Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Cup of Coffee and Conversation

Amazing how coffee is such a phenomenon. So many brands and so many ways to serve it besides the standard hot cup of coffee. Now you have choices with strange names like frappuccino-latte-caffe mocha-macchiato. Then you can choose to stir-whip-steam or shake-and drink and drink some more! Some of these brands are so recognizable that their locations are sought after destinations in metropolitan centers to rural locations and every place in between

When I think of coffee, I think of my aunt who loved to go out for breakfast at local diners or small eateries. She'd savor every bite and enjoy every drop of her brewed coffee served in a thick, milk-white ceramic cup with a saucer. She'd add a bit of milk and sugar and stir it until it was "pretty"-as she called it. The waitress would fill her cup up a few more times as we'd linger and talk and watch people come and go. It was always fun being with her at these places which, to my aunt, were more enjoyable than a five-star restaurant. After leaving a tip on the table she'd put any remaining little paks of jams or jellies in her purse to take home. There was just something about peeling them back and spreading the stuff over toast. My aunt savored the simple things in life.

This aunt also loved it when we'd visit and gather around the kitchen table for conversation and a cup of coffee made in a stainless steel pot void of timers and buttons and bells and whistles. That old pot made the best cup of coffee every single time. Favorite brands were Chuck Full Of Nuts and Eight O'Clock. Watching her make a pot, it was obvious she was as excited to prepare the coffee as drink it. Sometimes during our gathering we'd need more coffee. Up my aunt would jump. Putting the tea kettle back on to boil the water, she'd then clean the old grinds out and add new. Once the kettle whistled, she'd fill the top of the pot with the scalding water. Then we'd wait for it to drip down through the grinds. Sometimes it seemed like it took forever but it wasn't any longer than standing in line for some of today's high tec brands served in plastic cups with lids.

When ready, my aunt would hold the top of the pot with her left hand as she'd make the rounds around the kitchen table, filling empty cups-which were my grandmother's flowered china cups with saucers. We'd wait until everyone had their coffee before we added whatever we felt needed; then we'd sit some more, sipping and talking. There were no earphones blocking our participation. No laptops or Kindles or Nooks grabbing our attention.

I think my aunt had it right-sharing conversation and time together while dipping ginger snaps in our piping hot, freshly dripped coffee. So simple-just so very simple; just how life should be sometimes.


  1. You said it beautifully, Barbara! Finding joy in the simple things of life is a great philosophy to live by.

    In fact, I am sipping coffee from a diner mug right now. My daughter sent it to me from Becky's, on Hobson Wharf in Portland, ME. :-)