whole latte love

Oh, to be a kid in the kitchen when Mom opened the can of Butternut coffee–had to be Butternut, not Folgers–by turning the key that peeled the tin that delivered the whoosh that sent the aroma wafting into the next room.

I’d forgotten about that little key-turning ritual–and how frustrating it was when the tin jumped the track–until I saw this: The-History-of-Coffee-Culture-in-America.html

I’m too frugal to make Starbucks a regular stop, but that coffee-scented haven has replaced restaurants for me–and most of my colleagues–when we need to conduct business. With free wi-fi, there’s no such thing as was wasted time, so the fact that Kenny G. is late (as usual 😉 ) or traffic tethers someone to the other side of town is not a problem. The energy—caffeine-fueled or Zen tea-bagged—is nice, as well.  People are polite but not intrusive. Which is even more true at a couple of the independent operations close by. But there, if you do enter a conversation, you truly get a conversation.

All of which has had me thinking about the different types of coffee.  Not brands. Not grinds. Just the symbolic meaning that comes with the cup:

The paper/plastic cup at a high-school football game that serves as mittens for one sweet minute or two.

The never-empty, thick-walled porcelain cup at a small-town restaurant that’s a magnet for the pie in the glass case on the counter.

The procrastination cup that keeps us from having to tackle that task we’ve postponed far too long.

The too-small, too-cold cup that you’re served at boring banquets where the waiters bolt before refilling and the speaker doesn’t know when to stop.

The make-up cup that one guilt-ridden partner carries to another as a sign that peace may someday return to the kingdom.

The day-starting cup with just enough sips to schedule the hours, set the course and say a prayer for those you love.

And now, mine is empty.

Be right back.


6 Responses to “whole latte love”

  1. The worst tasting coffee I have encountered was the coffee at the gas station/cafe? located on the NE corner of the traffic light in Promise City! They had horribly hard water, business was slow and pot of coffee would sit on the warmer so long and become so strong your spoon would almost stand at attention! Gary

  2. Gary – But I’m wondering HOW/WHY you ever had coffee there, considering the perculator was always perking at our house! (And if I remember, correctly, more than coffee was being sold at that cafe. 😉

  3. I was probably in a big hurry and if you bought their over-priced gas you received a free cup of coffee!! Truly a “gag me with a spoon” moment! Was not aware of anything else being marketed there!! Gary

  4. You have completely overlooked vending machine coffee — coffee which hardly deserves the name. Hoping that the darn thing had been serviced recently enough that it would actually dispense…something, that the water would actually be hot, that it wouldn’t taste too much like cocoa. Cause if you were desperate enough to go for a vending machine, you really needed that cuppa joe!

  5. Coffee….yuck for me! I remember those cans with the keys to open. However, I have never liked coffee, and really, really don’t like the smell. I know….I’m a strange one!

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