Even though I don’t really think that the caffeine has much of an effect on me, I will be the first to admit that I am completely in love with coffee. My mornings, especially the early ones I’ve been experiencing as of late, are undoubtedly better when they include a cup of freshly-brewed coffee.
Having spent a substantial amount of time in Madrid, I can say with confidence that American coffee has nothing on that of Spain. Granted, coffee quality will vary depending on where you venture in the States. The Bagel Company, for instance, isn't the most elite of coffee stops (sorry, David.) Even so, coffee is just better here.
|Some of the best cups of coffee I've ever had.|
While the quality of coffee got a whole lot better once I touched down in Spain, that actually isn’t what makes it here so much more wonderful… Well is it the delightfully strong aroma? Nope. How about the endless selection of drinks? Naw. Those little cookie-things they give you to dip in your coffee?? No, though a good guess…
The coffee here is so completely amazing because of the atmosphere in which one consumes it.
Here, coffee isn’t something you drink out of a to-go cup as you run to your next class… Instead, you save it for when you meet up with friends and converse about your day. In Spain, coffee is meant to be shared.
It is over cups of delicious coffee that dreams are spoken out loud, confessions are made, and advice is given. No wonder then that I have yet to see a coffee-drinker on any of my early morning metro rides… Admittedly, this confused me immensely during my first couple weeks here. All these Spaniards couldn't possibly be morning people, could they? But once I had my coffee-epiphany, it all made sense. Spaniards love coffee just as much as Americans; they just treat it differently.
This isn't really that surprising when you think about what motivates our two different cultures. As a whole, Americans are very individualistic and driven by efficiency. Spaniards, in contrast, value community and relationships immensely. Consequently, putting time aside to drink coffee with someone close to you isn't a chore or nuisance, but a joy.
So what’s the take away from this? I’m not saying skip the coffee in the mornings… How else are you supposed to make it through those 8 a.m.s? What I am saying, though, is to not forget to set time aside for the people who are most important to you. Share a cup of coffee (tea, water, etc.) with a friend and sit there for more than just fifteen minutes. Give a little bit of yourself and you will be amazed at what you get back in return.
Until next time friends.