Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

We just moved into a new home in New England. Still dividing our time between India and the U.S. but wanted a place here to hang our hats.

Loving it. Even though it’s the middle of winter.

Our next door neighbor hosted a dinner party for us last Saturday. They invited three other couples. So a total of ten.

It was so nice. We never would have met these people during this wintery season. Most people are hunkering down indoors.

Now we know a bunch of nice folks.

One of the neighbors told me that when she moved here in October another one of the neighbors also hosted a dinner party to welcome them.

How very thoughtful. How very kind.

I thought to myself, “This is fabulous. I will do this for the next person who moves into the neighborhood!”

Kindness begets kindness.

We sometimes forget the rippling effects of kindness.

Have a great day and go create some ripples.

I am on my way to my new neighbor’s. She’s hosting a ladies’ coffee for me.

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The other day I was reading a blog that I follow.  The fellow is fighting early onset Alzheimer’s and in this latest posting he was sharing his anger.

At God. At everything.

He discussed his feelings with a friend who is a pastor.

Wanted to know why he feels so angry. This is what the pastor told him.

“You have a right to be angry,” he tells me. “It’s okay at times to be angry at God. The book of Psalms is filled with such raw emotion, asking the Lord to ‘rouse thyself.’ We all think God is sleeping at times. ‘Wake up, we say, get on the job!’ The anger is understandable, yet misdirected. God doesn’t impart disease, but the Lord will use illness to bless.” 

Some weeks later, this same pastor delivers a sermon to the congregation. Says that they all have a choice when walking through the darkest valley. He said, “Don’t squander the opportunity. Grow through what you go through.”

That’s a difficult thing.

He then shared a parable with the congregation. I had never heard it before this.

A young woman went to her mother. Told her how things were so hard for her. She wanted to give up because she was tired of fighting and struggling. Seemed as one problem was solved another one arose.  

The mother brings her into the kitchen. Brings three pots to a boil. Puts carrots in one. An egg in the second pot. Ground coffee beans in the the third pot. 

Twenty minutes later the mother takes them out of the pots. Puts the carrots in a bowl. Then places an egg in another bowl. Ladles coffee into the third bowl.  

Asks daughter what she sees. 

Daughter replies, “Carrots, egg and coffee.” 

Mother brings the carrots to her and asks her to feel them. She does and finds that they are soft.

Then the mom asks her to take the egg and break it. The daughter finds a hardboiled egg under the shell. 

Mother then asks daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiles as she tastes the rich, aromatic coffee.  

“What does it mean, Mother?” 

The mother explained that these objects all faced the same adversity: boiling water.

Each reacted differently.

The carrots went in strong, hard and unrelenting. But after being subjected to boiling water the carrots softened and became weak. 

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting in the boiling water its insides became hardened. 

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.  

I have friends who are currently facing adversity. In the form of breast cancer, early onset Alzheimer’s, divorce, the loss of a beloved child and the loss of a loving spouse.

All of us face or will face some type of adversity in our lives. Comes in many different forms. Visible and sometimes not so visible.

I suppose we cannot escape these things that are totally beyond our control.

Okay, so what exactly can we do?????????

We can be coffee.






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Just attended a lovely coffee hour(s) in our neighborhood. Designed to welcome the new neighbors. In this community there is always movement. So there was a good showing.

I just love seeing people making connections. Fostering new relationships. Possibly meeting friends. Finding resources. Sharing suggestions and ideas.

Just fabulous.

I have always loved this. When I was a little girl I am sure that my mother rolled her eyes more than once.

I made more than one “tea” date for her. Kind of funny since we didn’t even drink tea. We were Irish Americans. Not Irish. Coffee people all the way.

But I guess I wanted people to meet my mom. Or have her meet them.

Just call me Yenta. Maybe my new blog could be called, “Just Being Yenta.”

There was the time I made a date for her with the woman who was back from the South. And living with her young children at her father’s home across the street. I was young. I couldn’t know that her husband was in jail.

Another time was the mom of a friend I just made in kindergarten. Her mother was German. I think maybe she spoke English.

Hey, I was five at the time! There was a lot I didn’t know.

But maybe, just maybe, everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.

We all need a sense of community.

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I know about Kopi Luwak. I had heard about this coffee before, of course, but learned a little more about the actual process during a jungle trek here in Malaysia.

I like coffee but I am no connoisseur. You could give me a cup o’ Sanka and I would be totally fine with it. As long as there is cream and sugar.

