"kaw-fee" A tale of beans and frustration

all photo(s) courtesy of google

See that guy? The dude knocked out over his keyboard with three empty coffee cups around him? Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that (gasp!) those ludicrous, borderline blasphemous studies were right! That too much coffee really does have the adverse effect and can actually wear you out with increased fatigue due to the body working overtime to keep up with all that extra sugar!

Right?

WRONG.

He just needs more coffee. Duh.

Coffee. It's how the day begins...
...and how it ends.

Know Your History.

Unfortunately, there is far too much history to coffee to even begin to explain it here, and with the way my caffeine-afflicted fingers are twitching, I wouldn't be able to get out anything coherent anyway. Buuuuut did you know? Coffee's potent ability to jack you up was first discovered by a rambunctious... goat? Yeah, weird, right? But true. Some goats got into the farmers stash of coffee berries and then started jumping off each other's backs! And the rest? History.

Yup. Sounds about right.
...YOUR BLOOD WOULD TASTE GREAT ON PANCAKES...

That's what someone actually told me recently, thanks to my heavy intake of caffeine and sugar, and it's perhaps the single greatest thing I've heard concerning my love of coffee. And it's also got me wanting to try some coffee-flavored pancakes, so double the plus.

Course, I'm not alone. I'm just one crazy bean out of a million in a nation filled with people who carry the same unique blood type as me, blood type J (Java). No one knows exactly how many cups of coffee it takes until all the previous blood in your system gets flushed out with caffeine and you begin life anew, a better being, and I lost track around 423.

All I know for sure is that we are coffee-addicts. And we are proud.

If I could just own this, that'd be 3% of my woes extinguished right there

Coffee: taste-tested, crazy-approved.

First of all, coffee is great. We all know this as an unequivocal truth. And those who disagree are clearly lacking in tastebuds. Or prefer tea. Or like to spit on newborn kittens. In my experience, it's always been one of those three, the fiends!

But... I remember once upon a time there was a great darkness, the darkness known as coffee-ignorance, wherein I didn't like coffee. Oh, I was introduced to it in a timely fashion, but the taste was foreign and hostile and burned my tongue. This bout of ignorance would reign for the next couple of years despite my mothers best attempts at showing me the error of my corrupt ways. But I was adamant.

Coffee was bad. Coffee was the enemy.

Oh, how wrong I would turn out to be.

...its true what they say, that with age comes maturation.

Because that's exactly what I had to do. I had to age, to grow and give my tastebuds time to rearrange themselves into their final formation, thus allowing me to finally appreciate that black honey.

To the unenlightened, or those without tongues, it's domestic name is registered as 'coffee'. To us, the millions of wide-eyed, twitchy-fingered individuals, we know it as 'Heaven's Nectar'.

And it's that same heavenly substance that somehow manages to coax us from a deep slumber, no matter how grumpy or woebegone we may be feeling from the night before, and administer a much needed wake-up slap to get us going.

"Some mornings", they say. Every morning, I say, and knock in a bottle of creamer or sugar as needed.
I need something that's more than coffee but less than cocaine....

And lo', I've found the perfect balance for that! It's called coffee! Injected straight into the blood stream.

...Huh?

No, that's not dangerous, but I'll tell you what is. See, exhibit A:

Work and Coffee.

Work. By itself, and depending on what your basis of work surrounds, it's a terrible, awful, soul-wrenching side-effect of obtaining money. But recent studies have shown that when you combine the negativity of work with the compound coffee, it may not be enough to turn work into a positive, but it is enough to make it bearable.

And bearable is agreeable, so long as compound coffee is readily available during all work hours.

See, people who don't guzzle the life-sustaining force that is coffee on a regular basis don't understand it's importance in the average workplace. So, in effort at educating the uninformed masses, here is a very short list of things coffee enables the body to do while at work:

1. Show up on time: Perhaps the most crucial thing coffee allows the body to do is show up to work in the first place. Because without showing up, there is no work, and if there's no work, chances are high there's no money to buy coffee in the first place. It's but one of life's many painful circles that we've all gotten used to. The ones capable of achieving this near impossible feat without aid of caffeine, well, God bless you and your youthful spirit (enjoy it while it lasts).

2. Fake it until you make it: Because let's be completely honest, everyone who has ever worked in some capacity knows what it's like to alter your face into a charming yet wholly fake smile, and for a number of reasons. Maybe you were too nice to tell that blithering idiot next to you, who keeps prattling on about his weekend, to shut up. Maybe one of your co-workers just dropped a joke drier than the Sahara desert. Maybe that sod from accounting forgot to label his reports correctly so now you've got to go behind him and fix his folly while simultaneously wondering how he got/gets to keep his job. Whatever the case, that constipated rictus you call a smile? Thank you, coffee.

