I really did a bang up job on not writing the obligatory holidays-make-me-love-coffee-more blog post. Being a parent at Christmastime: 1, Barista blogger extraordinaire: 0.
I did write one, actually. It was long and sappy and had to do with why we feel certain things taste like experiences, or perhaps, that experiences taste like certain things. Maybe we all wake up and say to our partner, or best friend, or favorite sister, or next door neighbor we see every day but can’t remember the name of, or first customer of the morning, or recently re-united separated at birth twin: it smells like snow today; winter is coming. Or maybe we all have a kooky friend who says that to us once a year. Or maybe it’s just me and I’m crazier than I like to admit. But there are these intangibles that we encounter and we do, in fact, equate them with a sensation- the air smells different when the seasons are changing. We crave specific foods because it’s getting close to Thanksgiving. I know that the smell of pine-y oil soaps always makes me feel like I’m walking into my parents house after a long day at Kindergarten. And Jameson tastes like stealing from the liquor cabinet in high school. These are the kinds of things we often feel and then wonder about the universality of experience and is everyone’s color palette different and why do some people eat ancho chilies like popsicles? These are questions that used to make me feel lonely because I was scared to ask other people, “Hey, does this really weird thing also happen to you?”
So what in the name of all things good does this have to do with being behind the counter? Is there something that makes this relate to making coffee in January?
It was a long intro folks, but here’s my point. Tasting coffees, (actually, I will maintain that tasting all kinds of things) makes me feel less like a freak, and more like a member of a freaky club that requires nothing of me other than being born and trying out a lot of food and beverages. That is to say, the first time you stand in a room with a few other people and you’re all drinking coffee and somebody says, “This kind of tastes like peaches to me,” and you think, “Wait, really! Me, too!” you feel a little less nutsy pants. Whenever that happens to you in your life you walk away with a sense that you’ve found of divet of humanity that makes “community” feel less like a word in anthropology textbooks and more like something you have, and can build, and in which you can invest emotionally and spiritually and all that jazz.
Which is why, starting this January, we are gonna start drinking coffee together. Yes. That’s right. We would like to drink coffee with you. As long as you have not given up caffeine as a New Year’s resolution (and I’m really begging you, please don’t do that!) we are inviting you to partake in a renewed initiative to foster the community of coffee drinking here at Heritage Bicycles General Store. We think Sundays are a good day for collective activities so please, stay tuned, for what we hope to be an (at least) monthly tasting fiesta. We will do the usual grind the beans, put the hot waters on the beans, sip, slurp, spit thing, but non-traditionalists that we are at heart, we’d also like to do things like, “Hey, have you ever tried almond milk? How about non-homogonized milk? No? Let’s do that, then.” And maybe some other things that might get warrant the side-long faux-pas glance, and maybe some funny things, or adventuresome things. Throw some ideas our way. (I’ll get you started: Let’s try all the major spices used in Thai cooking!) And if you don’t have any now, come hang out and get inspired. I think that’s a great New Year’s resolution.