Life is Too Short for Bad Coffee
Robin B. Zeiger, Ph.D.
Several months ago, I moved into a new clinic. One of my first orders of business was to find a nearby coffee shop to frequent. I discovered the above sign in a neighborhood coffee shop. This sign paired with friendly service and cozy outdoor tables settled my dilemma. I now regularly frequent the quaint city café.
I am very attached to my daily cups of coffee. I pay attention to all the newest research. I need no more convincing; this ancient drink is very healthy for us.
For me as a psychoanalyst, coffee bespeaks of a whole other layer of health — that of mindfulness and relaxation. My coffee moment of mindfulness begins with the intention to pause and hold my cup, cradled in two hands.
Sometimes I briefly rest the ceramic cup to my face to absorb its warmth on a particularly chilly day. I must confess. I am particularly bothered by our throw-away world of disposable cups and plates. Thus, I am always delighted to receive my coffee in a glass cup or ceramic mug. There is something much more grounding here.
Why is my steaming brew of the morning such an important daily ritual? It is connected in time to the first rays of sunlight and the hope of a new day pregnant with possibility.
I am both blessed and cursed with too many ideas first thing in the morning. It is all too easy to make long to-do lists or race off in a cloud of dust like Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
Unfortunately, all too often we race from task to task. We drink our coffee hurriedly on a car ride or as we run out the door. Those moments, where I can stop and savor the gold are precious.
There is also something important about the preparation of the coffee. Over the years, I have discovered the joy in grinding my own coffee beans at home. The aroma of coffee takes me back via nostalgia to my childhood. When I was young, my mother religiously made coffee brewed on the stove every morning with an old-fashioned percolator. I was too young to be allowed coffee. It was clear this brew was for adults only. But the aroma was tantalizing and soothing all at the same time. In my nostalgic musings, the morning ritual bespoke of stability and the warmth of a cozy kitchen in the safety of my childhood apartment. I think I miss this. I am convinced the percolating coffee of my childhood was more aromatic, filling the whole house with the smell. Our more modern ways of brewing coffee just don’t do it for me.
My coffee breaks are important in so many ways. Sometimes it is about friendship and the coffee I partake of with significant people in my life. Sometimes it is about the beautiful places and moments in life.
These days, I have discovered yet another important category of coffee breaks; those of Zoom and other online forums. I have certain friends with whom I share a virtual coffee break. It has also opened the possibility of international coffee sharing.
Perhaps, most of all my coffee, helps me to just “be.” The magic brew becomes the needed fuel for my creativity. Over the years, I have discovered how creative I am at the coffee shop. As a writer, I love to bring my laptop and curl up with my cup of coffee at my side. I have written many a Medium.com blog at my favorite coffee shops.
I have prided myself on finding just the right coffee shops. Sometimes they are places that are quiet and cozy. Sometimes they are places that face beautiful views such as the sea. Sometimes they are a hotel lobby. At times, they have been quaint shops that my husband and I find while traveling. And sometimes my cup of coffee becomes much more than a simple latte.
These past two years in our world history have been filled with stress, trauma, illness, and serious political unrest. We desperately need those simple moments of grounding ourselves. Life is truly too short for a bad cup of coffee.
P.S. Like “Big Brother,” Medium.com is on to my habit and I often receive in my daily feed articles on the benefits of coffee and how to drink it.
Please follow me and discover articles on mindfulness, finding peace in difficult times, Jung, longing and the Little Prince, Black Lives Matter, Amanda Gorman’s poetry and grand-mothering. For more on childhood nostalgia of lighthouses, the dime store, and ice-cream trucks.
Robin B. Zeiger is a practicing Jungian psychoanalyst and a free-lance writer.
She is a member of the:
International Association of Analytical Psychology and the Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.