Stop creating waste, foster your own wellbeing and drink coffee as it was supposed to be drunk.
from a coffee cup.
Walking around with a keep cup might be helping to save the world, but who’s going to save our souls?
Australians may consume a staggering 6 billion cups of coffee a year but a quick Google of “coffee” yields interesting results that suggest it’s a long time since we thought about the actual ritual of drinking a cup of coffee. The highest ranking online searches on coffee range from “How many calories in a cup of coffee?” through “How to remove coffee stains,” to “How to start a coffee van business”. Search a little further to, “What your coffee says about you,” and we might be getting a little nearer to the point - just how did we end up this obsessed with our daily cup of Joe and why are we hell-bent on ruining the planet in its pursuit?
If indeed a caffeine fix is paramount to the very fabric of our day, shouldn’t it be a more enjoyable undertaking? More than a mere tool to “get us going”, isn’t part of the appeal to savour the moment? It seems we simply don’t have time to drink coffee anymore and have developed the unsatisfactory habit of picking up a takeaway coffee on the run from our favourite (mostly due to its convenient location) cafe, on the way to the car/train/bus/office and in a cup that threatens to suffocate the earth.
How did this happen?
Is it because we’re so busy with our lives that we can only fuel ourselves from a sustenance standpoint in the delusory attempt to just get through the day? Coffee certainly ticks the stimulation box but in terms of enjoyment, when we accept it in takeaway form and run through centre with it clutched to our chest, does the drive-by approach really represent an affordable win-win for the planet, the pocket or the soul?
“It’d be nice to see most people sitting and drinking and thinking about their coffee,” says Reuben Mardan, Owner of Sample Coffee from his cafe in St Peters. Reuben designed this welcoming hub next to the adjacent roastery to be “closer to the source” and was careful to create an open space with a central bar and surrounding tables - plenty of room for people to come and go without being “on top of each other”.
Using a keep cup for takeaway coffee is becoming more widespread and holds potential to stem the insidious tide of takeaway cups in landfill, however, let's take a step back to a time when coffee wasn’t available in takeaway cups.
Better still, let’s shoot over to Rome where it’s a more likely practice to grab a morning coffee on the go from a little window where your barista still greets you by name, “Ciao!” However the coffee is served in a neat little tan-coloured ceramic cup, “Grazie!” And you stand at a ‘bar’ to drink it, whilst shooting the breeze and discussing your plans for the day or weekend…
This is coffee drinking at its most pure and comes from as much not being able to balance a coffee cup on a Vespa as an inherent ritual, surely the likes of which we’re all searching for from our coffee in the first place?
“They have a much better bar culture [around coffee],” says Reuben of the Italian way, noting that an espresso or macchiato is around 30-40ml so can be consumed on the spot and enjoyed without lingering.
“It’s a very different beverage,” he says, comparing it to the longer form of milk-based coffees so many Australians favour, which are closer to 300ml and sipped on for around 30 minutes. “Though 90% of these [milk] coffee drinkers would have no idea of the origin of the coffee they’re drinking,” Reuben laments. "On the weekend people take more time, slowing down, thinking and being a bit more conscious about the beverage they’re drinking.”
If this sounds like something you could get into, it’s not such a big step to combine your morning fix with a shot of mindfulness, a cup of calm if you will. What’s more, not only will you stop contributing non biodegradable plastic-lined-and-lidded cups to landfill, you might just find yourself taking a moment in your day to pause and focus on the moment.
Let’s channel the passion we have for coffee into investing just a handful more minutes to stop and appreciate it... take a moment to well, drink it all in. The mere minutes it takes to down a cup of therapy sitting at a table might just turn out to be not only the highlight you seek in your day, but the saving grace of your sanity; the thing you not only look forward to but enjoy most.
Words | Diana Moore, TLSE
Imagery | All shot on location, by The Life Style Edit