I went on winter break in 2020 and things just sort of spiraled from there. I kept meaning to come back and it wasn’t happening . . . I announced my return January 2022 and it’s been much more difficult to get back into the groove. It seems that the never-ending stream of global events–altering ideas, schedules, and more–along with other changes in life, keep taking me in every direction, all at once.
In all of this, however, it just dawned on me: I have remained a coffee-drinker, and remained comforted by coffee. It’s interesting how that happens–how certain sounds, smells, tastes, sights, provide continuous positive emotions. While my tastes and preferences have changed over time–I was avid iced coffee drinker and now can’t fathom how I drank coffee cold–but the comfort is there, still there, and for that I am grateful.
There are a multitude of things I miss from my pre-COVID world. I miss things that I engaged in every day–I miss hugs. I miss things that were barely in my life, that don’t really matter–I miss going to the movie theaters.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much the world has changed this year. Not everything has changed drastically, or changed in a way that I cannot find the good in it–it’s not all bad. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have nostalgia. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it.
When it comes to coffee and coffee shops, I loved sitting inside with my laptop, or a good book, tucked in my seat, sipping my drink, resting for a moment in the silence of the crowd. I loved standing at a table, diligently working, relishing the moment I took to rest–that moment when I sipped my coffee and gathered my surroundings, that moment I observed lively chats, wondered what someone was doing on their computer, imagined a story for the date unfolding in front of me.
I loved my grab and go coffee ritual, but I also loved deviating from it. The option to do so. I loved sitting outdoors on patios, but I also loved the option to sit inside.
It’s not that I can’t enjoy my coffee, it still does much of its magic. It’s not that I cannot sit outside most days, I am in southern California. It’s not that I don’t need to pick-up and run most days anyway. It’s the other things I miss, or the option that the other things symbolized and offered on any given day.
I’m not here to trivialize what has transpired, or take away from the real loss of income, business, and security that so many have experienced. Rather, I’m here with a passing thought of how nice it would be to have one of our simpler pleasures, and relive it today, when most likely we want it, and need it, the most . . .
It’s been a tumultuous time since I last wrote here . . . We’ve had a complete shutdown, a re-shifting of priorities, a re-modeling of operations in every sector, and a social uprising. And none of this is complete/over.
We’re grappling with trying to understand, survive, and recover from a global pandemic–and doing it all at once! We’re on a 400+ year journey of understanding, surviving, and recovering from foundational, institutionalized, and continued injustices–a system ingrained and enshrined for centuries will not topple in a day, or a week, or a month.
It’s not exactly the time to sit back and sip coffee right? But, we are entitled to enjoy a cup or two–and we do need our energy, especially as we can continue to innovate and advocate.
So, I’ve returned here. It will be a gradual return, but I’m excited to write and explore, as I adapt to a new normal and fight for something better. Cheers to being back, and to coffee ☕
I’m still drinking coffee, but only at home; I will post a few pictures here and there on Instagram; however, my efforts for reading and writing, for posting and sharing, will be centered on Quarantined Praise.
Stay safe. Practice social distancing. We will come back to all things coffee, and all other things normal, soon enough.
We need to make sure we dispose of things properly (i.e. prescription drugs, oil, batteries, etc.). We need to make sure we use everything to its potential–don’t just throw that pair of shoes out because it’s out of style! Keep them, keep using them, they still work. We need to consider what we do now, that is wasteful or problematic, that we can slowly and eventually change — and this is where coffee comes in.
Coffee is a delightful habit, but it can also negatively impact the environment. Every little change adds up in our individual lives, and if each individual makes a few small changes, we can have a big impact. So what does that look like for the average caffeinated individual?
Reuse iced coffee plastic containers. I refill mine with iced coffee from home or turn them into my water container.
Bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop.
Decline the plastic drink stopper.
Re-purpose coffee grounds–compost, soaps, candles, etc.
Reuse and re-purpose coffee filters.
Forgo Keurig pods and use the reusable pod with your own coffee grounds.
Go into the coffee shop, don’t use the drive-thru.
Reuse coffee bags — upcycle. Sew them into purses or totes (or, give them to someone who can sew them into purses and totes 😉)
Reuse coffee cups — the cups are made for coffee, and sturdy, why not give them another go?
Reuse/re-purpose coffee cans — they are strong containers! If you have no need for them, find an art teacher, they can definitely use them!
These are just a few ideas and suggestions. If we all chose a couple of things to upcycle, re-use, re-purpose, imagine how much we could stop going to landfills. If we all stopped idling in our cars, imagine how much gas (and money) we’d saved, and how much cleaner our air could be. If we all shared our best practices, and implement just a few, we could change the course of history–and still enjoy our coffee, win-win y’all, win-win.
Oh my! I began December feeling a little unwell . . . and it just kinda spiraled from there. I yo-yoed between feeling okay, I was on the way to recovery, and then back to terrible. In the midst of all this, I lost a few posts here on Cups and Comments!
But now, I’m back; I think I have finally kicked whatever it was — cold, flu, the plague, your guess is as good as mine ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I have been on the move all of November. I traveled and started a new contract job. Exciting and lovely.
I knew this time period would be hectic, so I wrote content through the middle of December. I had great photos, my steady stream of categorized content, and a couple of new discoveries and learning ready to share with you.
This past weekend, however, I was thinking, and realizing, I hadn’t received a single notification. I logged into my account, and something must have gone haywire. No new content in the queue, and some content ready to repeat itself?
On my way to tech support, and my notes . . . my apologies for a missed week, and possibly another missed or delayed week — I need to figure out what happened!
. . . on the bright side, staying up late and writing usually means coffee ☕😉☕
As mentioned in Global Locations, there are just six Starbucks Reserves in the world. I had the chance, unplanned originally and a happy opportunity seized, to visit a Starbucks Reserve in Milan–the first Starbucks to touch Italy. It was a magical experience on multiple levels and it generated quite the conversation once I shared my post, photos, and my delight.
Once I discovered there were more Reserves, in already desired travel destinations at that, I made a goal of visiting more–eventually. That eventuality was more than a goal written on paper, it is now a goal that is being checked off!
In late October 2019, I was visiting a friend in Seattle and made sure our itinerary included a stop at the very first Reserve in Seattle.
Just like Milan, it was a golden treasure trove of all things caffeinated, of all things delicious.
My grandma is from a time and place where anything and everything had more than one use, one purpose.
With climate change, we are increasingly being encouraged to look at daily habits with a critical lens–how much waste are we producing, how much waste can we prevent, what can be saved, what can be reused.
As a child, I learned repeatedly to: recycle, reuse, reduce.
All of these things have inspired me to re-examine and re-imagine some habits to help the environment. At times these simple and creative solutions have allowed me to save money, not just feel good about my efforts. So with that in mind let me offer some ideas on how I have approached my coffee consumption.
Today’s spotlight: coffee filters.
A coffee filter has been used, now what?
Use it again. Dump the grounds and reuse–especially if it’s the same coffee brand and flavor. Filters have a shelf life of several uses, not just one.
Save them for craft projects. Let them dry and set them aside for some painting. It’s a cheap canvas, but it works.
Line the bottom of your planter pots. It helps keep the water in.
Deodorize. Pour out some baking soda on the filter, bundle and seal with a rubber band, place it where it stinks (i.e. shoes).
Add the filter and grounds to your compost.
It’s not a comprehensive list but it’s a list to spark your imagination. So much of what we do and use has a much longer shelf life, and more than one purpose. As you think about your daily habit, consider what you can do to help curb any environmental impact–every little bit counts, even something small like a few coffee filters adds up quickly.