The crack of the west coast.
An Ode to Coffee
by Joe Dimeo
An Ode to Coffee
Oh deepening dark existential void that is my cold brew
Oh thick unrepentant cream on my cappuccino
Oh the brief joyous ecstasy that is my espresso
Oh holy fuck why are all these people in a coffee shop in the middle of the work day?
Don’t you motherfuckers have jobs
I love coffee. I work a lot. I enjoy getting things done. I enjoy the process of making deals happen and bringing people together. But almost every deal has a moment where everything could fall apart. Some hours, or even some days your phone won't stop ringing and you’re being pulled in a million different directions at once. It is in these moments where coffee is there for you.
A quick cup of get-your-shit-together to help you hold your world in place. A small kick-in-the-ass to spark some brains cells, to keep your brain moving quickly when making dozens of on the spot decisions that could make or break a deal or a project. Coffee lets you borrow a little bit of yourself from later in the day, in exchange for a better version of you in the moment.
Energy drinks have a place in getting things done. They're there for the grind. The long nights at a job that bores you. The shot of "No-Doze" to keep a trucker from plowing his vehicle into an unsuspecting motorist. The fuel when you have nothing left and you simply need to push on. When the quality of the work doesn’t really matter, just the fact that the work is done. This explains why it pairs so well with Jäger™ when the goal is often to simply get laid, regardless of the quality of the other participant.
The differences between the two are important. The moment you start appreciating coffee is the moment you realize that the differences exists. I know its very en vogue to hate Starbucks, but there are serviceable offerings at star bucks that provide a middle ground between the two categories laid out above. Also when you find a way sell the two of the most addictive drugs on the planet (caffeine and sugar) legally and do it so cunningly that church going teetotalers don’t raise en eyebrow, props must be given. Freeway Rick Ross would be proud of that badass mermaid bitch.
I know the introduction to this article rips coffee shop culture pretty hard. I was just messing around. But, a small amount of that mocking is important. At every coffee shop there are a handful of pseudo-intellectual assholes espousing nonsense about a book or a script they are writing while actually scrolling face book and hiding from reality. This type of person has more in common with a day time lush at a local dive bar than they do a 1920s beat writer. I’m sorry, Brooklyn; you’re no Kerouac.
However, the coffee shop culture is one of the best parts of learning to love coffee. Taking a minute to enjoy a slow pace and a relaxed atmosphere is beyond the comprehension of a run and gun business person or even a hard-working, blue-collar tough-guy that needs to drink his coffee or Redbull and get to work. If you can’t take a moment to check in with your head or delve into some silent learning, you’re on track to being a pretty one dimensional person.
Coffee shops used to make the younger, bro-ier, version of me very uncomfortable. If you can believe it, there was a time when I was even more aggressive than I sound right now. Coffee shops were a big part of helping me to focus my energy and really hash out how I felt about a lot of things in my life. Taking an hour on a nice day to sit with a thought or express something creative is an important outlet that far to many people overlook.
Even if you don’t have an hour, talking 15 minutes to sit and enjoy a well made cup-o-joe can be a centering moment for even the most type A person. The excess time it may take to get in and out of a mildly pretentious coffee shop is a chance to take a breath. A chance to charge up your brain and change your day to a series of actions instead of reactions. Have a snack, enjoy the caffeine, and go out and conquer your day.
So take a breath
Take a seat
Enjoy your drink
Let it steep
Recharge your brain
Remember life's a game
Go kick some ass
And take some names