Thursday, January 14, 2010

Drinking Coffee in 2010: New Year, New Challenges, Good Things on the Horizon



Before you read this post, please allow me to mention the incredibly disastrous event that occurred in Haiti on January 12, 2010. The earthquake wrought a great deal of devastation. You can donate $10 to the American Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999. You'll see the charge on your phone bill.....

Happy New Year, Fellow Coffee Lovers! Largely due to the energizing effects of coffee, I have been very, very busy writing, traveling, parenting, working out, and hanging out drinking coffee. Now I'm back. Please note: One of my resolutions for 2010 is to share my coffee-related insights more frequently. I appreciate your readership. Thanks!

Speaking of resolutions, last year one of my resolutions was to go to Seattle to experience the city, its natural beauty, its cultural landscape, and its abundance of coffee-drinking experiences. So I went in December 2009, with my husband and little girl in tow. It was amazing. Over the coming weeks, I will be unfurling the experience in this blog. But right now, I want to focus on goals.


Anything is possible. Sometimes it can be difficult, but accomplishment and positive outcomes are accessible--even though it can seem pretty challenging sometimes. As northeasterners, we endure long, drawn-out winters year after year. It can be rough; sometimes the cold weather makes you want more food, more sleep, more time to chill out in front of the fireplace...But, with the exception of occasional weekend respites and vacations (which we all love, of course), the demands of life are incessant. And honestly, getting things done feels great! Thanks to coffee, we can stay alert and motivated---and even warm ourselves up.

Currently, in my house, we are enjoying the warm glow provided by clean-burning, environmentally friendly Javalogs. They make the entire living room smell like coffee. Burning a nightly javalog truly has become a treat.

Another prominent and evergreen New Years' goal is the goal of getting in tip-top shape. Coffee can help with that too, according to an article published in Physiology & Behavior. In fact, researchers have confirmed that the average metabolic rate of people who drink caffeinated coffee is 16% higher than those who drink decaf. On top of that, coffee decreases appetite. In fact, coffee is so good that Men's Health Magazine has extolled it as one of the top 10 weight-loss "foods."

Coffee Kinship

Finally, as we approach MLK day and our community gears up for a day of service, we are reminded of the need to be kind and generous---while continuing to be resolved, vigilant, and ambitious. To strike this balance, coffee is the drink of choice. As my friend Robert Green remarked to me when we ran into each other at the Montclair Art Museum, "Coffee makes the world go round!" And it's true. Coffee kinship abounds! For example, while touring Seattle with our guide, Jerry, we stopped for coffee at Zeitgeist Cafe in Pioneer Square and later for low-acid, full-flavor coffee at Caffee Appassionato in Ballard. Jerry remarked to me, "I love drinking coffee, especially mocha. It's a great thing to do on a cold, December, post-solstice morning in Seattle."

When we returned to Montclair, we had the pleasure of drinking coffee at our friends' house. Nan and Jess served Starbucks coffee in an elegant, silverplate serving-pot that elevated the post-dinner, coffee-drinking experience to the level of high tea in the afternoon. Finally, there is our friend, Rabbi Noach Shapiro, who has moved from Montclair to Israel with his family. I enjoy his yen for good storytelling and strong narrative--but never as much as when he talks about coffee. I'm so glad to know that coffee is a huge part of life in Israel, and is served not only after a good meal---but even at an out-of-the-way diesel station in Karmiel. Rabbi Shapiro also shows us that coffee can turn simmering frustration into a heartfelt, satisfied smile.


Smile everyone, drink coffee, and do good deeds! More on our Seattle coffee-drinking experiences in upcoming blogs. Happy MLK day!