The grains had just the perfect scent, lightly roasted and chopped finely to be used for the coffee. The low buzzing sound in the background became increasingly more of a bubbling before a soft bell tolled, announcing the water to be the right temperature. A scientific act of biology, chemistry and culinary gastronomy has lead us to this one moment, one sugar or two, milk or cream? The choices grow every day, making the mornings even more eventful for the right person, unless you are the kind snoozing under the sound of the brewing coffee.
For every year, every month, every week, every day, every morning is greeted with the welcome picture above this dark wooden counter, the coffee selection list. The background gently lit by a yellow and not too bright light, the sheets of text in a size to make everyone have the hawk-eye in the morning. I sniff along the counter at the cardboard cups lined up along the edge, a little sleeve on all and a name written, orders up.
The counter always felt welcoming for people like me, not only the coffee drinking morning shine but also the sweet toothed monster I can be now and then. The dark polished wooden counter holds a cake and cookie showcase, cleaned see-through glass display revealing the maple trays lined up in levels with their finest luring bait. Carrot cake, chocolate cake, cinnamon, lemon pie, chocolate chip cookies and more, all threatening to mess up my tie or shirt before work.
Along the counter there’s always a little treat for the few of us who can hold away from the cake trays, a small bowl of single wrapped chocolates that we get to pick from when getting a cup of coffee. Milk, dark, white or nuts, even the simple things in life can hold choices.
Along the queue behind me, moving slowly to each side of the counter as we line up for our hot drinks, chocolate, tea, espresso and even some having those new chilled frappuccino things, need to try that one day. The tables are always filled with newspaper crumbling people, or the morning regulars, the ones waiting on a carpool or bus. Down the queue I see a few colleagues snickering and giggling, those two girls always find something to energize their morning. These two ladies though, they even invite people on their morning runs before getting ready for work, their outfits look like they’ve just finished the run for today. I haven’t seen such energy in my own body since the school parent’s day, wrestling with six sugar-hyped kids on my back.
And here I am, contemplating to myself if I should get a delicious muffin or a slice of godlike cake to take with me, could just walk slowly to work while I enjoy it. Just don’t think this’ll give so many grades with the wife when she notices smudges of cake or see the bills when balancing our budget, especially not during out obligatory weight-watch month. She wants to try so many different recipes and I want a steak, so we meet in the middle and have what she wanted to make.
The plastic snap of the lit being pressed over my cup brings me out of the dreams of sugary ecstasy, leading my eyes towards the never avoidable process of this ritual, payment of my liquid hot caffeine rewarding drink with a slight dash of cinnamon and sugar – and of course my little treat; a piece of milk chocolate.
… And its partner, another piece of milk chocolate, I have my weak moments.