The (Coffee) Club

My friend Beth was sweet enough to buy a French press for our visit to Abu Dhabi.  She knows not only how much I love coffee, but how much other guests do as well, and told me she’d though it would be a worthy investment.

But as I brewed a press full of the stuff one morning she wrinkled up her nose, and said something like, “I still just don’t get it, I don’t get what people love so much about coffee.  I can’t stand the smell or the taste of the stuff.”

I told her I’d been thinking about this a bit lately, about the allure, the obsession with coffee that some of us share and others of us decidedly do not.  And I told her that the closest thing it brings to mind is membership in some sort of club.

Because as much as it’s about the taste, the smell, gulps of really, really good coffee, it’s also not.  It’s also just as much about the rhthym of the morning, the ritual of brewing a really good cup, the laughter with friends, the hours spent in coffee shops, the belief that a perfect cup of coffee is the necessary compliment to a good conversation, a productive session of writing or reading.

Yes, I know caffeine is a drug, people.

But being part of the club isn’t about using, but about sharing.  It’s about sensuality, peace, joy, home.

Who makes a cup of coffee for someone they don’t like?  Who goes to a coffee shop to really be alone?

We go for the collective energy, the buzz of being with others and yet the comfort, the conviction of finding our own slice of solace.

At Cong Caphe, Hanoi, Vietnam.

I just don’t have any bad memories with coffee in them.  And that’s not to say I haven’t had some really bad cups of coffee–that lovely brunch in Fujairah was actually one of them.  But you don’t hold those cups against coffee, because being part of the club comes with so many benefits.

Lifetime conversation, companionship, (yes, caffeination), clarity, and collective energy.

That’s the good stuff.

Are you a member?  So how do you explain it?

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