Stop! And Smell the Coffee

With remarkable accuracy, I can tell how my day will go by whether or not I pause in the morning to smell the coffee grounds before I make my morning cup(s). The moment lasts only a few seconds, but it leaves a remarkable impression on my day.

I’m a morning person, have been all my life. I don’t like sleeping in. I was the oddball in college who preferred to go to bed by 11 and wake up by 6. What can I say, I like starting my day in the hours before the sun’s light sneaks inside through my half-closed blinds. I find peace in the silence of the morning and take comfort knowing that any noise that exists only does so because of my own choosing.Coffee

It’s no surprise, then, that I eventually became a devoted coffee drinker. I rotate my brewing style (Aeropress or French Press), bean type (Ethiopian, Tanzanian Peaberry, Guatemalan, etc.), purchase location (Erie Island, LoopPhoenixRising Star), and brew time and temperature. I’m a little obsessed with this delicious friend.

On the mornings I pause, the morning energizes me. On the mornings I don’t, I feel exhausted and my body craves the fitful, 10-minute sleep session offered only by my snooze button.

On the mornings I pause, the thought of what I can accomplish during the day excites me, and I’m content knowing that although I won’t finish everything I hope to, I’ll still make progress. On the mornings I don’t, I feel overwhelmed by my “to-do” list and intimidated by the amazing projects already established. I spend too much time comparing myself to others.

On the mornings I pause, I’m organized, prepared, patient, and able to move quickly without hurrying. On the mornings I don’t, I feel rushed, spastic, stressed and forgetful.

On the mornings I pause, I write. 100 words, 500 words, 1000 words, 2000 words. Often it’s babble, dribble aimed only for the delete button. But effort can trump talent and doing the work matters. On the mornings I don’t, I make excuses: I have too much work, I have emails to answer, Facebook and Twitter beckon, or I choose to distract myself by reading articles online and labeling it “research.” An endless list of enemies torments me when I don’t want to devote time to writing or thinking.

On the mornings I pause, I take pleasure in the moment, pleased with both the days behind and the days to come. On the mornings I don’t, my obsession with more (doing more, being more, accomplishing more) incites the rambunctious restlessness that demands me to make change for change’s sake.

On the mornings I pause, I’m a better person.On the mornings I don’t, everything is a struggle.

Unfortunately, life moves too fast. My recommendation? Stop! And smell the coffee.

Who knows, it might be just what you need to kick-start a great day.



  1. Although I’m not a huge coffee drinker. I still think there is nothing better in the morning than the aroma of fresh brewed coffee!

  2. I should have my fiance and roommates read this post…they are OBSESSED with coffee and everything about it. They recently tried cold brewing… WOWEEE! was that some STRONG and BITTER coffee – it’s not supposed to be as bitter, but then again, I don’t drink my coffee black : ) great post!

    1. Ha! I know all to well of this addiction. I turned him onto a great little coffee place in Cleveland (Rising Star) on his last visit!

  3. Great post! I have been recently turned on to the art of coffee brewing upon frequenting the many newly opened coffee shops in the Cleveland Area. My latest inspiration is the syphon vacuum method I experienced at Rising Star. Though the process does seem a tad overly theatrical, the product was well worth the wait and quite delicious. Being the devote epicurean that I am, I find that there’s never any time wasted in the pursuit of one’s passion for good food and comfort. I’m going to have to resist dropping three hundred dollars on a Halogen Beam Heater.

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