Pour another cup of coffee


It’s National Coffee Day today! Time to celebrate! With a cup of coffee, of course.

I am always amazed at how good that first cup of morning coffee tastes every single day. Somehow, I think that after so many of those mornings a cup of coffee would lose its appeal, but for me it hasn’t yet. Maybe it’s the flavored coffees I brew sometimes that give the routine some variety.

Later in the day coffee doesn’t appeal to me as much as the early morning brew, but if there’s someone to share it with me, that’s different.

It seems to me that having coffee with someone is one of the very nicest things to do. There’s something so companionable about sitting at my kitchen table as we each enjoy our coffee and go over what’s happening in our lives, commiserate with each other, get input. In fact, sometimes I think an invitation to come for coffee is actually code for, “I miss you. Can you come for coffee? It’s been too long since we had some time together.”

And as together you savor rich cups of coffee, you also savor the friendship. I wonder how many problems have been solved and confidences shared over a cup of coffee. And, you know, it really doesn’t even have to be coffee. Coffee is just a traditional symbol.

These days, we don’t merely drink coffee, though; we have coffee drinks–latte, cappuccino, espresso, half-caf, light, dark–the options go on and on. I can hardly follow all that. I can be usually quite an intimidating list of options that is posted in coffee shops.

And that’s another thing. When we used to talk about a coffee shop, we meant a small, simple homey café where one could get a basic cup of coffee and a donut or a piece of pie if you wanted. Now I don’t even know what to call these establishments with fru-fru coffee drinks and baristas who brew them.

I wonder what our sturdy, hard-working, sod-busting, God-fearing ancestors would have to say about what our culture has done to their basic cups of coffee. Or the Scandinavian women who made egg coffee.

My grandpa was not Scandinavian, but he drank coffee every chance he got. It was always black. He made sure his grandchildren got sips of it, too, after it was poured into his saucer to cool just a bit. His theory was that a child would never amount to anything if they didn’t drink a little coffee while they were still little.

At my house, all we got was a sip or two of coffee if we were croaky of a morning. Hot coffee trickling down the throat usually helped the situation, as did sitting on my dad’s lap to drink it.

So, you see, coffee really is more than just a cup of coffee.