Black Coffee

IMG_9267During my time in Portland before New Year’s, I set foot in a few wonderful Stumptown Coffee spots, including the new and marvelous Roman Candle Baking Co. Knowing it would be sacrilegious to put cream and sugar even near the vicinity of the cup, I didn’t dump in my usual 4+ tablespoons of cream and 4 Splenda packets. It’s now been 3 weeks into 2016, and the trend has strangely continued. Even with burned-bean coffee and less-than-fabulous brews, I find that I’m still very happy with the simplicity.

IMG_9220I went to a location of the uniquely incredible Philz Coffee in the Bay Area, California this past weekend, and with mint-topped pour-overs in hand (namely the PhilharmonicTantalizing Turkish), my friend Josh (pictured right) talked about how he started unexpectedly drinking black coffee 11 years ago. He was launching into a week of quality time with his then-girlfriend Dani’s parents, and her father poured a couple cups of Joe–taking his black and asking what Josh wanted added in his. Aiming to impress and match the strength of his future father-in-law, Josh hid his contorted facial expression on first sip, and second and third and ongoing. After that week, Josh and everyone else in his life slowly forgot the target caramel color that his coffee once had.

This black coffee thing has me easing into metaphor and reflection.

What triggers simplicity? What triggers change in behavior or habit? What makes us scale back or switch it up? What events, motivations, or values trigger the moment when we want to make a different decision than we have before?

What elements of life are just as good or even more enjoyable in their simplest form? What haven’t we tried simplifying? What have we tried and then decided it’s not worth it? Maybe monthly budget allocations, exercise routines, philanthropy and volunteering commitments, activities with loved ones… or something as simple as our bag lunch choices for the workday.

What questions does this bring up for you?  

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