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Quest for a Perfect Cup of Coffee

My Coffee History

Along the way, early on in life, I fell in love with coffee.  I’ve always been a morning kinda girl. The women in my family started the coffee brewing in the dark, before daylight parts the land from the sky.  Before my eyes were opened and I peeled the covers off of my head, a rich fragrance of medium roast surrounded my senses.  

It is true, I was passionately ready for my first taste of grandmother’s coffee. On the backside of her kitchen table was a short bench exactly the right height for an 8-year-old to sit up even with an adult on a regular chair. 

Grandma’s stove-top percolator was like what we call in today’s world, a metal camping coffee pot. It bubbled a soft, hurried sound and hissed rich flavored steam from its spout.  Her skilled hands poured her round mug almost full of the dark liquid and gently tipped the pot, slowly dripping a tiny bit of coffee and nearly filled the remainder of my cup with hot cocoa.

There we were, the two of us, my grandmother and my 8-year old grown-up self, with our full-bodied black, hot cups and whispered conversation. We talked about our dreams or what happened the day before, chatting and giggling softly in our quiet space of kitchen table and our perfect cups of coffee.

Screen Shot 2020-01-25 at 7.00.48 PMClem Onjeghuo on Upsplash

A Rising Mature Coffee Journey

In my teenage years, my mother and her cigarette smoking, coffee drinking 1950 modern housewives drank Maxwell House from their electric 12 cup percolators.  They got together after the husbands went off to work and the kids left for school.  Before noon they had filled the ashtray in the middle of the kitchen table and drank at least 3 pots of coffee.  If I could prove I was sick enough to miss a day of school, I would be privy to some pretty hot, scandalous hearsay.  The full-featured aroma of coffee and tobacco were the two most adult things I carried into my early 20’s.  At least, I did quit smoking at 25 but, I’m still a big fan of coffee.  

Friendly Coffee Time

Many lovely mornings of my life I have spent with an exquisite cup of coffee with my partner in our purple chairs on the front porch of our little home that faces the east watching the light change as Grandfather Sunrises.  Both of us in deep reflective peace as we begin our gratitude prayers.

A few years ago I was visiting my relatives in Santa Cruz. Nick told me that he had an espresso machine and would make me a great cup of espresso. The story on this new, very expensive espresso maker was that Nick’s cousin was going to put it in the trash because the cousin couldn’t figure out how it worked.  Nick laughed his way to his car with this beautiful, brand-new, very expensive espresso maker and of course, he was smart enough to figure out how it worked.  

He did make me a wonderful cup of dark, rich black espresso.  I enjoyed the early morning light of his beautiful kitchen across the table in deep conversation with Nick and the hot liquid gold.  

My Coffee Routines

One of my weekly practices is to take my journal to a popular coffee house and write for an hour or so with a cappuccino or another specialty drink. The smells, flavors, and atmosphere can inspire a poem or a reflective journal entry.

About twice a week I meet one of my creative friends for a “think tank” with a cuppa and great conversations.  It is always beneficial to hear what others are working on or to listen in on projects they are thinking about.  And coffee is our sidekick. 

I’ve made my morning Joe in a never quit Mr. Coffee maker, most of my adult life. I do love to grind my beans and generally switch up a dark roast from many popular brands. I often put a little foamed milk in my morning cup and sometimes a little pad of butter.  

On any given day, you can find me at one of many local coffee places drinking a latte and talking about writing with my friends. Often you could catch a glimpse of me dashing in the quick drive-thru at Starbucks when I’m out and about. 

Mid-afternoon, at home, I often heat water and slow drip pour-over a single mug of black coffee or I pull out the French Press with a slow push.  Either method gives me a flavorful afternoon delight.

Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 10.22.16 AMNik MacMillan on Upsplash

On the Quest

The other day, I went to the dentist and had a funny conversation with Mae, the dental hygienist.  She asked me what I was working on and I told her about my coffee fetish. Of course, once she began the work on my teeth, all I could do was listen.  Mae began to tell me about her quest for a perfect cup of coffee.  Mae has 3 busy daughters and early in the morning she hurries around getting them ready for school and herself ready for work.  Her mother-in-law wanted to help out and bought Mae a really expensive, fancy, computerized coffee maker that claimed to create a perfect cup of coffee ready  for her, first thing.  Mae continued to tell me how fantastic this machine was. 

“It grinds the beans, heats the water at exactly the right temperature to make a perfect cup of coffee while the beans are grinding. The coffee maker gently drops the exact right amount of ground coffee into the basket and the preheated water slowly drips in a circular motion around and through the ground up coffee. Then it drips the exactly perfect coffee into my to-go mug and in theory, I’m out the door and on the road with this perfectly hot cup of coffee.”

I’m there, in that chair with her hands busy cleaning my teeth, thinking “dang, I want one of these machines.”

“Wrong.” Mae explains as she removes the scaler from my mouth. “There are too many knobs and buttons and digital instructions and I can’t figure it out, nor do I have to take a class.”

“So, Mae, what is your perfect cup of coffee, then?”

