Coffee is one influential drink

Alyssa Cravens, Staff Reporter

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I didn’t like coffee—at least, not at first.

It took several years of drinks littered with sugar and the slightest coffee taste to slowly build myself up to a point where I could drink it any other way.

Today, I find myself craving the bitter taste, hot or cold, in the morning, noon or night; rarely is there a time when I couldn’t go for a coffee.

Perhaps it is the tang, or maybe the caffeine which keeps me coming back and wanting more, day after day.

While I think these are most certainly factors, a large part of me believes I value coffee for the special power it holds: its ability to bring people together, to set time apart and to create a space that is always inviting.

A large portion of this power is due to where we get our coffee in the first place—the coffee shop.

I love coffee shops.

They are like people; the same species with the same common purpose, yet completely unique and wonderful in their own respects.

You can tell a lot about a city, a neighborhood and its people by the local coffee shop.

Sure, the coffee is one thing (a good thing), but the décor, the atmosphere, the style, even the aura and the music, are what makes a shop stand out.

I can’t help but be completely enthralled with the mix of entirely altered shells that encase the same aroma of lingering espresso, the same old friends catching up or the same suits hunching over their computer with a cappuccino in the afternoon.

An essential part of visiting any new place is visiting a new coffee shop.

Nearly as captivating as what goes into a coffee shop is what comes out of one.

A coffee shop is one of my favorite places to work, think and get creative; as I reflect on everything I have accomplished there, I consider how many of my favorite book chapters, film scripts and song lyrics were born out of a quiet café corner.

Coffee shops are in the business of gardening: aside from cultivating art and ideas, they plant seeds in people and help relationships to grow.

A coffee shop is a place to meet yourself wherever you happen to be; it’s a place to nurture a novel friendship, get reacquainted with an old associate and have a simple cup of joe while doing it.

Of course, coffee doesn’t have to be in a shop to bring people together.

One fond childhood memory I have is of sitting between my grandma and great uncle at the kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon listening to their quaint conversation as they had their coffee, just as they had done every week before, for many years.

I remember how special I felt when my dad would wake me up in the darkness of the morning and let me tag along to the local café for morning coffee with grandpa and his buddies before starting the work day.

Coffee is so much more than an austere drink.

I do drink a lot of coffee, but only because I truly enjoy everything that stems from it.

It is one thing I’m in no hurry to change amongst my busy schedule and altering tides.

Coffee has brought me to new discoveries, new people and new places; it is a favored constant in each of my days.

I don’t mind spending the time, money or effort to have coffee because it’s always worth it to me in the end.

Alyssa Cravens is a junior communication major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].