Essentials, Journal


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 in the morning, 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 then evenings when I want to do some reading or to set the mood for a little downtime.

Black coffee is fine by me. 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 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 you know, it’s a stimulant. And too much can cause me to experience the jitters or worse, anxiety. That’s why when I think I’ve had too much coffee, I make a pot of tea.

photo: Jo Lanta

This entry was posted in: Essentials, Journal


Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten novels and is the author of several children's books. You can learn more about him at or by sending an email to