I have a really nice coffee machine at home. I even have a mini-presso for Cranky. I live 30 kilometres from town. But more often than not, I have my coffee out.
I’m part of a coffee culture Generation that got into cappuccini and the utilitarian flat-white in our early 20s post-university. Now, I feel somewhat lacking in my day if I don’t have the caffeinated hit of warm milk.
My favourite coffee is smooth, with a hint of chocolate and a nice aftertaste devoid of ‘coffee breath’. Some days more ‘zing’ is required. A little more espresso and little less latte. Then the venue. My favourite coffee place is unassuming, child-friendly and does its own cake. Even better if we can find those characteristics with a view. Not much of a list really?
The ideal coffee might be produced ethically by a rare order of cloistered monks in the Peruvian Andes, who serenade the drying of the beans with centuries old chants while perched on high altitude rooftops, before being hand delivered to the other side of the world by llama and pigeon, to be house roasted, then ground and prepared by a waif-life, tattooed, moustachioed hipster barista. In what world? Make no bones about it, I want to like the waif-like, tattooed, moustachioed hipster barista who prepare the life-giving elixir of coffee but all too often you get ‘the look’.
A fair interpretation of the situation. They must see a harried mum, with more hair out of place than in, in activewear with wriggling child/ren at my hip and a handbag laden with nappy pouch, trucks and tractors, and with my purse inconveniently hidden beneath all of the aforementioned child detritus. But, ‘the look’ in the direction of the children, who most likely would like a small chocolate milkshake in exchange for peace, is all it takes. I know it won’t matter how good the coffee is, I won’t be lingering. Child-friendly doesn’t mean playgrounds, children’s menus and easy wipe surfaces. To me, it means that my children and I are welcome to enjoy the menu, its wares and the chance to sit down.
Since having children my coffee routine has taken a more dependent and habitual turn. Not only to face a day fortified after a broken night of sleep nor, to face the ever-energetic nature of little boys with boundless enthusiasm to move. It really is so that I can sit down.
That is why I have my coffee out. It means that I have my coffee at the ideal 65 degrees, it sits down in front of me and the expectation is that I sit, sip and savour. All too often coffee at home is made, put down and rediscovered when a dank and dreary 7 degrees.
Having coffee out is also good for DSX and DSS. They learn in micro-moments the social norms of sitting, of ordering or having a moment of respite in a morning of groceries. We all get to relax, take respite and revitalise. It doesn’t always work, no dear me, it does not. I’m more than aware of disturbing other peoples mornings out than I am my own enjoyment. More than once I’ve consumed my coffee (grateful that it is precisely 65 degrees) in double quick time, got the milkshakes to go and made a break for the door.
It might seem to the casual observer that my penchant for coffee is indulgent. Yes, it is. I wholeheartedly agree. Dammit. In a day of being a mum, if a cup of coffee is one of my highlights then, yes, I will continue to indulge. And I won’t be defending my position again.
When we are at home we love to support:
The Little Darling Cafe, Darling St, Dubbo
The Def Chef, Macquarie St, Dubbo
The Outlook Cafe, Wingewarra St, Dubbo