My husband, Rich, and I have a house divided…over coffee.
He wants to brew a whole pot; I want to brew one cup at a time.
He doctors his coffee up with creamers and sugars; no frou-frou coffee for me, just strong and black.
He can appreciate cold coffee; I often warm my coffee when it’s about half full.
Rich grew up in his parents’ restaurants where the pot of coffee was always on. An “Old Timers” sign was hung on the table where the locals gathered to drink their coffee and exchange the day’s gossip. To this day, his stepmom puts a fresh pot of coffee on when you enter her door. For Rich, the pot of coffee symbolizes hospitality, home, and a deep sense of belonging.
I appreciate brewing my own cup of coffee to the strength that pleases me; no waiting on the whole pot for me. My hands wrap around the warm cup, extending gratitude for that first sip of my morning coffee. We do, however, cherish the same memories of folks around the kitchen table, sharing a cup of coffee, a piece of pie, and easy conversation.
When was the last time we engaged in this warm tradition? Inviting friends around the table instead of the tv. Engaging in the lost art of the conversation of our lives. Engaging in the warm feelings of family and camaraderie, children or grandchildren on our laps, learning how to do life.
Looking back, I have those childhood memories of crawling into a family member’s lap, as they gathered around the adult table eventually losing interest or being summoned to child’s play. But in those fond moments, I heard politics, religion, family secrets, good-hearted banter, and laughter. There was no anger or accusations or blame. Just mutual respect, figuring out life together, and love. All around a cup of coffee and a piece of pie.
In The Art of Living – or, in this case, The Art of Coffee, it doesn’t matter how you drink your coffee. Just do it. Invite a friend or two around a table. Look each other in the eye, feel the warmth, and let the conversation flow. Then, don’t wait so long to do it again.