Essentials, Journal

Coffee

I drink coffee to stimulate, inspire, or to soothe. On occasion, I use it like many others–while socializing in coffee shops. What might be different about my use of coffee is that I see it as a tool. It’s not just a routine Starbucks order. I try to consume it thoughtfully.

When I drink cold coffee right before a workout, it’s a stimulant. It acts to decreases muscle pain and increases my performance. This is especially beneficial for early morning workouts.

Coffee is my constant companion when I write. I find that it helps focus when I’m creating. I frequently write early so I’ll prepare my coffee maker the night before. In the morning, I just flip the switch and brew.

I use coffee to soothe when I need to warm up or relax. I drink a hot cup of decaf on evenings when I want to do some reading or to set the mood for a little downtime.

Black coffee is fine by me. In fact, I prefer it that way when it’s cold outside. But I’ll add a little cream for the first steaming mug full after I wake up. But no sugar.

At present, I rarely grind my own beans. However, a future investment in a flashy coffee machine could change that. I’m not sure my coffee routine will rise to the level of ritual when that happens but it could come close.

Obviously, I enjoy a good cup of joe. But I have to be careful. It may not be a drug but, as I’ve said, it’s a stimulant. Too much can cause me to experience jitters or anxiety. That’s why when I think I’ve had too much coffee, I make a pot of tea.

photo: Jo Lanta

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Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. More recently, he was hired to ghostwrite a work of science fiction for Hidden Key Publishing. You can learn more about his work in his CV or by sending an email to contact@justinmeckes.com.