Happy National Coffee Day to all! Being in the coffee industry now since 1999, coffee has given me a lot to celebrate over the years and holds a fond place in my heart. Coffee has been many things to me, from a motivator to get up and get moving, to a chance to come together, to discuss, to share. Coffee has been there with me in all of the tough times of my life and has been a launch pad for my career.
We often think about the “largeness” of the coffee industry and how many lives it has touched, but today, I think of all the moments within my one life, that coffee was a part of. All the small days and larger life changing decisions that I made, with my favorite mug warming my hand and easing my mind.
I have a very vivid memory of the first cup of coffee I drank. I was back home from college in December of 1986 hanging out with my dad in the kitchen. Barely awake, and thinking how much I had missed the old peeling up linoleum and the dust bunny collection behind his microwave. My dad was a bachelor and I landed on his doorstep the summer of my 13th year, bags in hand, attitude in spades. He kept me out of trouble, in school, and let me have those precious few years of self-discovery in a safe environment. So that long ago holiday morning, sitting in the kitchen, excited to be home yet feeling weird because I recognized that it wouldn’t be home for much longer, my dad handed me a cup of coffee.
“Here Dink” he said, “drink this.”
I took the mug and followed him to the back porch for his morning cigarette and we just talked. The coffee was lousy, the cigarettes eventually killed him, but the memory is still oh so sweet. In my father’s understated way, he let me know something between us had changed and as simply as taking a mug of coffee, I became an adult.