For me, writing and coffee go hand in hand. Other writers may smoke, or drink, or a combination of all three. I’m so addicted to my morning latté that I spent more money than any human should on an espresso machine. It grinds the fresh beans, froths the steamed milk, and I could make iced coffee if I wanted. But I’m not a cold coffee kind of girl.
What’s missing with this pricey appliance is human contact. That’s why I am a regular at my local Caribou Coffee (a Minnesota-based company). Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten to know the incredibly hard-working staff at the shop, all of whom are kind and patient—even with the occasional irate patron whose super complicated coffee order wasn’t quite perfect. I couldn’t do what Autumn and her team do every day with a smile. I might just end up killing the annoyed customer and have to write about it from jail.
My relationship with this particular Caribou really bloomed into something special during the darkest days of COVID-19, when so many of us were in lock down. Every day I would make my sole outing to this Caribou (thank God they were considered essential!) for a latté and a scone and great conversation. I got to know Autum, both Amandas, Elena, Ruth, Mary, and others. Several of the group attended my book launch for Darkness and Grace, which helped make the event very special.
Today, I celebrate National Coffee Day with a big thank you to Autum and Amanda and all the baristas at my favorite coffee shop. While part of Autum’s and Amanda’s lovely faces are obscured in the photo (they are now required to wear masks in the wake of the delta variant of COVID), they’re smiling as they do everytime I see them. So as you dash into to your regular coffee shop, whether it be local or national, take a moment to show your gratitude to the staff who work very hard to get your coffee drink just right. An extra large tip doesn’t hurt either!
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