Now I am not claiming that merely the psychological act of purchasing, carrying or drinking coffee is the only reason it matters. But even those who get up from their desks to drink box water out of a cup that once held air-conditioning fluid can reap the mental benefits of this ritual.
Getting a coffee is exactly that, a ritual. But it is not only that.
Some of us rely on the hot black juice of the Gods to reboot our head machines in the morning. Some of us can’t even make a sensical coffee order before we’ve had our coffee. Those people might need more help than some roasted bean juice. No disrespect if you’re one of those people, you might need to get a neon shirt with your name and coffee order on it to help you out.
For me the act of getting a cup of coffee has been the highlight of my day, or the part that gets me through the day, or allows me to build connections with people who matter.
‘Let’s get coffee’ can take you from needing to have a difficult conversation to the common ground of needing a boost from our friend the humble bean. You might be trying to be friendly by leaning forward and smiling but you don’t have a whole lot else to go with because your personality expires when the caffeine in your blood does, so you make the genius suggestion of meeting up for coffee. You are no longer as interesting as packing foam, but now have something to sip politely while you listen intently to your well-fueled friend. Win, win. Getting a coffee with a colleague can be the way to open up the floor for your outrageous new idea, or for opening up the floodgates on your emotional outrage. Hopefully, by this point your listening eared-friend is hopped up enough to feel prepared for it. Anyway, coffee has social power.
Buying myself a flat white has the power to lift my eyeballs ever so slightly out of their sockets so that I can continue to interact with my computer without inducing sticky keys.
Firstly, it often involves a walk, the perks of which are not limited to avoiding secretary bum and restoring my eyes to their regular weight. Walking away from the desk, getting a few puffs of mostly fresh city air and smiling at the kind folk who pull espresso shots for the weary world is refreshing.
Secondly the coffee options around Adelaide are growing so there are options enough to prevent you from ever filling a loyalty card, those clever people are working together. I love tasting my classic flat white in all the coffee shops, particularly those with low fork noise. When I walk past a coffee shop with a lot of fork noise it erks me. I would rather walk into a shop with steam and foaming noise, or grinding noise. Not the overtly sexual dance move, but the delicious crunching of magic beans. You knew that though.
The third power of the flat white is the actual power of the coffee itself. Some days it feels as if tiny tap dancers are swimming through my veins with bb-guns singing Elton John show tunes. I can go from touching my nose to the wall out of administrative agony to wanted to fake-ice skate down the halls blowing kisses. I won’t actually do that for fear of my true identity being exposed, but boy does it feel good. Like, blow confetti out my nose good.
Anyway, coffee matters because when you’re in its blissful alert caress, you can get that shit done. You can power through the soggy Adelaide afternoon. You can ooze enough confidence to knock out that meeting and blow that clients hair back. You can have a nice day nap to truly harness the power of caffeine (true science fact here by the way). You can have enough energy to be kind to people who chew with their mouth open… okay maybe not, coffee won’t make you a saint.
So go and get a coffee so that you can come back and get some work done. Or think a nice thought and actually tell it to someone because they might not have had the chance to get a coffee yet. Scrap that, get them a coffee too. Everyone deserves to have tiny Elton John singing tap dancers floating through their veins, any time of day, every day.
And if the thought of that makes you think I might be mixing up acid with coffee, invent your own damn vein-swimming creatures that remind you of your youthful zest for life. It’s in their somewhere, waiting for some hot bean juice to awaken it.