For me, coffee really hasn't ever been about the drink, it's always been about the shop. I can hear coffee gurus in Denton mourning as they read that sentence. "But Stacie, it IS about the perfect cup. Without the perfect cup you have NOTHING." Well, On a trip to Oregon 13 years ago I discovered my own personal truth about coffee. That Oregon trip is memorable, really, for lots of reasons... I went camping with my cousins, crossed into Washington and drove through snow covered mountains, and I went to the Pacific Coast for the first time. I also pooped on a trail next to a waterfall that was famous for being in Last of the Mohicans (and yeah, I really did poop ON the trail... while my dad tried to cover me up with his trusty trail map while other tourists giggled as they hiked by... it was horrifying considering how old I was. Embarrassing moments numbero uno for sure. Lets talk about coffee some more).
On that trip, we ventured into a small Oregon-o-tized brick town to do some antiquing. We'd been window shopping for awhile when my mom stopped us with a dire excuse that she couldn't go any further without a cup of coffee. You know how middle aged mom's are on vacation. They need that coffee or else vacation starts getting stale real fast. So like a woman who needs her coffee... she found a coffee shop within five minutes.
And that's when it all happened. We walked through the doorway and I found myself. I looked around and thought, This space must have been created for people just like me. Big glass windows lit the room with natural light. There was an enticing loft above the entrance that had a ladder leading up to it. I imagined that baristas would go up there to read, nap, and watch people. Every corner and wall was couch and comfy chair infested (just the way a living room should be) with book shelves and lamps shoved in wherever they would fit. Quiet, calming and warm. Inviting. And spacious. A resting stop. A safe place. A place I'd show up to dream at every day if only I lived there. I walked to the back of the shop and found a door leading to a porch outside, crammed tight with chairs and tables. We sat on the porch while my mom drank her coffee. To top it all off, every shop and building on that little street backed right up to a rushing river. We watched that river flow right below us for awhile as she sipped, I daydreamed, and sun rays lit up our faces. Beautiful and peaceful was this thing they call a coffee shop.
At that very moment my dreams, hopes, and desires started smelling like coffee.
I was eleven years old when I walked into that coffee shop for the first time. And from that day to this day, it's my dream to own a place of wonder like that (that maybe serves a not so crappy cup of coffee)-- where others can come in and rest. Where the sojourner can dream and be filled. Where quiet can be rediscovered and consumed. Where hearts can fall in love or sit quietly and mourn. Where light can give life and restore.
Honestly, I may never get to own a coffee shop, but I do hope that the home I live in or the office I work out of can be what that coffee shop was for me in the 30 minutes I spent there. I hope to be a person that can physically and relationally create space for others to rest and dream. A person who can value giving others space that is life-giving to them. So whether the gourmet, crappy, or booshie coffee happens or not, I hope I'll always be and embody... the life-giving, rest-giving, and dream-growing shop.
What is your dream? What is your coffee shop?