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One of my favorite things.

By Jennifer Lancaster @jenergy17Published 15 days ago Updated 15 days ago 8 min read
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Day 42/366 days of writing pieces in 2024.

It hit me this morning that I haven't delved into the topic of coffee in a longer piece. Ah, coffee - one of the greatest loves of my life.

I remember my first encounter with coffee vividly. I was only 7 years old, attending church, and they would always serve refreshments afterward. I used to watch the adults sipping their coffee, looking so cool, and I couldn't resist the temptation to try it myself. Surprisingly, my parents allowed me to have a taste. Back then, I drowned the coffee in a hefty amount of cream and sugar, and I absolutely loved it. I can still recall the appalled expressions on some of my friend's parents' faces when they discovered my parents let me drink coffee at such a tender age.

From that moment on, I started enjoying coffee in the mornings with my parents at breakfast. It made me feel sophisticated, like a grown-up. By the time I reached high school, I abandoned the sugar and began savoring it with half n half, which is still my preferred way of drinking it. I refuse to have coffee without half n half. In fact, I even wrote a piece about this for a previous vocal challenge. Read it here. I even coined a term for the moment when I open the fridge to make coffee, only to find out I'm out of half n half.

Whenever I know I'll be traveling and staying with friends, I always make it a point to request that they stock up on half n half before my arrival. Nothing is worse than pouring a cup of coffee and discovering oat milk, almond milk, or some other diluted substitute excuse in someone's fridge. I need the real deal. Give me half n half or heavy cream. Don't dampen my morning by thinking an alternative will suffice. I can't start my day off like that.

Currently, I'm working on a series for an upcoming art show I'm participating in, and three of the pieces are titled "Women of Taste." Within the series, I've included three drawings. The first one was created when I was 23, inspired by coffee. The other two were drawn at the age of 33, inspired by the Sobe Food and Wine Festival.

The first drawing, "Sophisticated Comfort," perfectly encapsulates my relationship with coffee. I’m using this in one of my 3D bottle art pieces I’m currently creating.

Sophisticated Comfort (art by me)

No matter where I find myself, I'm always on the lookout for coffee shops. I have a soft spot for quirky, artsy, mom and pop-owned establishments. And if it's a women-owned coffee shop, even better. There's something special about supporting fellow women entrepreneurs.

I also have a penchant for trying different coffees from specialty stores. I had the privilege of living on the Big Island of Hawaii for four years, and 100% Kona coffee holds a special place in my heart. Whenever I encounter a coffee shop that boasts "Kona Coffee" on their menu, I make a point to inquire about the actual percentage of Kona coffee they serve. It matters to me. There's a significant difference between 10% Kona and the real deal at 100%. Anything less than 100% is honestly quite insulting.

I should mention that I'm a light roast girl. Here's a fun fact: most people assume that dark roast is the strongest, but in reality, light roast has a higher caffeine content while maintaining a milder taste. To me, light roast is like the Pinot Noir of coffee. It's incredibly easy to drink, beautiful, and delicate.

Everyone in my circle, from friends to colleagues, is well aware of my unwavering obsession with coffee. I'll confess, there was a time when my coffee consumption bordered on the excessive. Back in my days working in the restaurant industry, I would guzzle down an astonishing number of ten or more cups per day. Recognizing the need for a change, I decided to take a break from my beloved beverage for an entire year. However, the outcome was far from what I expected. Life without coffee was pretty lame actually. So now, I've struck a balance and limit myself to a modest two cups a day. Well, if I'm being completely honest, sometimes I may sneak in a third cup. 🤷🏻‍♀️

When it comes to my coffee preferences, I have specific rituals for different occasions. After a fancy restaurant meal, I indulge in a double espresso, black as night. On days when my workload is overflowing or I'm immersed in creative projects, a redeye from a local coffee shop is my go-to pick-me-up. Rise Up Coffee in Maryland holds a special place in my heart, and occasionally, I'll treat myself to a black eye from their menu. It's not just the taste that draws me in; it's the way they label the cup. Each time I see "BE" Jen written on it I'm reminded to simply be myself. Yes, I admit, I'm a bit cheesy like that.

Black Eye from Rise Up Annapolis, MD.

