Cawfee Tawk


It's high time I address my obsession with coffee. It's good I break you all in now because this will likely be the first of many tributes and you still have time to bail out before this crazy train gets moving too fast. They say acceptance is the first step towards recovery and since I dressed myself in big girl pants this morning, I'll come right out and confess: Hi, my name is Lucinda and I'm a coffeeholic.

I'm not your typical junkie either. It's quite the opposite, actually. My pathology resembles masochism more than addiction. I restrict myself to only one cup a day (unless I'm irrationally tapped to reckless abandon) and usually only a few cups a week. I treasure my passion for the black gold and want to maintain it's integrity in my heart by not overdoing it or dulling the sense.

In addition to its consumption, I'm also very particular in its preparation. I'll obnoxiously stand at the counter, scrutinizing each barista charged to the task of preparing my drink. If during the production, things go astray in my mind, i'll begin to uncomfortably shift from one foot to the other, wringing my hands, shaking my head and silently talking myself to reason: 'course a latte definitely has two shots. I'm an excellent judge in taste; excellent judge. I can't imagine what this does to the nerves of the coffee steward.
It all began at a young age. You, see in Bolivia - the country from which my mother hails - the great bean is a staple commodity and not restricted to adults. People there are exposed to it early in life and are served cafe con leche or more accurately, leche con cafe (since the proportions are adjusted to the tolerances of a child). When she married my father and came here to the states, my mother kept the tradition of 5 o'clock tecito (Tea Time) where refreshments are not limited to tea. My siblings and I were thus exposed as we joined her for that happy hour.

Since then, I've been hooked and my palate has developed to where I can appreciate the lush acidity and fragrant roasts without several ounces of cream and sugar. And without said dilution, its potency became more apparent too. So then I was able to appreciate it on another level: COFFEEEE! (read in your most excited and spastic voice) That there got me through many a late night in college and beyond.

Delving just a bit further into the history and psyche behind my coffee passion, we come to the final stage where I'm able to tame the coffee-beast evoked by caffeine and harness the creative (albeit hyper) influx that ensues its consumption. Coffee is to me what the Muses were to the greats. And it's cliche, I know, but coffee shops are the best for writing. A lot of my writing lately is induced by either an injection of caffeine or deprivation of sleep (hmmm, that's funny...I just recognized the dichotomy).

Anyway, sitting here in my new favorite coffee shop (and one of the best in Raleigh) the words come out flowing like the shots being pulled in succession behind the bar. You like the poeticism? Yeah. Coffee. In all seriousness though, there's something to be said for the popularity behind coffee shops and writers. There's got to be some scientific research behind it. So that's it; I've said my peace, for now. What gets your creative juices going? What makes you happy, gets you up in the morning?


Anonymous said...

Luci, I've enjoyed following your blog! However please don't mistake my silence for indifference. Oftentimes I don't think there's too much I can add or suggest. I just know that I'm comfortably drawn to your writings. In this case you take a simple topic - coffee -and open up to us by confessing your obsession, admitting to a form of anxiety over a latte's preparation, expressing deep appreciation for this bean; and my favorite part - sharing coffee's importance in your family's heritage and traditional 5 o'clock tecito.

As I said, I don't think I can suggest anything. But, I would be curious to know more about your Bolivian heritage. You travel there too? Please share those experiences and how that has shaped your identity! Cheers,


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