I’ve read some articles recently displaying the health benefits of drinking a cup of coffee everyday. No more worries about stunted growth, eroded stomach lining, or headaches. Quite positive results, actually.
In women it has been found 1-3 cups (8oz = 1 cup) a day can lead to a more regular digestive system (who doesn’t love this), aid in fighting certain bacteria in the stomach, as well as a reduction in the intensity of stress headaches, tension, and cramps. It has also been found to reduce the risk of certain types of breast cancer.
In men, the study showed improved colon and prostate health, increase in metabolism, as well as relief in tension headaches.
And coffee has also been linked to fighting carcinogens in both men and women as well as promote memory retention and reduce the risk of severe Alzheimer’s.
No joke. Overall health improves when one drinks a good cup or two of coffee every day.
Coffee is interesting. Light roast or dark, decaf or regular; it lingers.
No, I’m not talking about the gross aftertaste you can get when you’ve had a crappy cup of coffee. After the cup is gone I can smell the coffee on people’s breath. I can tell when some of my regulars come in for their first cup in the morning, or if they’re on their second or third cup already. A distinct aroma hovers over their words and sails through their sentences with each breath. The more I’m around coffee the more I can smell it, distinguish its flavors, characteristics, qualities, and the more I understand the more I want to learn. I want to slow down, sip a cup on my balcony, try new beans and blends, test light roasts and dark with food pairings. The more I’m around coffee, the more I admire it, desire it…crave it.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a whole new world when I’m at the coffee shop. An entirely new vocabulary is presented, senses are heightened and curiosity flutters its wings. Some customers come in and have no idea there are different kinds of coffee, let alone light roast, dark roast, espresso, or French press. Others come in and scrutinize me and quiz me before they ask me any real questions. I often hear the phrase, “So, do you really know anything about coffee, or do you just work here?”
I have to talk to these two people in completely different dialects–using the same language. To the former I must be gentle, elementary–but not condescending, clear and concise. Anything more can lead to embarrassment, loss of interest, and frustration. To the latter, I must be honest. I have to prove that I am beyond a basic level of knowledge and understanding and try to meet them at their level of intellect. Once I’m there, I can challenge their superiority and bring their pride down to a level of mutual understanding, commitment, and passion.
But the coffee doesn’t change.
The Ethiopian Harrar doesn’t display a smooth, subtle fruit hint to the trained tongue, and change to a smoky charcoal flavor for the novice. The espresso does not discriminate between a mocha or a latte.
The coffee doesn’t change.
I wonder if there are other things in our life that linger on our breath in this same way?
I wonder if it covers our words, embroiders itself all over our sentences, and glides its way through our conversations?
I think about the vocabulary we use and ask whether or not there is something in my life challenging me to find and explore new words, new varieties, and gain new understanding?
I wonder if we only associate with the people who contain and portray the same passion and intellect as ourselves–or if we learn to communicate our–ideas, goals, dreams, beliefs–to others who may be new to the topic, or who may think they don’t want anything to do with it. And can we converse in such a way as to be kind and gentle?
Do we search after those who are wiser than we and seek understanding and guidance? Or, are we content in our present state?
What lingers on our breath?
What do we seek, desire, and crave? How do we incorporate this into our lives, to make our lives more open to it? With what do I fill my mind, my heart, and my soul? In what place do I find strength? Do I think about it often, or just a passing thought? Does it consume me-like an addiciton-until I’ve had my 12 cups of coffee? Or does it slow me down, invite me to sip slowly the combination of flavor and heat and water. Does it weigh me down or awaken my mind to see the birds in the trees, the lilies of the fields, the flavors and varieties of creation and creator? Can others smell it on my breath, taste it in my dreams, and see it in my life?
Does it linger?