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Coffee: An Inspiring Potion and How It Inspires Me Daily

Each day starts with a perfect cup

By Lee J. Bentch Published about a year ago 3 min read
Coffee: An Inspiring Potion and How It Inspires Me Daily
Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

The aroma wafts aimlessly throughout the house. The sensual scent of coffee brewing is my morning inspiration.

It is 4:30 am. My day always starts before sunrise with a sip of steamy dark roast coffee, a habit I picked up in college.

My coffee habit began when I was living in deep West Texas. A small oil town where the smell of Permian Basin crude filled the air, the water seemed oily, and drilling rigs dotted the landscape. The morning highways rattled with oil service trucks heading out for their daily pumpjack service or shift changes on the bigger rigs.

Besides being a college student, I was a radio engineer working at a local station licensed to broadcast sunrise to sunset. I needed to be there thirty minutes before sign-on to warm up the transmitter, check the news feed, and generally get the station ready for its day. The year was 1974.

The station was on the top floor of the tallest building in town. At the time, there was nothing more inspiring than watching the sunrise over the plains of West Texas. A few years later, I soon learned that watching the sunrise over the volcanos of Hawaii was more exciting than West Texas.

With coffee in hand, the transmitter warmed up, the log filled in, the news edited, I did my part in helping West Texas wake up.

The morning broadcast began with the National Anthem, followed by a Public Service announcement. I summarized the news, ran the first commercial for the day, and then set the station into an automated mode with a series of large syndicated audiotapes. Once on the air, with everything working, I began producing radio commercials for the afternoon shift.

But there was a problem.

The coffee was putrid tasting, as it was a brewed mix of liquid mud that was supposed to be ingested, enjoyed, and refilled. Compared to the selection of coffee we get today, the coffee world in the early seventies wasn’t much different than the coffee drank by troops in World War I.

I could only mask the taste with heaping spoons of sugar and a lot of milk. To me, that defeated the purpose of coffee, but I was a college kid with unrefined taste buds and a stomach of steel.

The coffee was a rough blend sold in cans at the local K-Mart. The water was horrible, and the coffee pot was a primitive percolator. However, the aroma of coffee was scintillating, and the boost of caffeine was stimulating.

At the time, I could never understand how something could smell so good and taste so bad.

Growing up, I wondered why my parents drank the stuff. And then I remembered my dad always told me it was an acquired taste.

The coffee industry as we know it today was in an early embryonic stage. Starbucks had already set its roots at Pike Place in Seattle in 1971, but its mass expansion was still a decade away.

Craft coffee, specialty roasters, unique brewing techniques were as foreign at the time as cellphones, the internet, and Netflix. Lattes and Cappuccinos were words that made no sense.

Being a West Texas town of Oil Field workers, there were only three things to drink to mask the taste of bad water. Coffee in the morning, Iced Tea in the afternoon, and Longneck Bottles of icy beer at the local bar. Of course, you could opt for a soda, whiskey, or juice, but that got expensive.

Over the years, my path in life improved by geography, career, and family. The exciting thing is that it didn’t take long to acquire a taste for coffee, just like my father predicted.

As a Baby Boomer, I lived through the history of the coffee industry as it is known today. There was life without Starbucks at one time.

The thought of frozen coffee drinks that cost $5.50 was non-existent in 1967. Selecting a particular bean from a geographic region and turning it into an afternoon Espresso was not something I learned in high school.

Now my day cannot start without three cups of Dark Roast, delicately brewed coffee served at just the right temperature. A bold and majestic sip first thing in the morning is more inspiring than reading the weather report.

People ask what inspires my writing, and I always say it starts with the perfect cup of coffee while watching the sunrise.

That’s all I need to start my day, which is a combination of writing, working, relaxing, and most importantly, finding a way to help someone in need.


About the Creator

Lee J. Bentch

I am a general interest author actively involved with technology and communications. My inspiration to write is multi-dimensional. I am a multi-service Veteran.with a Masters in Communications from the University of Northern Colorado.

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