My friend Aaron is some sort of guru coffee guy. He works for Ethical Bean, and he also travels around the world grading coffees. (Seriously. I think I’m in the wrong profession.)
I asked him if he’d be interested in writing a guest post, and here it is…
Have you noticed how much better some writing is? Some writers are able to consistently burnish paragraph upon paragraph of delight.
Curiously, neither raw genius, a boutique Liberal Arts degree nor a copy of Strunk and Whites’ The Elements of Style kept within arms reach have been found to relate directly to this skill. Instead, causality has been associated with something so innocuous and commonplace you could be forgiven not recognizing that, in fact, a humble cup of coffee is the thread that binds. Who knew?
I can’t remember who first said “ To write is to drink coffee and to drink coffee is divine.” I may have that wrong but there is no denying the sense of élan that it conjures. Remember that, it’s a signature mark of a coffee-drinking writer.
All writers should — and the best writers do — drink coffee. I sense a knowing smile from those out there in the blogosphere who feel they have been outed. Margret Atwood is that you? A furrowing of the brow from those who’ve wanted to turn pro but could just never capture that differentiating “je ne sais quoi?” to their prose. You’re not drinking enough coffee…or maybe you’re drinking too much.
For you new folks, be sure you’re drinking Fair Trade Organic. You want to be able to sleep at night right? A pin-sharp social and environmental conscience can be a bitch and you don’t want to take that chance. You’re already up to your neck in concessions buying stuff like “Min’s Own” Streak Free Glass cleaner and taking the bus everywhere….Drink FTO. And may I suggest Ethical Bean Coffee as a good place to start. At grocery stores everywhere.
The world of coffee has become a subculture with extensive arcana. I want to protect you from that. Serious coffee can be an elitist and highly divisive pursuit — a distraction you don’t need. You’ve already got your writing to worry about.
Unless you have people at your house who bring you things when you ring a bell, you need to know how to make a great cuppa. Now brewing a great cup of coffee is critical. Men should know how to but an edge on a blade and women should know how to…. You thought I was going to go there didn’t you? Women are just great. But everyone should know how to make a kicking cup of coffee. Especially writers.
You will be amazed at the tonic like effect coffee has on your writing, your mental health, your socialability….heck, your life. Two cups a day for strength is what we’re recommending here.
Hard men and women prefer to take it black. Fine, fine. We’re not here to judge and for my purposes (and I’m not alone) a dash of cream is a nice treat.
“A cup of coffee, real coffee-home browned, home ground, home made, that come to you dark as a hazel eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfectly sweet, neither lumpy nor frothing on the Java: such a coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.”
-Henry Ward Beecher “Eyes and Ears.”
Not to beat the horse longer than we need to but Henry drank coffee, wrote well and is someone of whom it has been said, by Lincoln no less, that “no one in history had so productive a mind.” Wouldn’t you like someone to say that about you? What are you waiting for? Go pour yourself a cup of coffee!
Now, personally, I think this is the post of someone calling out for a soapbox of his own. Leave a comment and encourage a budding blogger!