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20141211_091924So, a friend and I were commenting on how we really enjoy talking about coffee. I added how weird it was that I truly loved writing about coffee.

She remarked that at a recent drive-thru visit, her husband proceeded to gulp down his drink and she stopped him, wait a second. Don’t you want to enjoy this? The moment, the taste, the complexity of flavors?

We both lamented that this was what the drive-thru had done to coffee culture. While making it more accessible and giving birth to outrageous drinks orders, in a way it’s taken the moment away from us.

Or perhaps, it’s given us a greater sense of “the moment” when we’re having it.

This train of thought brought me to a great quote from one of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movies.

“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” – You’ve Got Mail.

I love that line. And it is scarily true.

I’m not knocking Starbucks or the drive thru, lord knows I’ve spent my fair time in those lines ordering my vanilla lattes. (That’s what drive thru drink defines me, by the way.)

I spent a good tenure of my life (plus a few more years) working as a barista in various coffee shops. The barista is the modern day bar keep who gets to know her fellow humans not only through their drink order, but through a five minute daily interaction and sometimes, during the lulls when folks would confide in me all sorts of information I never asked to be told.

Which is why we go have ‘coffee’ with friends. In order to connect with other humans in this world that is quickly eating up our face to face time with technologically driven ways to interact.

That’s why I like my Cappuccino’s so much. The only places here I my little corner of the world that make a good cappuccino are coffee shops that have no drive-thru. I have to make an effort to go in, and once I’m there, I can slow down for just a moment, allow my world to stop, and I can appreciate the boldness of the espresso, the creaminess of the milk, the perfect foam. All of it becomes a joyous occasion, not just another mundane moment in an otherwise normal every day.