with stopping our industriousness to be in the moment and be ourselves. There are even online coffee social networking sites for people who work at home and lack that ability to meet for this purpose, including coffeenatic.com, and baristaconnection.com.
So, good morning! Happy Labor Day ~ or more poignantly, have a rich, rewarding day filled with an abundance of sensory and personal comforts.
And pass the creamer!