I’m from Vancouver. It is a fairly well established theory that people from the West Coast like their coffee. The term coffee snob is frequently, and often justifiably, used. I’ll be honest though I thought I had escaped the snobbery. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good coffee, and I will certainly forgo a cup rather than partake of the swill from certain big coffee chains (West Coast ones included). But then I took a trip back to my hometown…. and I forgot to bring my own coffee. I brought my travel mug, but no beans.
Ok, maybe a teeny bit snobby.
It started in the airport. Do I grit my teeth and get a coffee from one of the overpriced, bitter chains? No, I would rather sleep on the plane anyway. Do I accept one in styrofoam from the nice attendants walking down the aisle? No, a “real” drink seemed like a better option (besides, it will help me sleep!). Okay. All good so far. Then I woke up the next morning…. ugh. Brown water masquerading as coffee. Okay, tea it is.
After sending a few emails to friends and a plea to the tweetusphere I got a bit of help. A quick hop in the car and I found a place that sold some beautiful italian espresso perfect for the stovetop espresso maker hidden at the back of a kitchen cupboard. Pre ground and not even organic (sigh) – surely that cancels out the snobbery?
My first cup of americano in my Dad's favourite old coffee mug.
Mini-coffee crisis averted I sat down (with a cup of coffee) to write Fridays blog. Yes, if you’re reading this you’ll know that Friday has come and gone. I’m getting to that. Not only did I forget to bring my own coffee but my laptop was on the other side of the country. I seemed to have forgotten that a key to blog writing is pictures (isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron?). Which not so surprisingly are on my computer. So to my little phone I went to see what I might have some pictures of with which to create a blog. I started scrolling through my fairly purged phone library of photo’s and realized the only thing I had more than one picture of were coffee cups. Hmmm….are you starting to sense a theme to this trip?
Just to be clear - do NOT steal this mug!
It started me thinking about what a big role coffee plays in so many societies. In many ways it brings people together. On this trip alone I’ve made plans to meet at least three people “for coffee”, I’ve attempted to figure out (with the help of at least 2 other people)how you actually make one of those big urns that are ubiquitous at funerals and large family gatherings work, I’ve spiked one with scotch in memory of a dear friend (my mug, not the urn), and I’ve had steaming cups out in the garden with my mom while working in the beautiful fall weather.
Coffee out, with friends, tastes better.
I’ve also been thinking of some of the great memories I have that involve coffee – morning espresso in the Italian countryside with friends, at the gym prepping to do a workout with my gym buddies, my dad in the garden with a cup talking to the cat, following countless meals around many friends tables, settling in for morning skype conversations with friends over the globe and even just sitting quietly at home with a mug and a book.
Maybe I am a coffee snob.
But you know what? I think I’m okay with that.