Coffee. I miss meeting a friend in a coffee shop, warming my hands around a LARGE steaming mug of the aromatic, dark drink, chatting without end as the waitress brings the pot to “top off” my cup. I miss being asked, “Cream and sugar?” so I can respond, “No thanks, I take it black and bitter!” Last week, I had a wonderful conversation with a new friend over coffee for me, tea for her. The company was great, the cup was small–not even the width of my hand, and there were no refills, free or otherwise…
Like all of us, this beautiful beverage has a history, dark and bold. In the 16 century, a shepherd noticed his little goats bouncing off the Ethiopian plateau after eating the berries from a certain tree. The shepherd took those berries and reported his observations to a local monastery. The monks devised a brew from the beans and drank it to keep themselves from dozing during dusk devotions. The pep-producing beverage gained a reputation which spread quickly, along with the beans (www.ncausa.org). By the 17th century, coffee had spilled across Europe, replacing the usual breakfast drink of champions–wine or beer. Apparently, replacing the dawn draft with coffee invigorated workers, assisting their energy and effectiveness (according to the National Coffee Association of the USA). Hmpff…truly, critical thinking, powered by mocha, at its finest!
And now, as Mark and I find ourselves in the heart of Europe, I’m missing my American-get-a-large-for-a-buck coffee from McDonald’s. Though I do love my java black, espresso is not my thing (there’s not enough in a shot for lingering). And poor Mark, who loves half and half in his brew…coffee with milk after breakfast is frowned upon, and we can’t find dairy which translates as the whitener Mark prefers. So we smile as we swill a cup o’ joe down to the last dune of sludge in the mug and ponder the differences in caffeine culture (that’s not what keeps us up at night!), drinking in the antioxidants and the European world around us.
6 thoughts on “Coffee Klatsch”
I love reading your posts! I feel like I’m learning. Love you!
Love you, Mary!
😢 Miss you more than you miss your American ☕️. We’re definitely getting together for breakfast so we can linger, laugh, and just enjoy being in each other’s company. Love you and can’t wait to see you!!! 💙 💕 Paula
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Oh, honey Paula! I’m missing you, too! 😘
As always, I love hearing your stories and observations. It made me think of a different cultural experience we had.
At the school where we taught there were no teacher bathrooms so I’d use the 4 stall girl’s bathroom when the kids were in class. The first day I went to use a toilet, I went into the stall and found that the toilet bowl and tank were install separately but looked like ours. The only difference was that who ever installed them, installed the tank too far forward and never checked to see that the toilet lid could be raised and left up. It could not….. so to use it you had to hold one hand on the lid and slip your bum onto the seat. The lid immediately dropped down as soon as you stood up! I was shocked so I tried the next stall. Still a problem! But the next one had the tank attacked far enough back to actually use the toilet! I spent the first semester of the year trying to get this fixed! The men just didn’t care that there was just one usable toilet for all the middle school girls! Removing the lids would have been an easy fix!
Hang in there and keep writing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks forward to these like I look forward to the next book by my favorite author!!
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Thank you, sweet friend!