The Very Best Bean

My dear reader,
Steve and I often refer to our home as the “Holtz House Bed & Breakfast,” because of the steady stream of friends, family, former neighbors/co-workers/classmates/ teammates and travelers who stop and stay awhile. But “bed and breakfast” is a misnomer since I rarely make breakfast. (If you’re lucky, I might throw a box of granola and some Greek yogurt on the table for you.)
What you will get here is strong, fresh coffee, a little half-and-half (or almond milk), and some raw sugar, if you please. Whenever you decide to rise and shine, I will promptly brew a pot of my signature blend – a precise ratio of name-brand blonde roast and a specialty Italian coffee that I order on Amazon – and hand you a mug.
(Just had an epiphany… Perhaps we should call this the “Holtz House Bed & Breakfast-Blend.”)
Coffee is one of my favorite things. Can’t you almost hear Julie Andrews’ lilting voice: “Dark roast and light roast from arabica beans. Mocha and Kona and Ethiopian. Blue Mountain beans from West Indies trees… These are a few of my favorite things.”
My dad likes to tease me about my order at Starbucks. He thinks it’s ridiculous: “I’d like a grande iced coconut-milk caramel macchiato, no vanilla syrup, in a venti cup with extra ice, please.” (My beverage of choice on days when the temperature is above 70-degrees Farenheit.)
“I’ll have a venti Americano with room, please.” (My cooler-weather coffee drink. Easy peasy.)
Or… my caffeinated-cocoa kryptonite…
“Venti coconut-milk peppermint mocha with three pumps of peppermint and two pumps of mocha, no whip, extra chocolate curls, please.” This is my personalized version of the finest and most festive holiday espresso drink ever crafted. It’s like Christmas in a cup! My friend Julianne vehemently disagrees. She calls it “the toothpaste mocha.” (Says it evokes a distinctive just-brushed-then-gobbled-a-Hershey-bar pairing.) She much prefers her venti three-pump gingerbread latte, light whip. To each her own when it comes to festive holiday espresso drinks, I guess.
For the record, I’m not trying to torment busy baristas with my rambling order; I just know what I like. And I always say “please” and “thank you” and sometimes I tip too. (When I don’t need that extra single for the automated vacuum at the car wash.) But my father thinks it’s absurd. This is his order: “Small coffee, please.” He won’t say “tall.” I think it’s a personal protest against all those uppity, jittery, persnicketty coffee snobs. Like his daughter.  I’ll bet Dad doesn’t even know it’s National Coffee Day today. He’ll just drink his one cup of black coffee and rinse the cup and go on about his day like it’s just a regular Thursday. For shame.
I think the reason I like coffee so much isn’t simply the elixir itself, although I could sing the praises of its aroma, its uplift (never underestimate the perks of a good caffeine buzz), its myriad of flavors and brews and blends and bliss for at least three paragraphs. It’s what coffee has come to represent: long talks, dear friends, good cries. Comfort, warmth, togetherness. Sipping and savoring some Sumatra and each other.
And yes, I do think Folgers was right. Sometimes, on dreary/rainy/cold/hard days, it’s the best part of waking up.
This morning, I thank God for my bright, beautiful Aunt Peggy and my fun, funny Uncle Rich who are arriving today at our “Bed & Breakfast-Blend.” I thank Him for bone marrow donors and healthcare professionals and healing and hope (without which my aunt wouldn’t be here). I thank Him for hugs and stories and giggles… and the gift of time.
And I thank God for coffee.  I think it’s His very best bean.
 Wishing you a perfectly blended, freshly brewed, bold, bright day!
P.S. Speaking of coffee, the winner of the Happy Fall/New Follower/Starbucks coffee contest is Nancy Hall of Naperville, Illinois. I will be sending her a complimentary copy of Treasure Hunter and a gift card for a pumpkin spice latte (extra whip!) or another festive fall beverage of her choice. Blessings and congrats to you, dear Nancy!