coffee.: When a Menu is a Promise.

down the aisle



We walked from the street pavement to checkered tile floor up an aisle where a wall to the right and full tables to the left were like an usher,  delivering us up to a coffee bar where one tall lean man waited for us. It felt like we were being led to a commitment, a decision that was going to end in a promise. Isn’t that what a barista conveys when he stands at a bar near a menu, that he/she will make good on the vow of those drinks proportioned to be. In part I think so.

To be honest, when I looked at the menu, I didn’t know what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want, and this day, with the weather wet, a little cool, it coaxed me to consider something for comfort. But I wanted more of. a punch, espresso, milk but nothing too milky.

Mychael asked me what I wanted. I saw doughnuts, cute little vegan doughnuts. I wanted one of those for sure. But I also wanted coffee. As I looked again at the menu I saw the macchiato. Did I want that? I kind of did. But, wanting that is problematic sometimes. So there I was, looking up at my barista wondering do I tell him like ‘yo, you might not get this right, and yo! I’m concerned about the milk proportions to the espresso. Because macchiato’s are special, they are a delicate relationship of milk, coffee and micro foam.

Don’t worry, this story has a good ending and this is where the story gets good for me. I told him. I told my barista my concerns. Because forget that ‘we can’t speak up business.” I spoke and Michael watched. Then, it was my turn to listen. My turn to be a customer and let the barista be a chef of drinks. He assured me with that their Therapy blend was appropriate for the task and the pull by the lady with the long hair, steamed with some wonderful color, that a macchiato was not only doable but able to be pulled, with milk foamed to minimal proportions. I was assured. And, then ordered. The drink was already happening as an experience for me before even sipping it.

Isn’t that what anyone wants when they walk down an aisle that leads to a promise? The promise and the reality, that what we’re told we can have will actually happen. If coffee was a ball it’s out the park here.