She opened the bottom drawer across from the chair I’m sitting in and pulls out a jar of Instant Folgers.  “These instructions I can understand.”  

Coffee Completes Me

To my way of thinking, a perfect cup of coffee isn’t necessarily grown on a mountain with the exact right climate or an elemental roasted bean, whether dark, medium, or light.  In my life of loving coffee, I’ve discovered a perfect cup of coffee depends on the company that sits with it. Certainly, leftover from my early days in Grandma’s kitchen is the full-bodied cup, the one that fits your hands and the soft, accepting listener with a heart of joy. The perfect cup of coffee has been my dearest companion on the journey with words in whispered conversations.

Slapped Coffee Silly

Rambling Coffee Thoughts

 

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photo by Thom Holmes @thomholmes Upsplash

Give It a Fresh Start

It has been a few months since I actually wrote a blog post, did a podcast, or a video and I wanted to say something about that.  Writers of all kinds, whether they are posting every week or hiding in a corner thinking about writing. Poets, novelist, or number one best selling self-help authors – we all have insane demons to contend with.

I felt like if I could start writing about why I haven’t written anything for several weeks, I might get creative and actually write something.  It’s not like I haven’t been thinking about what to write, I’ve got hundreds of topics, lots of rambling ideas, and even stirring passions.  

It isn’t that I am worried about what you think or that I could fail.  I’ve fallen on my face more times than I care to remember.

No Excuses Here

I could tell you, “my schedule is just too full” or “I’m in high demand.” I could say, “I’m wasting time, streaming ‘Scandal’. I am truly jealous of that Shonda Rhimes for her continuous prolific, award winning tv shows.  There are 7 seasons with 124 episodes of “Scandal” and each one of those episodes leaves me clicking the button to watch the next one. Yes, I’m tormented that I wouldn’t even know where to start writing something that popular. It isn’t in my wheelhouse of life experiences.  

Always Time for Coffee

Every week I have coffee with a my writing buds.  We tramp around, over, under, and through, writing ideas, poetic righteousness, novel creativity, and blogging for a living.  

Who are real writers, anyway? Often we compare writers to jazz musicians with comments like, “a person wouldn’t take a few sax lessons and put themselves on stage to play with someone like Oscar Peterson.”  And on we go, “so, what makes us think we can write like Toni Morrison or Ernest Hemingway or Shonda Rhimes?”

Back for a second Caffe’ Americano or Caffe’ Breve and on we go.  What makes me think I could write a creative blog post that might draw a few hundred followers or who would enjoy my poetry or tell their friends about one of my short stories?

ohmky-lQwWZI_WjSU-unsplashPhoto by Ohmky @ohmky2540 Upslash

Coffee Running Away With Me

Do I even care?  Yes, I care. Coffee cares. Writing for me is like breathing.  Coffee is fresh air for me. Both Coffee and Writing are a must for me to stay alive.  Is getting published why I write? Not exactly, but it is a great perk. What makes me think you notice if I show up here or don’t?  I believe in you and I trust you are ready to “clap” for the post I’m dreaming up.  Yes, I imagine you roaming the internet searching for something great to read.

Read, Read, and Read with a Latte on the Side

Everyday, I try to read as many blogs as I can, usually 5. There are truly hundreds of amusing subjects and writers ranging in experience and credibility throwing out their opinions about an array of themes.  I’m telling you, anything you might be intrigued by, there is a blog about it.

One of the bloggers I follow is Robert Greig. His blog is called “My life as a piece of string”  I am fascinated with his meandering thoughts about his life and our surrounding world.  His blog site is clean and the print looks typewritten.  I find his perspective on life refreshing, straight forward, and often comical. https://meonomous.wordpress.com

esther-tuttle-m9SAITsAU8s-unsplash copyPhoto by Esther Tuttle @entradaphotography Upslash

Never Give Up on Yourself

I enjoy following several bloggers on Medium, I myself write for Medium on occasions.  What I love about Medium’s platform is the broad range of genres and writers to choose from.  At the beginning of each blog is the title and author’s name and how many minutes it will take me to read the posting.  Of course, the luxury of a search spy glass with millions of topics to choose from.  I read that there were more than 8,000 writers currently publishing on Medium. Whatever you are interested in, you can find it on Medium. https://medium.com

Guess What? Shonda Rhimes has posted a few articles on Medium.

The point here, is that you are reading and/or writing and/or posting, whether or not I’m posting doesn’t really matter or does it? Sure it does!  See you soon.

The Story of the Books that Change Our Lives

I’m always surprised by how many people I talk to who never pick up a book and read these days. When I received Jamie Lee Wallace’s blog, “The Story of the Books that Change Our Lives” I got so excited to see two of my favorite’s on her list, “Women Who Run with the Wolves” and “If You Want to Write” that I had to share her post. I know my readers on CoffeeMystery will appreciate Jamie’s writing. What is the book that mostly influenced your life?

