“Clouds in my coffee…”

I twirl in my hand a pre-packaged Americano. The beans are already ground and shaped and all I have to do is pierce the pod and press a button; no measuring, no pressing, no plunging, no fuss. No ritual. Ritual is a most pleasant precursor to enjoying coffee but is entirely superfluous to just chasing a caffeine hit.

 Happy International Coffee Day.

We hope you enjoy your coffee and think of the world’s coffee farmers who make every cup happen.

– Blogged the International Coffee Organization. Everything else has its day so why not coffee? Autism Awareness blatantly and unapologetically claims for itself an entire calendar month each year. And I’ve recently taken to painting my own head every April 2nd. Just because…

Coffee accompanies thinking as easily as thinking accompanies everything else. But thoughts lead to uncomfortable spaces.

I wonder how many of the world’s coffee farmers could afford to buy their own coffee back from the roasters; how exploitative the coffee trade must once have been for the concept of Fair Trade to even arise; how exploitative it likely still is – I understand very little about Economics with a capital E but, in that context, I assume ‘fair’ means ‘minimum’. Did someone harvest these very beans by sheer accident of birth? And what do they drink to see them through the day? What were their ancestors allowed to drink? The equatorial line represents divisions far beyond the geographical.

My cup is fluted and the small volume of dark liquid still sitting in the bottom now tastes bitter; and not just because I’ve left it to cool.

Post Noon, I always switch to rooibos tea. I look to the tin on the window sill and imagine who might have grown those leaves and whether they take the same warmth and comfort from their tea that I do. I doubt it.