National Coffee Day
I’m not sure if my dad clued me in by saying, “Let me have my cup of coffee before you ask me anything.” or if my instincts after trial and error were spot on. Either way, it didn’t take me long to figure out that if I wanted something from my dad, I would have to wait until he had his first cup of coffee. At such a young age, I already knew that coffee has an effect on people.
Let me repeat that. Coffee has an effect on people. Is that the understatement of the past two decades or what? For some, coffee pumps them up - it gives them energy and they catch a buzz. For some, it’s an equalizer; causing the low energy to rise up to the starting point so that one could proceed with their day. And still for others who can drink a pot of it and fall asleep minutes later, coffee is a warm comfort. Coffee probably has hundreds of other effects on people and because of that, coffee venues all over the world will forever be in business.
I didn’t know how easy it was to get addicted to coffee until the summer after I graduated from college. I had been drinking so much of it to pull “all-nighters” for years and since there was no need to stay awake all night after college, I stopped drinking coffee. I had headaches that seemed to weigh 10 pounds and I couldn’t see straight. I had no idea what was going on. Finally my mom informed me that I was going thru withdrawal. You mean like a drug addict? “Yes, caffeine is a drug but it’s harmless.” - says everyone but your bank account and body functions.
Coffee is one of the largest businesses in the world and many attribute the popularity to Starbucks. I’m not a history buff but even I know that before the Starbuck phenomenon, coffee was a currency just like gold and spices. So why does everyone love coffee so much? Think about how many different ways people take their coffee. I mean, there isn’t a menu board large enough to fit every single way one can enjoy a cup of joe. Add “flat white”, “almond milk” or “heavy foam” and the possibilities are endless! It can get overwhelming when suggesting all the ways one can pinch someone for National Coffee Day, which FYI - this year it falls on Sunday, September 29th. So I have attempted to categorize gift ideas in hopes of being helpful when figuring out which thoughtful pinch best fits the person you want to pinch:
1. THE COFFEE - Have I told you lately how much I love Costa Rica? Well, I do. And coffee from there is good stuff. I bring some bags back with me to give to the neighbors who take care of things while we’re away. It doesn’t have to be from somewhere exotic like Hawaii and Costa Rica - ground or whole, a bag of coffee beans is a thoughtful gift. Or let’s say you do want to make an impression and take it to the highest level, my cousin Pauline suggests an online coffee subscription. For example: https://counterculturecoffee.com - it’s a specialty coffee roaster, online subscription and coffee education all wrapped up in one!
2. THE APPLIANCES - Ok, we all know someone who is always getting the latest coffee maker because coffee to them is “life”. Don’t we all love Clooney’s Nespresso commercials? There are so many coffee makers on the market but I love that my sister-in-law, Hailey, shared with me that her favorite coffee gift was her Christmas gift - the Breville Espresso maker - which she uses a lot! For the non-machine coffee makers, Pauline again clued me in on an item that she loves - a Pour Over Kettle with thermometer . This item would make a great pinch and you can use the Thoughtful Pinch App so that others can contribute too! Even for a non-machine coffee maker, the pour over kettle is slightly more technical than what I use in Costa Rica. In the pictures below there are two traditional coffee makers that are hand painted on local wood and they were given to us when we were in Costa Rica. I made coffee using the one with the green butterfly every day during our summer vacation this year. In order to use this “appliance”, one needs a cloth filter, which looks like a tiny sock equipped with a circular wire at the opening (not included in the photo). The cloth filter is filled with the desired amount of coffee grounds and sits thru the hole under the butterfly. The filter stays in place because the circular wire stops the filter from falling thru the hole. A cup or pot is placed underneath; waiting for the last step. Hot water is poured into the filter allowing the coffee to drip into a cup or pot.
3. THE CUPS & MUGS - This section of gifts is about as fun as it gets. Coffee cups, mugs, travel thermoses, Yetis - name it, there are so many containers that we can use to hold our coffee. Here are some of my faves that are in my cupboard.
4. THE FLAVORS - Here’s where you can get really personal with your pinches. If you know exactly how someone takes their coffee, you can give them the type of cream, milk, vanilla beans, chocolate or hazelnut etc flavors to put in their coffee. Giving a favorite flavor as gift is like saying, “ I see you pumpkin spiced latte friend.” Instant love and gratitude for knowing exactly what is needed in their coffee.
5. THE ACCESSORIES - Does someone need a coffee bean grinder, oops I mean a “mill”? or how about a “glass pour-over”? Both items are favorites of Pauline’s. Yes, these are accessories but some would argue that they are necessities!
6. THE VENUES - You already know that gift cards to coffee houses are easy, fun and can be purchased in any denomination. I keep $10 Starbuck’s gift cards handy (I buy in packs of four) for last minute pinches but I try to support my local coffee shops too by purchasing their gift cards. Not only does your coffee lover get their fix but I’m sure the experience of going somewhere other than a large chain coffee shop would be a nice change of venue. Locally, we love Sparrow Cafe and Linden Hills Dunn Brothers.
Of all the national days that Nationaldaycalendar.com has enlightened me with, this one is so vast in the ways that one can pinch someone! I barely scratched the surface here. There is just way too much out there that can be used in conjunction with coffee. Personally, I love the smell of coffee (scratch and sniff stickers would be another pinch) and I love coffee flavored anything - especially ice cream (a gift card to Cold Stone for a Mudpie Mojo is another pinch)! The funny thing is, when I do drink coffee, I drink it black. Somehow, this is my connection to my dad because he always drank his coffee black. I’m pretty sure black coffee is my jam because it was his.