Arbitrary Stuff Increases Coffee Enjoyment

Guest Post By French Press Enthusiast Harrison Northey

Coffee is yummy, right?  If you read a blog dedicated to making coffee better, then you probably agree with me.  In and of itself coffee is a pleasure with scarcely an equal to be found anywhere else.  But I think that for individual people, coffee’s tastiness and enjoyment can be enhanced beyond its own inherent qualities by our own arbitrary preferences.  Well-brewed coffee is objectively good, but what about all the subjective aspects of drinking coffee that make it even better to all of us bean appreciators?  What about all the things that you also love and look forward to about your daily cup(s)?

I’m talking about things beyond grind, roast, brew method, proportions, or anything else about the coffee itself.  There are as many possibilities here as acceptable ways to drink coffee.  Wait… that isn’t right.  We all know black is the only acceptable mode of coffee consumption.  (I jest, somewhat.)  What I should say is that there are as many arbitrary coffee-enhancing circumstances as there are coffee-loving brethren and sistren.  And one person’s perfect cup may be another person’s worst.

So let’s consider all the variables that turn an ordinarily good cup o’ joe into a whole exceptional experience.  I suggest the following from my own 9 years of imbibement:

mug choice (especially interior color)

time of day

fullness of stomach

hours since last coffee intake

weather outside

activity while drinking

work accomplished that day



clothing worn

It’s all pretty basic stuff.  Maybe some things on my list match yours, and maybe you couldn’t care less what the inside color of your mug is.  Maybe you’ve never thought about what makes your coffee routine more enjoyable.  But think for a second… what if your favorite mug shattered?  What if your favorite morning chair was stolen by bandits, or you had to file your taxes while drinking coffee instead of sharing a conversation with your daughter?  That would put a damper on things wouldn’t it?

Using the above variables, I can describe what, for me, could be the epitome of a cup of coffee:  It is around 7:30pm, I have just finished a hardy meal of Italian food.  I’m quite stuffed.  My last cup was at 8:00 this morning, so I’m mad craving.  I don my favorite cardigan and my slippers.  Is that the Clancy Brothers I hear singing harmonies in the background?  I ease into my recliner, feeling accomplished because I scattered a load of rocks in the pouring rain all day.  It has stopped raining now, but the breeze outside brings autumn leaves floating past my window.  I crack open a book about holy things and long-dead saints.  I take that first sip, and… mmmm… Yeah, that’ll do it.

What arbitrary stuff makes coffee the highlight of your day?


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