Here in South Central PA it is supposed to snow today. Snow BIG. So I want to give you something to warm you up as you stare helplessly out the window at the growing blanket of whiteness. I’m talking COFFEE.
I am a little bit of a coffee snob. I don’t care what you think about it, I just am. Life is too short to just make do when you don’t have to. And I’m not so addicted that I won’t survive without it. I don’t like McDonalds’ coffee. There, I said it! Not even their “new” coffee. I do like Dunkin Donuts’, so you know I don’t disdain purely on cost basis alone. I mostly like small roast, local shop, coffees. I love macchiatos. Not those Starbucks, over milked, whipped creamed, caramel covered things. It’s a shot of espresso with just a tiny dollop of steamed milk. But this is my treat coffee. I want to focus on everyday coffees today.
I like the coffee I get at diners, especially at the Salunga Village Restaurant. It’s such a small, mom and pop shop, that it’s wonderfully surprising that they have locally roasted coffee there. But when I’m buying coffee for our home consumption (whole bean, naturally), I want to get fair trade. I saw a mini documentary on the coffee industry (or at least the farmers’ portion of it) and it was appalling the conditions these people lived and worked in. Especially considering the piddly amount they got paid. From that point on, I made a special effort to purchase only fair trade beans. And the price isn’t so high that I can’t justify the cost while helping people live better.
What’s the best part about coffee? It’s a ritual drink. Everyone has their own way they prepare it (I prefer dark as night and sweet as sin, to steal from Neil Gaiman) and their own way they prefer to drink it, on ice, in a mug, quickly, slowly, in the am, in the afternoon, after dinner, the choices are endless. Some people only drink it at home, some only in coffee shops, some only in drive-thrus. Many people don’t care as much about the taste as they do about just getting it in. This is where my snobbery comes in. If coffee tastes like crap, then I don’t want to taste it. It’s that simple.
So what does all this have to do with jewelry and being an artist? Anyone, anyone? You don’t have to put up with cheesy prints and cadmium jewelry unless you choose to. For some, this choice is fine, but others prefer to pay a little bit more for quality work. You can support local artists the same way you can visit local coffee shops instead of Starbucks’ or McDonalds’ (yes, or even Dunkin Donuts’!). But isn’t life too short for bad art?
# # #
If you’re in the area, I recommend Square One Coffee on Duke Street in Lancaster, PA; Folklore Coffee on the Square in Elizabethtown, PA; Salunga Village Restaurant on Main Street in Salunga, PA; and Jennie’s Diner if you are out Route 30 East looking at the Amish, etc.