The Value of Coffee
Over the last 3 years, I’ve had my eyes opened to the value of coffee. If you ask the average Joe, walking down the sidewalks of Chattanooga, what the value of coffee is, you’re sure to get a good mix of answers.
“It wakes me up in the morning.”
“It keeps me going when I hit my afternoon wall.”
“I guess whatever you guys are selling it for.”
One of these answers may even be what you would share as a response. To me, I’ve come to believe that it is much more than that.
For almost three years now, I’ve had the privilege of serving coffee on a daily basis at Cadence Coffee. I’ve worked as a barista for much of my time, making espresso based drinks, meeting friendly faces (and some not so friendly faces…just being honest), and learning the craft of coffee. I’m going to share 3 values of coffee that I’ve learned over my three years here at Cadence.
The Value of Conversation
Coffee provides a beautiful opportunity for quality conversations. I’ve seen thousands of meetings between couples, friends, and co-workers. Many of those meetings include laughs, sometimes tears, and often in-depth discussions. Personally, I’ve had conversations across the coffee bar that end in learning names, the names of each other’s family, and much more. Although those conversations are usually fairly brief, they typically pick right back up the next time that person comes into the shop. Coffee has taught me to constantly be aware of the opportunities to enter into quality conversations and build new friendships.
The Value of Comfort
Coffee creates a feeling of rest and home. It takes you to a place of relaxation, allowing yourself to let your guard down. I had the opportunity to take a few cups of coffee to some friends who were at the hospital after their baby was born and the comfort it brought them was awesome to see. Although their eyes were heavy and bodies were weak, I could see the life that filled them as they wrapped both hands around that warm cup. Coffee has taught me to cherish it — to use it as a place of rest for myself but also a tool to bring comfort to those around me.
The Value of Community
The coffee community in the last 10 years has exploded. It’s become a place of commonality in a world that is so divided. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing successful, wealthy businessmen become friends with “down on their luck,” homeless men — through cups of coffee. I’ve seen a coffee shop full of people of all races, occupations, and social classes, playing board games, decorating Christmas cookies, and playing ping-pong. Coffee has a way of bringing people together and dissolving away the walls that we all so often put up to guard ourselves from others. Coffee has taught me that despite the many differences between people in our world today, there’s still simple but enjoyable ways to connect with others and build community around me.
Coffee is a hobby that I will most likely keep for the rest of my lifetime. Because I’m a coffee snob? Well, yes. But also because of the many values that it’s taught me over the last three years. I’m excited for the years to come and the values that it will continue to show me.
Written by: Jacob, our General Manager