The sun was up early – such a beautiful day and I was eager to get out for my walk. It didn’t matter how cold it was, because the sun was out and the sidewalks and streets were clear and dry. I suited up and hit the road, knowing I’d better savor my stroll since rain is forecast for tomorrow morning and that rain will morph into snow by afternoon. We are slated to get slammed with a four to eight-inch snowstorm! What? This past weekend, it was 63 degrees!
I thought of going to the marina but it was a little too far to walk yet, since I had a ten-day hiatus without walking, and only started back last Friday. I decided a trek to the tracks and back was just perfect for today.
I did that four miles and returned home with rosy cheeks and an appetite as well from that frosty air. As I sat on the kitchen chair wrapping my hands around my mug of coffee in an effort to warm my fingers, I thought about the simple joy in savoring my morning cup of joe. If you’re not a coffee drinker, it is hard to fathom the pure pleasure of that bold aroma, the warm liquid trickling down your throat and warming your innards, not to mention the taste.
Now I drink instant coffee, so it is not like I am enjoying a special Keurig cup or a pot of some exquisite brew, because my cup of joe is for the average joe – just instant coffee crystals, but, on a cold day, or any day for that matter, there is no finer elixir for me to get myself in gear and keep me going through the day.
I still remember my first Starbucks cup of coffee though. I worked in downtown Detroit in the Buhl Building, and the announcement of Starbucks’ arrival to our building had everyone all agog. Having never had Starbucks coffee, I wasn’t all that excited for their arrival, and instead, I wished the little bakery with the wax paper bags of warm chocolate chip cookies – three for $0.25, would have stayed instead. (Though coffee was probably better for my waistline.) Starbucks was just a place to have coffee back then, as it was long before internet cafés were big news. No one was carrying devices around – you went online at home or the office, so, I wondered why Starbucks would even open a store in the heart of downtown Detroit? Besides, in the business district, don’t all offices in these high-rise buildings have coffee machines? One of the perks of working in an office, if you’ll pardon that intentional pun, is the availability of coffee and tea in the breakroom or kitchen.
Just before the grand opening, someone wearing a sandwich board that said “Starbucks is coming soon” was passing out free vouchers and handed me a few. I held onto those coupons for a week or so, for the fervor to die down, then one day I hopped off the bus, and instead of going to the elevator to ride up those eleven stories to the office, I explored Starbucks instead.
Well, it was Tuesday and they were brewing Sumatra, a very dark and earthy Indonesian roast. I always took my coffee black and this was a “Grande”, which was a fairly large-sized cup. Whew! It packed a punch, and after downing that cup of coffee, I was sure my fingers flew over the keyboard the rest of the day … and I was still hyped up into the evening. Where was this stuff when I had exams or had to type a term paper on the manual typewriter ‘til the wee hours of the morn back in my college days?
So, I decided I liked that experience, and it beat the Maxwell House we had at home and at the office, so, voucher in hand, I stopped in again. The next day I tried the brew of the day – not so strong this time, and, after draining my “Grande” cup of Columbian roast, I was ready to trill my RRRRRs and eat some paella.
I had one more voucher, and the next day Starbucks was brewing French Roast. Well, I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven and all I needed was a hot croissant to go with it. I downed that “Grande” and had to stop myself from saying “Ooh La La” or some other silly French phrase, and, I was sure I’d be able to converse in French though it had been years since I took my last conversational French class.
Thus began my love affair with Starbucks, and, for my remaining years in the Buhl Building, until Robb and I left the heart of downtown, their coffee became the mainstay of my morning. I tried a few of their seasonal drinks for the occasional afternoon treat, but we had to exit the building and go through a separate door to get to Starbucks – not too fun to do on a cold Winter day.
So, some thirteen years after leaving downtown and now working from home, I find myself content to enjoy “Nescafe Clasico”, a bold and aromatic, dark roast instant coffee. It’s got some pizazz and I’d give it about an 8 on the coffee taste meter.
While I sipped my second cup of joe after returning home from my walk, I was musing over a story I heard recently on the radio about a wearable coffee product named “Joule”. I was a little incredulous, and wondered why anyone would take that pleasure one enjoys as they savor their cup of joe, by reducing it to a bracelet which sports a caffeine patch. I made it a point to check it out – well, it’s a novel concept if you want that the coffee high without taking the time or effort to actually enjoy the brew, but choose to wear a caffeine patch instead. Here, have a look: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/joule-wear-your-caffeine–2#/
I guess I don’t “get it” as I would prefer the real deal instead. I’m all for trying new things, but gone is the enjoyment of savoring that cup of steaming brew, in my opinion anyway.
But then, I tried reading “The Detroit News” as a PDF on my computer screen, and thought that was too much effort and took the joy out of glancing for the stories or regular features I enjoyed, and, I like holding a regular book or magazine in my hands, as opposed to using a e-reader.
Maybe it’s just me.
Too many novelties and inventions these days leave me scratching my head sometimes. Like the new toothbrush that you use with an app on your smartphone – it tells you where you missed a spot when brushing your teeth. Really?!
But, then again, even the old and familiar things likewise leave me bewildered. I love nature and trees, but I’m highly unlikely to hug my plate of spaghetti and meatballs the next time I have it for dinner, despite all the wood pulp the manufacturer puts into the grated cheese I liberally sprinkle on top.
The world moves just too fast for me sometimes.