Friday, June 29, 2012

Coffee With Lauren

Today is our last day at the beach, then it is back to The Farm for a night, followed by the long trip home on Sunday. I can't believe our month on the East Coast is coming to a close already. And since, in a few short days I'll be returning to 62 and partly cloudy, I have to get down to the beach and enjoy my last day in the 90s. My last guest poster today is the beautiful Lauren from Happenstance + Wanderlust, here to explain the importance for being blogger soul mates and drinking a strong cup of coffee.
Hello Daffodil loves! I would love to start out with some delightful bit about you all being a lovely bunch... Or bouquet... Or something... But I haven't had enough coffee yet to fuel that kind of clever quipping. Plus I'd prefer you continue reading past this opening line and I think there are better ways to make friends than horrible plays on blog titles.

Anyway! I'm Lauren from Happenstance + Wanderlust and I'm way too excited to be filling in for Kate while she and her boys are basking in the sun (which will make them the envy of all pale coast-dwellers back in Monterey!)
So Kate and I have basically bonded over all the important things in life: wine, cheese, Little Women, photography and writing (also, I'm pretty sure between the two of us we could probably accessorize the entire west coast). But it wasn't until I read her post about A Day In The Life and saw that we were coffee soul mates that I knew this lady was the real deal.

You see, I don't have many concerns about how other people live their lives. As long as you're not hurting anyone, you're finding true joy and being thankful for the blessings you have, you're doing it right.

But there is one thing I consider a bit of a yardstick.

Now I'm all about knowing what you like and not apologizing for it, but I admit - I am always curious about how people take their coffee.

And this is how I knew Kate and I were destined to be friends. Black coffee.
There is something so deliciously nostalgic about a hot cup of coffee, unobstructed by cream or sugar. It's how both of my parents drank it as I was growing up and that taste of dark, bitter, toasty warmth still recalls those days of "Can I try a sip?" at the breakfast table. As a child I actually used to help my dad pick out the giant bag of coffee beans at Costco (a skill he made sure I had honed at a young age), and I can remember watching him make his one cup (just one cup!) of strong, black French Roast every morning. It was (and still is) an event. Out came the coffee grinder, in went the beans, the whizzing sounds of the tiny blades punctuating those first sleepy conversations of the day. I watched as he stood there waiting for the hot water to work its way through the density of grounds - proper ratios meant nothing in that house. This was thick coffee. My mother always referred to my dad's coffee as being somewhat akin to "the taste of wet tobacco" (she was always a light roast kind of lady).

So was it any surprise really that I, the product of two black coffee drinkers, would be anything else? OK, I admit, there was a small blip in college where I decided I needed to use cream & sugar. But it was just a phase! Everyone experiments in college! I didn't mean it! (Or I was just too cheap to spend my money on the vanilla latte I really wanted and was trying to make myself believe that powdered creamer and Splenda were practically the same thing - not at all true, in case you were wondering).

When I moved to Portland I realized that I was happily surrounded by like-minded folk. This is a coffee town and I was right at home. When my friends and I go out and a round of coffee is brought to the table I almost feel bad for the poor server.
"Cream or sugar?" is usually met by blank stares (followed quickly by a "No, thank you" because I don't have the guts to be that person).
I had breakfast with a friend once and watched helplessly as he emptied a packet of sugar into his cup and swirled in a rich thread of cream. I just studied him quizzically.
"You're doctoring your coffee." (not a question, an accusation)

Now I was only teasing him, but seriously - this country boy from Montana who grew up with the cowboys, hunting, fishing, playing football, a total man's man and.... Cream and sugar in his coffee? Silly boy.
I just giggled and went on sipping.

This same friend took me camping once,and in the morning, as he went rummaging through the gear in a slight panic over not having any creamer left, I couldn't help myself.
"Looks like you're gonna have to man up!" I said as I downed the last of my cup, right down to the grounds at the bottom.
Whatever. He may be over six feet tall and built like the linebacker he is, but I am so tougher than that guy. Or so I gently reminded him when I mailed him a single packet of powdered creamer for his birthday.
I'll never let him live it down.

It's a small mark of pride enjoying my coffee black. And when Kate and I finally have our blate some fateful day, I can already see the scene:
"Can I get you ladies some coffee?"
"Yes, please."
"Cream and sugar?"
"No, thank you. And could you just bring half a cup to start? Piping hot? Oh, and leave the pot."

I can't wait for that day, Lauren!

Thanks to all the wonderful woman who helped me out this week. Be sure to check them all out if you haven't already. And think of me on Sunday afternoon and say a prayer our return flight is better than the one here....


Stephanie said...

I love this, Lauren! And what a great picture of you! : )

Have a safe trip home with your family Kate! The mild, cloudy weather awaits you!

Kristin said...

I must say, since I started making my own coffee in an effort to save money and calories, I've really cut down on the creamer. I could drink black coffee. I just don't know if I could savor it the way I do when it has cream in it. :) Maybe I'll get there someday!

Maria Matiopoulou said...

I love love love this post. I share the exact same feelings for coffee. No cream, no sugar. I love the smell of it in the morning and I'm in love with the first sip of coffee during a long night!

:) Have a lovely day!


Emily | Recently said...

Yes! Black coffee all the way! I grew up spending the summers with my grandparents, who always drank their coffee black and usually had a pot brewing at all hours of the day. I've definitely acquired their habits, and enjoy nothing more than a strong black coffee in the morning, afternoon, evening...whenever!

Jenn said...

Ok. So. Y'all need to go ahead and start making fun of me now. Get it out of your systems so you don't snicker too much at our blate. I drink my coffee with 3 packs of Truvia (hippie-speak for "fake sugar") and a healthy dose of Sam's whole milk. I know. I'm a coffee-drinking FAIL. But I loooooooove it so! Maybe once I learn to properly accessorize and dress myself, THEN I can ease into the world of black-coffee-drinking.

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