Live to Write - Write to Live

A friend recently tagged me on Facebook to participate in one of those modern-age chain letter-type things where you’re tasked with sharing a series of something-or-others within a specific theme. For instance, you might be asked to post seven black-and-white photos or six baby pictures or ten favorite poems.

The mission of this particular challenge was to post—without comment—covers of books that have meant something to me and/or influenced my life. This was exceedingly difficult. Not only did it require me to whittle down my list of influential books to only seven, it also demanded that I refrain from sharing any thoughts or wistful reminisces about my relationship with each book. I’m sure, as fellow bibliophiles, you can see my dilemma.

Still, I was moved to play along, because—you know—BOOKS.

But now, I am breaking the rules by re-sharing my seven selections along with brief commentary that provides a little…

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CoffeeMystery Blog

CoffeeMystery at Walden’s Coffeehouse

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3940 Mayberry Drive – Location One

775.787.3307

For many years I have gathered myself with pen, paper, and most recently, a laptop in places where the coffee is great and people are kind. I use the muse of coffee to collect my thoughts and allow them to fall easily into a journal, across the keyboard and develop into stories, blog post, and wisdoms. Walden’s Coffeehouse sets the stage for good conversations and contemplative moments and a time to read great books.

The background noise is people converging around tables for meetings, stockpiling with friends to enjoy a latte’, espresso, or green tea and often for breakfast or lunch. The on going crowds represent local business collaborative groups, students with homework, friends catching up and many others sharing a meal. Walden’s Coffeehouse is a point of intersection for some, a think tank space for others, and a darn good place to have a superbly fresh meal.

Chef Michael, Mandy, and the Barone family continue to create comfortable spaces for the crowds of regulars and new customers to join the Walden’s community. The menu and daily specials entice us all to satisfy our cravings.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast and lunch are served all day, with several yummy choices.  Vegetable Frittata special from Chef Michael’s creative venue or Avocado on Toast with bacon and poached eggs, my personal favorite.

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1170 South Wells Ave.  – location two

775.322.6100

Creative baristas love a challenge and are great at recommending their inventive mixtures. My standby is a Vanilla Latte’ and a few days ago, Barista Leah recommended I try it with oat milk with a little honey. “My, my.” It has now become my afternoon pick me up.

 

 

 

 

Walden’s uses a local coffee roaster, Glory Cloud and the La Spaziale Italian Espresso Machine creates the exactly perfect flavor for my taste.  What often inspires my writing is their eclectic, decorative, colorful mugs.  They are just right for wrapping your hands around them and sipping your treasured flavor.

Other aromatic, innovative pleasures are a hearty bowl of Turkey Chili, an Egg Sandwich Panni, and a very healthy Greek Salad.  I often enjoy a BLT or Avocado Toast with homemade Hummus. Check out the menu and find your favorites:  https://waldenscoffeehouse.com/menu/

 

 

 

 

https://waldenscoffeehouse.com/

Walden’s Hours

Monday – Friday 6am to 3:30pm
Saturday 7am to 3pm
Sunday 7am to 3pm
Happy Hour
Monday – Friday 2pm to 3:30pm

 

NATURAL ABUNDANCE

Mother Earth’s all-inclusive nature is our greatest teacher, a terrific reminder to restore our faith in natural principles of universal cosmic creativity.

We have been working in our garden everyday this spring and I must say, it is quite beautiful. We noticed early on that we have not seen one bee. Last spring season, bees were all over our mint, lavender, salvia, and Echinacea. There were not any bees anywhere in the garden this spring. It was beginning to cause us great sadness. We heard about bees becoming endangered and have honestly been a bit worried about the seemingly disappearance of bees from our garden this year.

Our spring has turned into summer almost over night, so we have been getting up earlier to avoid the heat. Every morning, we begin our ritual of welcoming Grandfather Sun with gratitude for nature’s beautiful, thick, lush abundance. We are so blessed to enjoy our morning in the garden.

Five days ago, I posted “…..bring back the bees.” Many of my friends responded with positive affirmations that the bees are coming back. And of course, knowing how the universe operates, this morning while pulling weeds around the lavender plants, I noticed the hundreds of bees. The bees are back. We were doing the happy dance!

There is space for every living being on this planet to be, do, and have exactly what they need, want, and desire. Gratitude is the doorway to natural abundance. Affirmations are tools of discovering innate bounty. Every word we speak leads to our pathway of living naturally in our individual opulence. We have the ability to co-create a peacefully abundant world for all of us. Thank you all for the affirmative thoughts and prayers for our bees to come back.

 

 

Happy Longest Day of the Year

We are having a heatwave on this the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Take it easy, relax, be mindful of how you can balance your day. Be gentle with yourself and kind to your families. Bring a light heartedness into ritual, create a simple list of intentions for yourself to begin your Solstice, put a calming energy into a small bowl of water with a few drops of lavender oil and softly drum over it, sway serenely into a natural rhythm, and let your soul lead your way. May this be a blessed peaceful year for us all and may the bees come back. – Tu BearsScreen Shot 2017-06-21 at 8.41.18 AM.png