Kopi Luwak is mostly produced on Bali, Sumatra and Java. I was in Bali this past weekend. Our driver for the day pulled into an area for a cup of coffee. Of course, I am thinking, “Sure, it sounds like a nice idea but the reality is I will have to find a restroom within an hour.”

But I am the easygoing sort. So I follow. It is a little place cut into the jungle with benches and awesome views of rice ledges.

There is a cage and I see a civet. That is the name of the cat that produces Kopi Luwak.

The civet. Where it all began.

The civet. Where it all began.

This nocturnal creature eats coffee berries, digests only the husk and excretes the coffee bean. And people spend thousands of dollars on the coffee made from said beans. You’ve heard of the goose that laid the golden egg. Similar story.

My first question. Who was the first person that came upon a pile of dung, spied a bean and thought it might be a good idea to have a little taste? And would they ever admit it? Maybe a Balinese frat boy joke?

Second question. Who was the marketing genius that came up with the idea to sell the coffee? And can the next Democrat running for president use him in a few years?

Third. Does it really taste that good?

I only have an answer to the third question. My personal opinion is that it doesn’t taste all that great. I’ve tried it. Again, I am no connoisseur but still don’t think it’s all that great.

Actually this is where it all began.

Actually this is where it all began.



Roasting away


Grinding the beans

I sort of have a problem with animals being captured, locked up in cages and being forced to eat loads of berries just so they can defecate and make someone tons of money. I also think there’s a lot of coffee being sold under the guise of Kopi Luwak when in fact they are just knock offs. C’mon, it’s Asia. The land of the knock offs. I am currently sporting a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses that I probably paid five dollars for in Chinatown.

And like how would you know the difference? I can just hear someone saying, “Nope, this is the real thing. It tastes like crap.”

I feel badly for the civet. He’s probably thinking, “Geez, all I did was go to the bathroom outside. It’s what I do. Where’s the crime in that? And can’t you all just go buy mink coats?” Maybe he continues this line of thinking with, “And who doesn’t have to go to the bathroom after a cup of coffee? Should we be punished for it?”

Hopefully, this trend will fade away and the civets will be free to eat their berries, repopulate and sleep all day.  I suppose they have to sleep all day because of the coffee ingested at night. I just hope they will one day be able to sleep peacefully. Without fear of capture.

From a steaming pile of dung to a steaming cup of Joe. The End.

From a steaming pile of dung to a steaming cup of Joe

And no, we didn’t purchase any Kopi Luwak. Although I did buy some ginseng coffee. I can only pray that no ginseng was harmed, held captive, forced to defecate after eating berries or killed during the coffee-making process. I just wouldn’t be able to sleep.

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Some years ago I was watching a television program called The Arsenio Hall Show. A young black actor and comedian, Arsenio Hall, was the host. His show ran for about five years in the early ’90s. He invited guests and then interviewed them for our consumption.

This one night he had Lyle Alzado on the show. Lyle was a former athlete who was battling brain cancer. He was discussing his illness and steroid use. And right in the middle of this terribly sad litany Arsenio (looking distracted or bored) interrupts him and says, “Yeah, yeah, where you from?”

What???? Where you from???? The man was dying. And you want to know where he was from???

Okay, this was not funny at all. But to this day my younger brother and I will still mention it. More than ten years later. If one of us is bored with a lengthy conversation we might just say, “Yeah, yeah, where you from?” And we laugh. Because it was crazy!

For some reason Arsenio was not relating to this fellow at all. And couldn’t fake it. So he callously ignored his role as a talk show host. And his role as a compassionate human being. And tried to find some connection. Something in which he could relate.

And as we all so often do- this starts by asking, “Where you from?”

I totally get that part of it.

When my husband meets someone in business I ask,”Where are they from?” Daughters have a new friend? I question, “Where are they from?” Shoot, people ask me where I’m from all the time.

Folks just looking for some type of connection. Maybe we lived in the same area. Maybe we’ve visited the place. Maybe we have a relative who lives there.

Yesterday, I attended a coffee hour for new school families here in Kuala Lumpur. And there was a lot of that.

Where are you from? 

There were women from Belgium, South Africa, Scotland, England, United States, India, and other countries. All just trying to connect.

As long as we are sensitive and caring then this phrase could be the ultimate icebreaker. The start of a friendship. Newly found common ground.

Where you from?

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