Starting my day with a steaming cup of hot coffee is one habit I particularly enjoy, and one I’m sure many of you share. Coffee is especially comforting in the bleak midwinter, hence the arrival of my new coffee cards.
Coffee’s sweet aroma wafts throughout the house as I grind the beans, and then again as I pour the steaming water over the grounds. This decadent smell seems to float through the air, following me around as the house awakens. I usually take my first sip in the middle of my morning workout. One would think I’d prefer a cold drink of ice water, but hot coffee seems to hit the spot.
A Step Above the Ordinary Cup
On a particularly cold or blustery day, I fire up my La Pavoni espresso maker. This vintage machine has been serving me faithfully for nearly 25 years. It continues to deliver delicious coffee drinks to friends and family alike.
While I have several syrups and can create a wide array of specialty drinks, my personal favorite is a straight-up latte, made with locally sourced whole milk and locally roasted and freshly ground coffee beans. It’s no wonder that I’m quite attached to my coffee habit.
Why We Love Coffee
Why do we crave a hot drink on a cold day? Why do we choose to meet friends in coffee shops? Where does our coffee obsession come from? I believe it at least in part stems from our predilection toward the nostalgic.
A Source of Memories
For me, drinking coffee started as a social event with those who were special in my life, my family or friends. We enjoyed sweet treats and a cup of coffee, always resulting in lengthy conversations and thus cherished memories.
A Travel Companion
Coffee drinking also holds significance because of its role in my wanderings. When I travel, I regularly scout out the best coffee shops. Some of my fondest memories include sitting with family or friends in a funky coffee shop in some strange and far-off city.
A Place to Meet Locally
Then, of course, I must not forget the local coffee shops. I’ve spent more time and money in these wonderful places than I care to admit! However, good times and great conversations are the irreplaceable fruit of these meetings. Time with loved ones is hard to come by, so I cherish each of these visits…and the accompanying cup of coffee.
My Husband’s Moka Pot Tradition
A number of years ago, my husband started a tradition. He would make us a moka pot of coffee when we were in the depths of a big (and usually unruly) outdoor project—one typically involving the yard, garden, or garage. As you moka pot aficionados know, these pots don’t make much coffee, just two small cups of this very stout elixir. But it hits the spot every time.
Not to mention, my husband usually makes it when we’re working in cool, blustery conditions, thus a hot beverage is welcome. Over the years, this little moka pot tradition has blossomed into more than just a cup of coffee. It’s a shared memory between me and the man I love. It’s a pause that refreshes and unites.
The Coffee Art Collection
Because I often drink coffee while writing cards, I inevitably needed to paint a series of art designs that revolved around coffee. I chose to include my favorite methods of brewing along with some of my favorite cups.
Truth be told, I am in love with my La Pavoni espresso maker, so I had to paint it. As I created this design, the lines and details of this beloved machine had to be just right. Now as I look at the card design, it epitomizes what I love so much about coffee: serving it steaming hot to those who enter my home.
The next brewing method I painted is one I use every day, the French press. My husband and I have brewed coffee using a French press for decades. After breaking many glass beakers, we opted for a stainless steel insulated pot a few years ago. The insulated quality is a particularly nice feature. I admit I have a quirk; I like my coffee really hot. This pot does the trick in fine form.
The most common method of brewing coffee in Italy is a moka pot. These little pots were invented by Alfonso Bailetti in 1933. He named the pot after Mocha, a city in Yemen that was renowned for particularly good coffee. My fondness for this brewing method made this pot a shoo-in for this collection.
Coffee beans are actually the seeds inside the coffee fruit, which looks like a small cherry. The branches hold beautiful clusters of red coffee cherries. A coffee tree will take four to five years to produce its first fruit and then will only produce about a pound of coffee beans in a single year. Knowing that these beans take so much work makes me appreciate each cup of coffee even more.
I have many favorite coffee mugs and cups, but choosing which ones to paint was an easy decision. My first choice was an ancient blue and cream Spode espresso cup and saucer that I picked up years ago in a second-hand shop. The other cups are a set of multi-colored, striped espresso cups. Their bright colors bring me joy every time I drink from them.
The next time you sit down to write a thank you note or get-well card, I hope you’ll choose a card with a coffee pot or cup on the front. And inevitably, doing so will inspire you to make a cup for yourself. Because what better way to write a card than with a steaming cup of coffee at your side?