I’m doing something I haven’t done in a long time. Something that has become a joke to many. Something the cynical argue one would only do because they’re pretentious.
I’m sitting in a coffeehouse, writing an article.
I used to go out to cafés nearly every day of the week to write. That was back when I was unemployed and needed some semblance of a schedule. Something to get me out of the bed in the morning and started on my writing. And I’ll tell you something. Despite the stigma writing in a coffeehouse often carries, I accomplished goals. I got work done. A lot of work. By the time I actually scored a teaching job, I had finished writing my first novel, a collection of short stories, and a number of anthology submissions.
The irony (or more accurately the reality) of course is that once I got a job–something that actually does keep me on schedule, getting up in the morning–I ran out of time to write. Which also meant no more morning trips to the local Panera Bread for free refills and ink-slinging.
For the past three years I’ve been writing from home, between grading essays, errands, and lesson planning. It works–sometimes. Other times it doesn’t, but that’s what life is I guess. Trying to do everything you want in a limited amount of days, months, and years, then trying not to regret the things you never get to.
Not long ago, my brother Mike and I launched this website about coffee. Just because I haven’t had time to frequent coffeehouses doesn’t mean I’ve ceased consumption of coffee. However, launching this site has rekindled my desire to seek out new and fantastic procurers of fine beans.
And so I find myself here, in Café Duet, a fairly new café in downtown Stroudsburg. It’s a small place, which I like. They have minimal seating, but there is also an outdoor patio, which is great, especially as we get into the hotter months. I love the little wooden tables, the wood floors, the record player churning out good tunes, and really everything about the feel of the place. But that’s not why I’m here. Not really.
I’m here because they do coffee right. They brew only Stumptown coffee, which is roasted fresh every week, specifically for their shop. They rotate out the beans every week, always staying seasonal, always staying fresh. Until recently, they even brewed every coffee using a French Press. That’s how I had my first cup here. Now they use a Fetco automated pour-over machine, which first worried me, but having tasted the coffee, I see why they made the change.
It produces a cleaner cup that is perfectly extracted. What I’m drinking now is Organic Indonesia Gajah Aceh (quite a mouthful). This coffee tastes like coffee. Not burned, over-extracted, bitter, been sitting in a pot for five hours, sludge. No, this has intricate flavor. There’s a light citrus note on the front end that bleeds into a mellow nuttiness. Through the middle dark fruits. Delicious.
I can only hope that the summer will bring with it ample time for writing, because if I can swing it, Café Duet would make a fine place for a morning cuppa and a few thousand words. Do I care what people think when they see me typing away on a laptop in a coffeehouse? No, not really. Let them roll their eyes at the wannabe writer. I’m doing what I love, and I’m enjoying it more than ever.
Now if I could just finish grading these essays.