Today is National Coffee Day (September 29th). Coffee lovers dedicated time to recognize their most important drink of the day. I will admit that I do not identify as a coffee lover. I’d categorize myself as more of a coffee liker. I like coffee in a can take it or leave it sort of way. I rarely require a mug to crank my brain cells or have a reasonable personality before 7am. What I appreciate about coffee has nothing to do with the bean itself but the connection that ensues when I spend time in a coffee shop. Coffee brings people together bound by the common experience.
My city is not without interesting places to have a proper cup of espresso. In fact, you can spot one or more on just about every intersection of the city. However, I end up in two places-The Merchant in Bixby Knolls or Philz Coffee on 2nd Street in the Belmont Shore district. I cherish them equally using my schedule to determine where I go.
Let’s say you wish to have a coffee date with me. If I get to pick the place, we are going to the Merchant. I love the vibe of the Merchant! The homey character, cozy nooks of round tables and the upholstered bench seating feels like a meaningful conversation is the precise activity that should take place there. A friend suggested meeting there once and I’ve been going ever since. Make no mistake, the coffee is of immense quality and the pastry selection is impressive. I order the iced Vanilla Honey Oat latte accompanied by the cinnamon roll. The cinnamon roll is colossal, moist, and when warmed is heavenly with a glaze on top.
When I prefer to hunker down write and create I head to Philz. Not that you can’t work in the Merchant but the bright décor, size, and access to all your technology needs makes Philz an optimal workspace. Seeing others submerged in their computers typing away on what I imagine is the next major novel or manuscript is the synergy I like when working. Also, I love Philz menu! It lists roasts by darker, medium, and lighter blends and likewise identifies the tasting notes. It makes it simple for me to deduce what to ask for and as a coffee liker educates me on the finer points of the liquid energy. My pick is the iced Mint Mojito with fresh mint leaves and the Mediterranean Avocado and Egg Toast. Drinking Mojitos in the morning is vacation behavior I prefer to repeat as often as possible.
No matter where I’ve traveled in the world, I have always been able to turn up a cup of coffee with a tribe of characters. The ebb and flow of consuming coffee was the common practice that tied me to the culture. Coffee is an extensive love language. As you celebrate National Coffee Day, I hope you score a free cup of brew and the tribe to go with it!