Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Appreciating Life a Little More: Looking Back At How I Survived 2 Days Without Coffee

"...and you call yourself a coffee blogger." Yes it is true. Recently I allowed two days to pass where I did not have any coffee. No, I'm not trying to prove anything or even cut back on my coffee consumption (although it did help me stretch coffee beans to last just a little bit longer than usual). In fact it all happened on back on Black Friday (yes, I realize that by now this is forever ago...being a parent means less blogging for me).

I woke up, washed up and got my son Liam all dressed and ready to go shopping with the wife and off we went. About 2 hours into the shopping festivities my head gently reminded me what part of my morning routine I had overlooked. As the headache increased, I tried not to focus on it and resolved to enjoy the day out with my family. I kept telling myself that my coffee fix would be addressed as soon as I got home and dreamt for that natural Kochere Ethiopia from Portola Coffee Lab . Time passed and my headache turned into a tolerable inconvenience. By the time I got home I dared myself to go the rest of the day without coffee, just for kicks. Challenge accepted! In fact the next day I fell into the same rut where I, yet again, forgot to make a cup of coffee in the morning and went through the same withdrawals and challenged myself to face yet another day without my legalized and sociably acceptable drug of choice. Once again, challenge accepted! The third day I came to my senses and made my cup of coffee, but here's where it gets good...

So I've been drinking speciality coffee for a couple years now and I'd like to think that I've developed a higher standard for good coffee. Not only that, but I'd also like to think that I've had some pretty darn good coffee. Perhaps I could even go out on a limb and say I've had some of the best coffee available in the North American continent. The only downside to drinking such good coffee on a daily basis is that (at least for me) I feel like "awesome" coffee has been downgraded to just "good" coffee. It's a bit like a person who eats at a 5 Star restaurant everyday and begins to think nothing of it. It's called normalization. After my two day hiatus from coffee, I began my coffee making process of first opening that fresh bag of whole bean Ethiopian coffee. The fragrance of that bag filled my senses with a sort of warm strawberry jam type of scent that made me wonder just how tasty this cup was going to be that day. As I weighed out and ground my beans, I placed the grounds in my coffee filter and slowly began pouring my water over it in a circular manner. As the coffee bubbled signifying its freshness, the aroma of the coffee was released into the air for my senses to take in. The soft coffee scent mixed inside a fruity arrangement of aromas was the final signature that reminded me how good this specialty coffee was going to be. As I drew my cup to my mouth, the aromas heightened and were complimented by the smooth and clean taste of coffee. Taste, smell, and even the feel of the warm coffee cup in my hands brought me into this long forgotten state of appreciation for this beverage. After two days of no coffee I was brought back to the understanding of how good specialty coffee really is.

But what about my car? My clothing? How about where I live? I am blessed to call Orange County, CA my home and am caught in between Los Angeles County and San Diego County and close enough to the San Bernardino mountains. Have these "things" become normalized to me, so much so that I complain when I eat Subway twice in the same week and that I feel that there's nothing to watch on Netflix anymore? Has God blessed me so much that I no longer see this as a blessing, but as something I deserve? Even further than that, am I no longer content with this blessing? How many of us can come to that same unfortunate conclusion that us middle class Americans have been normalized and possibly desensitized into thinking that the awesome "cup of coffee" that we have is not so special anymore. Maybe we all need a two day vacation from whatever our "cup of coffee" may be. It gave me some perspective and I could guess that it would
do the same for you.

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