Tag Archives: coffee


Until recently, all water ever was to me was an ingredient in coffee. Or tea. Or something to wash things with. Or something to swim in and / or drown in. Or something to admire while it falls out of the sky. Certainly not something to drink straight. What are we, animals?

Raw, colorless, flavorless, odorless, might-as-well-be-empty water. What the fuck. Why even bother? Surely juice or milk or coffee are exponentially better alternatives. Or alcohol, depending on your agenda. As a barista, nothing pains me more than when a customer walks in for nothing but a bottle of water. It’s the ultimate insult to me, the magician, the potions master behind the counter, concocting water into coffee, to serve somebody unadulterated H2O that will never live to brew a single coffee bean.

But all my life, adults have told me to drink water, like my life depends on it. And all my life, people around me just keep inexplicably sipping plain water for no apparent reason. It’s like some really elaborate practical joke that everybody’s in on. And it’s beginning to get out of hand. Just look at the state of the drought on the west coast. And I read somewhere that humans are mostly made of water, but anyone can see that’s bullshit. For one thing, if I were mostly water, what’s to stop me spilling all over the floor? And if two thirds of me is made of any fluid, it’s obviously coffee.

But during a routine complaint about my chronic lack of energy, migraines and / or indigestion, etcetera / [insert-other-generic-symptom-here], it occurred to me that maybe the problem has been my refusal to drink water, all along. It suddenly became clear as, say, a glass of water, that maybe I’ve just been dehydrated for years. I sweat and bleed coffee. Maybe it’s time I try this mysterious invisible substance.

the daunting (reusable!) glass of liquid torture that stands between me and my coffee every morning

So since last week, for every cup of coffee, I must first consume an equal size serving of water. And although it’s been a real bitch to kick my strictly-coffee-only habit, it was a worthy change to force myself to make. I’m no doctor, and I can’t definitively promise you that water will cure you of anything, but it certainly can’t hurt you. In the short time I’ve been on the stuff, I’ve noticed changes in my skin, my tummy problems have perhaps slightly improved, and most of all, I’ve been more energized. I find this ironic. Water wakes me up better than coffee. Maybe my caffeine tolerance has grown too high, but unlike coffee, water doesn’t hit me with a crash a couple hours later that leaves me narcoleptic / comatose in public places.

But health benefits aside, my commitment to earn a cup of coffee only as a reward for an equal portion of water has attached a conscious action to an automatic habit of having another cup of coffee, and another, and another, which is easy to do behind the counter handling an unlimited supply. But now, I’ve become all too aware of how much coffee I actually consume, and I’ve been forced to pace myself. There is such a thing as too much coffee. Just ask my friend Eugene what happened to his intestines after eight consecutive shots of espresso. Coffee is a drug, just like any other, and you can overdose, indeed.

So if you’ve been neglecting your recommended water intake, as I have, just drink it. If clean drinking water is available to you, be thankful that you have it. Filter it. Fill a reusable water bottle with it. I use glass jars and a metal water bottle, with lids that seal. Whatever you do, don’t waste unnecessary plastic. Make some room in your routine to wash your coffee down with water. Or chase each shot of booze with an even fatter shot of water. Your body is a garden. Water it if you want it to bloom.

Be The Change

This year, I’m wishing Merry Christmas to my customers at Summit Coffee by walking my talk and giving the gift of sustainability. In the spirit of Gandhi, and Summit Coffee, I’m being the change I wish to see in this world by forcing reusable plastic travel mugs on all our regulars.BeTheChangeI love the coffee shop I work at, and I’m proud to caffeinate Redwood City’s finest coffee fiends, but I would be prouder without the hundreds of paper cups and plastic lids we fill our trashcans with. I’m just as responsible for contributing hundreds of paper cups as our customers are. If I want the world to be more sustainable about consuming coffee, I can’t wait for everyone else to decide to switch to travel mugs. I, the barista, have to be the change. If I don’t want to see to-go cups go to waste, it’s my job to refuse to waste them. It’s my responsibility to offer an alternative. So I’m converting customers to travel mugs, one cup of coffee at a time.QueenOfCupsThis marks the first year of a hopefully lifelong tradition I plan to carry to my future coffee shop. Most coffee shops offer some kind of customer loyalty reward, but why not reward regular customers with a free reusable travel mug? They’re the ones who come in every day. Sure, it’s not cheap. It’s an investment. Just think of the money you’ll save on the long-run on hundreds of single-use to-go cups. Just think of the business your commitment to sustainability will bring you. Just think of the waste your coffee shop won’t be contributing. One person behind the counter in one coffee shop touches the lives of hundreds of customers every day. It’s that easy to make a difference.

edroLargeDecafMediumLatteAdorableAlmondSoyLatteJamesRobertoPickingUpForWifeMeleLouSmallCoffeeSumitViceMayorRWCFatherDaughterJessAmigoOnTheGoCupsTheBoyzTheUsualsTheBoysIf you want to see a change in this world, you have to be the change. So be it.