3. Keeps your tongue in a state of civility: Oh sure, it may seem like a good idea to curse out any and everybody who has the misfortune to cross your path, and more often than not it's primed to be a well-deserved verbal thrashing yet unheard by mortal ears, but one sip from 'Heavens Nectar' is quick to remind you that, for the time being, you need that job. For whatever reason, you need it, and coffee is there to reason that dropping F-bombs on your boss's desk while you hop about like a crazed monkey is detrimental in all the ways. Every single one.

4. Engage sympathy receptors: Because, again, let's put the decaf down and be upfront. Half the time, before that first sip of coffee, the body is not well-adjusted enough to handle whatever sob story your co-workers have been waiting to lob at you the moment you walk in the office. You're simply unable to muster up a single damn to give about whose cousin got beat with a bat, whose dog has fleas, or who broke up with whom. And when they finish, all red-eyed and sniffling, and see you standing there, looking just as indifferent as when you woke up, they're quick to call you 'cold' or 'unfeeling' for your lack of enthusiasm toward their plight. Well, that's kind of what they get for trying to engage in a level of conversation that requires far too many emotions without allowing coffee time to ignite the core receptor needed to funnel them all: sympathy. So, basically, save the tears until the second cup.

5. Reminds you that there is better yet to come: Imagine getting to work (don't start cringing with horror yet) and you've forgotten your morning coffee (okay, now you can cringe); you're probably wishing a comet would just crash through your office, take out everything in a blazing ball of glory--and you continue that line of cheery thought up until you finally make it to the blessed coffee machine. Some time later, you're refreshed, clear-headed, ready to fight off that fire-breathing paperwork! And even while dealing with simple-minded co-workers, office equipment hellbent on slowing you down, late lunches, elevator delays, out-of-ink printers, staple-less staplers... you still manage to keep that spring in your step. How? And why? Because. Tucked away in your caffeine-controlled mind, there's a space constantly reminding you that work is finite. You're going to be through sooner or later, you just have to outlast it.

And coffee is there to aid you in that battle.

serenity, thy name is coffee
Shhh... You hear that? It's the sound of quiet. And coffee....

Coffee pairs nicely with silence. Which is utterly true. As I'm sure millions of coffee-lovers will tell you, sometimes there's nothing better than getting that perfect cup of joe and settling down somewhere warm, cozy, and most importantly, silent.

There's just a magical, almost ethereal, force at work when you can find time to match coffee and silence together. It's comparable to watching a flower bloom, or listening to a gentle storm; it's a tranquil moment that fills you with warmth. And even if it doesn't, that's what you got coffee for!

Ice...? In coffee? MADNESS!
Oh some like it hot but i like it really hot - Heat Miser, the year without a santa claus

Personally, I don't care. Seriously. Whether it's as nuclear hot as when I first got it or if the insides could rival the polar ice caps, I'm drinking it. Bottoms up.

Oh sure, I was like a lot of others. The moment my coffee dropped to room-temperature or below, I chucked it in disgust. "There goes my coffee!" I would cry in dismay. Now? Let it get cold. I still chuck it, right down my throat. Because after so many instances of my tongue curdling and after so many wasted cups thanks to being distracted, my tastebuds once again rearranged themselves to the point where I find even long-forgotten coffee delicious.

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum we have naturally cold-brewed coffee. Which I used to find downright blasphemous in my book. At that point in my life I could handle coffee turning cold, okay, sure, manageable--but coffee cold right out the gate? Ha, no. And I can already see a majority of you looking indignant, going "Um, ever heard of ice-coffee? Mocha, caramel, vanilla, all those deliciously different forms of coffee available in the frigid variety?" Answer: of course I have. That was my mindset before the steamer died at the Starbucks I frequented, and they could only make cold drinks.

Which meant my usual hot mocha had to be made cold....

I wasn't thrilled, but I was really, really, really itching for some coffee. So after a mighty internal struggle, I relented, swiped my gold card (because of course I have a gold card) and spent the next ten minutes glaring my bastardized mocha down before drinking it.

Afterwards, I was left looking like this:

Because I didn't want to admit it was good. But it was. It was damned good, and I couldn't find a single fault with it. It was a struggle of reluctant acceptance... And it nearly consumed me.

Until I realized that, hey, in the end, that experience only served to prove that coffee truly was a miraculous drink indeed, able to be enjoyed at any time and at any temperature!

Or, you know...just a sign that you're tired. Which, if you're drinking coffee like a good little java jester, shouldn't be the case. Because sleep is coffee's natural enemy, usually the main thing you're drinking coffee to stave off. But I understand, we're not robots. Yet. So that means we have to nap and sleep and doze and do all the things that makes coffee sad.

BUT!

We will surely awaken the next day and stumble tiredly around the kitchen, or the office, or the lobby, or wherever that wonderful brewing machine is... And make coffee.

Because coffee is life. And life is good.

The one ritual we partake of everyday.

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