I really enjoy drinking coffee. For some years now I’ve chosen to drink decaffeinated coffee as I found that caffeine seemed to affect my sleep but, once I’d got used to not having that instant ‘hit’, I’ve been happy with my choice and I certainly sleep better.
At home I usually drink instant though I have recently succumbed to the occasional coffee pod. However, I just love the smell of freshly ground coffee.
When I was growing up, there was a Tea Importers and Coffee Grinders in a neighbouring town. Just thinking of it now brings back the gorgeous smells that drifted out onto the street as the staff ground beans from the many sacks around the shop floor. Just walking past was a wonderful experience and occasionally going in to buy a paper bag full of freshly ground beans for our home percolator was magical.
I bought the percolator as a Christmas present for my parents and, just the week before Christmas realised that I ought to buy some coffee to go with it! My mother got very annoyed and frustrated because she couldn’t understand why I kept walking some way behind her through the crowds. Of course, it was because I didn’t want her to smell the deliciously fragrant parcel which I had hidden in my shopping bag and so guess what her present was going to be!
At that time, having percolated coffee seemed like the height of sophistication. Now, of course, we have an almost limitless menu of coffees to choose from in even the smallest café.
I find this very frustrating as each coffee has to be made individually. I often begrudge the time it takes to queue up and give my order, defined as it inevitably is by size of cup, type of milk and various other choices when all I want to do is sit down and enjoy a drink.
And that doesn’t take into account all the noises : the hissing, the tamping down, the banging as the used filters are emptied and various other mechanical noises. I really sympathise with anyone who works in a coffee shop. The long-term damage to their hearing must be considerable. As a customer, when sitting drinking my coffee (finally) the relief when the queue disappears and things quieten down temporarily is huge.
Yet, despite all the irritations, the taste and smell of the coffee – even when its decaffeinated instant – gives me a real lift. I generally only have one cup per day and I enjoy it as I start my quiet time.
Whilst the phrase ‘Wake Up and Smell the Coffee’ seems to have originated as a tag line in a coffee advert, another definition reads: “to realize the truth about one’s situation: to become aware of what is really happening.” **
Something I definitely need to do each day. To realise that my day will go best when I don’t rush into things but take some time to pray and ask for help to face what’s really going on in my life, the lives of my family and friends and the wider world. Not just the gorgeous scent of the freshly ground coffee but the bitterness of the used grounds too.
Sometimes it can be a real wake-up call: almost a deafening one; the equivalent of the noisy coffee machine. Yet, once I’ve ‘talked’ and ‘listened’ (I still have so much to learn about when to speak and when to listen!) and before I turn towards the constant noise of the grinding machinery which is all too often the best description of my busy life, I still myself.
I relax and enjoy the warming scents of prayer and praise as I think of those I love, those I’ll meet during the day, whether in a planned way or unexpectedly, and then I’m ready to go into my day refreshed, always keeping my ears open for the quietest coffee shop should I need a quick ‘pick me up’!
** “Wake up and smell the coffee/roses.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wake%20up%20and%20smell%20the%20coffee%2Froses