Another beloved coffee spot of mine is Misha's in Alexandria, VA. The baristas there are incredibly friendly, and a few of them even remember me by name. It's these personal connections that make the coffee experience all the more enjoyable.

Recently I tried this coffee.

Kopi luwak coffee is known for its unique production process, where the coffee beans are consumed and excreted by the Asian palm civet. This unusual method of production gives the coffee a distinct flavor profile, often described as smooth, less bitter, and with hints of chocolate. Due to its rarity and the labor-intensive process involved, kopi luwak coffee is considered one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Despite controversies surrounding animal welfare and sustainability, its high price and exclusivity have made it a sought-after luxury beverage for coffee enthusiasts globally.

I was finally able to fulfill my long-standing curiosity by trying the renowned exotic coffee known as Kopi Luwak. This coffee had been on my radar for years, and luckily, one of my friends happened to possess an unopened bag that had been gifted to her. Excitement filled me as I prepared myself for the unique experience that awaited. However, to my dismay, it did not live up to my lofty expectations. The taste and flavor left much to be desired, failing to captivate my senses in the way I had envisioned. I had anticipated that the exoticness of this coffee would leave a lasting impression, but unfortunately, it did so in a completely unexpected and disappointing manner. Two thumbs down for me

Now, let's talk about my hat collection. One of my all-time favorites was purchased from Foxtrot.

From Foxtrot Market in Alexandria, VA

This hat has seen me through countless caffeinated adventures, accompanying me on my journeys to grab a well-crafted americano from their shop. But my most cherished hat holds sentimental value from my time in Austin. I stumbled upon it in a coffee shop, and what sets it apart is that it doesn't bear any brand affiliation. With a simple yet powerful word embroidered on it - "Coffee" - I receive compliments left and right.

During the challenging times of Covid, I found solace in indulging in a French Press brew every morning. With the luxury of extra time on my hands, I embraced this brewing method and made it a daily habit. The wait is undoubtedly worth it, for if you're going to kickstart your day with coffee, it should be the best of the best. And for me, that's the rich and aromatic French Press coffee.

If you happen to scroll through my social media, you'll quickly notice an abundance of coffee memes. These clever and relatable posts never fail to bring a smile to my face, serving as a lighthearted expression of my love for all things coffee.

Coffee holds an irreplaceable role in my life. It's not just a beverage; it's a source of comfort, inspiration, and connection. Whether it's savoring a double espresso at a high-end restaurant, befriending baristas at local coffee shops, or brewing my own French Press masterpiece at home, I embrace the world of coffee with unwavering enthusiasm. So here's to countless cups of coffee, endless caffeinated adventures, and the joy they bring to my life.

A poem about my love.

Coffee, my love, the morning's delight,

Each sip brings joy, a caffeine-fueled flight.

Flavors dance on my eager tongue,

A symphony of tastes, a song unsung.

In your dark embrace, my spirit soars,

Aromatic tendrils, my senses adore.

With you by my side, I conquer the day,

A loyal companion, come what may.

You inspire laughter, a mischievous affair,

A dose of humor in each brew we share.

From bean to cup, our love unfolds,

A poetic journey, a story untold.

Coffee, my love, a cherished pleasure,

A ritual I savor, a moment to treasure.

With each sip, our hearts entwine,

Forever bound, in love divine.

Fueling my days, with you I'm equipped,

Rhyming our love, in verses tight-lipped.

In your presence, I find solace and grace,

Coffee, my love, forever we embrace.

****if you are interested in seeing some of my coffee inspured art and live in the DMV, consider attending my art show at Wine Cellars of Annapolis, MD on 02/24/24. Link here. Scroll down once you get on site.


About the Creator

Jennifer Lancaster @jenergy17

Multidimensional Creative-preneur

Life Coach, Personal Trainer, Artist, Writer. Formerly in restaurant business for 3 decades. Soul expression is my ❤️ language. Spirituality,music, art, food and creativity fuel my life. IG @jenergy17

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  • L.C. Schäfer15 days ago

    42 days strong! 👍👏💪 I love the mental image of you sipping sweet creamy coffee at seven years old. I can relate so much. My dad would have clutched his pearls at the idea, he said coffee addles your brain 😂 i was allowed tea at a stupidly young age, though. I was practically weaned on it. I was drinking sweet and milky "gubbaggee" out of a sippy cup 😂

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