Photos 1 and 2 by Annie Leibovitz for Lavazza’s 2009 Calender
Vincent Van Gogh was a big frequenter of the café society and said of his painting Night Cafe “I have tried to show the café as a place where one can destroy oneself, go mad or commit a crime.”
The Mad Tea Party has come and gone but my craziness has remained as I hope yours has! I whirled and I twirled. I’ve eaten so many cakes, drunk so much tea (and just a few glasses of champers), I’ve danced, I’ve played games and I am spent. But I cannot rest. After all the emphasis on ‘tea’ my coffee is jealous and is demanding I give the magic bean equal time. And you know it’s not wise to upset your coffee. It’s an addiction, a drug, a lover who’s always there guaranteeing satisfaction. And with every drug comes the ritual, the need for all the utensils and quality ‘stuff’. Life is too short for instant coffee. The ‘trip’ begins when I inhale the aroma of the ground beans, the heating and frothing of the milk, the water added to the French press, the ‘special’ cup. Aahhh that first sip, the exhaling, and the thought often verbalised 'you make the best coffee in the world girl!'.
The Sea, the Surge and the Seamstress Coffee Table Book from Samantha Lamb
Coffee inspires. Poetry. Stories. Paintings. Song. Any craftiness. The creative ‘lighter fluid’ has touched them all. Here is one of my favourite poetic odes to coffee, written by Linaji.
I will know him by his breath
cardamom and coffee
a wisp of drizzled raspberry around his lips
Words and Pictures Coffee Table Book by Jennifer Gordon at Stiletto Heights
His eyes deep pools of mud
that lotus seek to penetrate
creation here for my longing
Through the Viewfinder Coffee Table Book from Route 3 Photography
the sound of my mother’s heart
beating in my mothers womb
on that ride of conception
The Flesh is Always Calling Coffee Table Book by Marie Vlasic at The Flying Pickle
exposing my joy
entertaining my will
Soya Wax Candle in Coffee Cup with Saucer from Twilight Spells
It is beauty that I’ve found here
like a piece of sand
Influence Original Mixed Media on Canvas from Jan Allsopp
coated with the molecules of
pearl orbed and adorned
I am transformed once again
Latte Eco Shoulder Bag from Where's Becky Bean
And by the divine patterns he creates’
for our pleasure
we dance the Terra Cotta two-step
and sing subterranean songs
Anatomical Espresso Cups from my shop
No whisper is needed nor promises made,
Because I will know him by his breath
Cardamom and Coffee
A wisp of drizzled raspberry around his lips
The Poet’s Desk Photograph from Robert Crum
A sprinkling of wisdom from the magic bean. Adapted from Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean? by Angela Davis via Story Lovers.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. "Which will you be?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how will you respond? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Will your fluid spirit through trials have become hardened and stiff? Will your shell look the same, but on the inside you will be bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or will you be like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you can be like the bean, when things are at their worst, you will improve and change the situation around you.
Kimono from Plum Pretty Sugar
Some of my favourite coffee shops here in Brisbane – cafés with soul.