Slurping Coffee Like a Barista



Yesterday, I took my regular, favorite seat at my local Starbucks. The one all the way in the back. It’s the best spot for people watching. Well, and it’s close to the bathroom…so there’s that.

Now, I spend a good amount of time there writing. They know my name. I’m a gold card holder. The regulars know me.

It’s like Cheers. Oh good golly. I hope I’m not Cliff Clavin.

Well, I’d shoved the earbuds in (seriously, can that really be healthy?), pulled out my stack of notes, opened the document for my work in progress.

I noticed that the baristas were gathering around a table nearby. They had their French Press and tiny coffee shot glasses.

“We’re doing a tasting!” I heard the manager say.

Then she looked at me.

“Would you like to join us? We’re tasting Caffe Verona.”

Now, how did she know that was my very favorite blend? Oh. Right. She makes my coffee, like, 3 times a week.

Oh. And I need to add, I wasn’t the only person in the cafe. It was pretty full. But she picked me.

It made me feel special.

I stood among the kind baristas. If your Starbucks isn’t full of kind people, choose a different one. Mine is a friendly place.

There’s a process to tasting coffee. You sniff it. Look at it. Then, finally, you get to drink it.

The tall, Nordic looking guy slurped.

The beautiful, Parisian looking lady slurped.

The hip, folk star looking girl slurped.

“Oh, here at Starbucks, we slurp,” the manager reassured me. “It helps us to taste the fullness of the coffee.”

So, the geeky novelist (that’s me) slurped.

Yeah! It worked! It was cool. The rich flavors filled my entire mouth. The coffee tasted amazing.

Plus, it wasn’t as embarrassing to be slurping among the green apron brigade.

Hm. I wonder if they’d let me wear a green apron…

Anyway, this post does have a point.

It’s this…

Sometimes, in life (and in art), we need to let our inhibitions go. We need to just go for it. Take everything in, slurping it eagerly. Experiencing the fullness of it all.

I’ve spent too much time sipping. Enjoying just a small measure of the whole.

Really, what I need to do is slurp.

What does that look like? It looks like how my kids live.

Less fear. Less concern for how others might think I’m an oddball. But heavy, gut busting laughter. More telling people how I really love them.

More writing the way I want. Less thinking about the market and what might sell.

Slurping life seems a lot like authenticity.

I think that’s a pretty amazing way to live.

How about you? How would you slurp life? What would be different? 

2 Comments on “Slurping Coffee Like a Barista

  1. I think it’s just wonderful that they know you like that. There’s a lady at Panera who knows Brian and I when we come in on Mondays and says to me, “Sourdough toast and coffee.” makes me feel special.


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