01 July 2011

Coffee Anthropology

“Coffee, she’d discovered, was tied to all sorts of memories, different for each person.  Sunday mornings, friendly get-togethers, a favorite grandfather long since gone, the AA meeting that saved their life.  Coffee meant something to people.  Most found their lives were miserable without it.
Coffee was a lot like love that way.
And because [she] believed in love, she believed in coffee too.”
                                      ~from The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

My first memories of coffee are deeply rooted in my Montana childhood.  Camping trips, which were abundant during our 8-year sojourn to that wild and spacious state, were the one glorious occasion when we were allowed to drink the forbidden beverage.
Mom: It will stunt their growth, you know.
Dad: No it won’t.  It’ll make them strong; put hair on their chests.
Mom: They don’t need hair on their chests—they’re just little girls!
Dad: Woman, it’s just a figure of speech! We’ll put lots of cream and sugar in it, okay?  Let them live a little.  It’s part of the camping experience.
Inevitably, Dad won out and we were rewarded with the brewed liquid joy of java.  It toasted us, cut the chill of the early mountain mornings, and prepared us for a day of fishing, hiking, and exploring beneath the extensive blue of Big Sky Country.
Today, I take my coffee strong, Colombian, with a lot of cream and a dash of sugar.  And, just like love, and just like childhood, it warms me through and through.
What does coffee mean to you?

Today’s Gratitude List:
  • Coffee, obviously
  • My medieval rose ring that arrived from Sundance today. I am very pleased with it!
  • My much needed massage appointment this afternoon :)


  1. We're familiar with wine lovers performing the "sniff, sip and swirl" thing. I do the same with coffee. I plainly admit to being an addict.

    It started only as a means to get myself through final exams in college then later it became something to enjoy with friends at a cafe, or solo. But with a group of gal pals is nicer.

    Hope your health is fully restored. Have an amazing Independence Day weekend.

  2. You're dad sounds like a great sort of bloke...you reminded me of camping trips with my family and the smell of coffee brewing...but my dad didn't let us have some!!
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment, I shall look forward to following your blog too :)

  3. Excuse crap spelling, feel a bit unwell - Your not you're!!!

  4. What a lovely memory :) Coffee reminds me of my uni days, stopping for a fresh latte to take into a lecture with me.
    Happy Grateful Saturday :)

  5. Oh I love coffee- couldn't live without it! To me it means waking up, perking up and chatting with friends. And it's so warm. And smells so good!!!
    Love the ring too :-)
    have a great weekend

  6. That's a lovely memory. It's nice to be able to pinpoint a 'first' like that.

    I'm not a coffee drinker. My Italian husband is horrified. BUT, I love the ritual of it. I wish I liked it, I really do.

    Your ring is beautiful. x

  7. Ooooh! I love a good coffee. Enjoying it with a lot of cream and a dash of sugar sounds like my kind of thing!

    Your memory is beautiful. I remember being allowed my first cup of coffee at ten years of age....I've loved it ever since!

  8. What a happy memory of coffee and family and being in the world!

    Coffee is like life line for me. It brings me energy, wakes me up. But it's also become a kind of source of community for me. Visiting with friends over coffee, the acquaintances I make at my coffee shop. Coffee connects us, and I love that.

    Beautiful blog you have here! Thank you!

  9. What a beautiful memory!! Just gorgeous. My husband is a coffee officionado. I drink tea. I'd love to love coffee...but I just can't. Like Maxabella, I'm a disappointment to my husband. Never mind. I'd rather be a disappointment than have a stomach ache!!!

  10. I love the way you write! You conjure up those lovely, cosy childhood memories so beautifully. I love that your Dad did that for you. It's made me really stop and think about stuff and be more in the moment as a parent rather than looking at what the 'right' thing to do is.
    Love that quote about coffee at the beginning. So comforting. Though I'm not a coffee drinker (I love the smell of it though) I substituted coffee for tea and I was there!!! Lovely to meet you:)

  11. My first coffee was as a teenager. It was instant with lots of sugar.Yuk, couldn't bear to drink it like that now. Real, strong coffe- milk & no sugar.
    Hope you enjoyed your massage.

  12. Hello there from a sunny day in wintery Sydney, my husband is making me a cup of coffee right now. It's a plunger one, ad I don't drink it often, I'm a tea girl usually in the mornings. Mostly coffee means sitting down in cafes to me, a little punctuation in the movements of life, relaxation.

  13. It's a Sunday morning here in Sydney, the kind of perfect winter day that Sydney does so well - sunny and sparkling. I've just had coffee out on the terrace that my husband made. We grind the beans and brew the coffee in an Italian stove top percolator, smooth and milky. Bliss.


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