Denver Bar Association
May 2011
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Finding Grounding in Morning Coffee

by David Erickson


here is a wonderful little coffee shop near our home in Evergreen. I sometimes stop there for morning coffee. They have a limited breakfast and lunch menu and the staff is courteous and friendly. Not long ago, I stopped for coffee, and the exchange at the service counter went something like this:

"I’d like a cup of coffee."

"What kind would you like?"

"Just a cup of coffee."

"We have all kinds," the woman behind the counter said, gesturing to the large display board behind her. The board listed numerous varieties of coffee, cappuccino, lattes, and espressos—way too complicated for me this early in the morning.

"Just a small regular coffee please."

She started, "We have Columbian, French Roast—" when I interrupted with, "Just a small regular black coffee, please. Whatever is your coffee of the day."

"I just thought you might want to step out of the box, for once," was her reply.

"I’m already out of the box," I said, somewhat defensively.

I sat down with my coffee and thought: I don’t need a special coffee to get me "out of the box." My whole life is out of the box! When I have my "regular coffee, black" in the morning, it’s to get my life back in the box. It’s the same, it’s consistent, and it isn’t complicated. If today is anything like most of my days, it will be a double butter rum latte with whipped cream on top kind of day. So, please give me my regular coffee, black, and if it’s the coffee of the day then that’s OK. Then, I’ll be grounded again. D

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