The Perfect Cup of Coffee


What makes the perfect cup of coffee?

For Bill Dallas it’s Folgers and the reminder of what his fellow inmates and Lifers taught him at San Quentin.[1]

For Brenda it’s a treat at Starbucks when her days are filled with kids, work, making dinner, packing lunches, and the never-ending to-do list.

For me it’s serenity, love and luxury.  I kept half a cup of coffee going during my waitressing shifts in high school. (This is probably bad for developing humans, so don’t do it kids! Coffee that is, waitressing is ok.)  It represented a moment to myself between hectic rushes.  In college it was my late-night companion.  Later, the timer ensured the coffee aroma filled the room before I got up.  The occasions when others brought me a cappuccino or mailed a coffee card, it was an act of love.

A luxury that I never take for granted

In SE Asia, along a dirt path, locals welcomed me with coffee.  They would have never dreamed of drinking it themselves; it was too valuable.  As they placed the tray in front of me, my mind was overloaded: I silently railed against the cold brutality of the global economic system we’ve created while awestruck by the overwhelming generosity and grace of these individuals.  Maybe there was hope for us all.

Across the vast ocean of inequality, they smiled and quietly waited for me to…do something.  I struggled to convey my appreciation.  To this day, I’m certain they have no idea what their gesture meant to me.  It was the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted in my life.

I love coffee

Coffee is a luxury I always appreciate.  I carry images and memories of the toil and care required to create each bean.  The world’s 25 million coffee farmers provide the 400 billion cups of coffee we enjoy every year.  The paths we create, hand-to-hand, with the coffee industry can be tracked globally; they connect us all–and if we pay attention we can change the world.


–What is your perfect cup of coffee?



1. See: Lessons from San Quentin: Everything I Needed to Know about Life I Learned in Prison, by Bill Dallas and George Barna.


9 thoughts on “The Perfect Cup of Coffee

  1. What a Great cup of Coffee of Life. Its a stream of light–making its way–through our windows–to penetrate our vision–as it begins–to ever so slowly–drawing the curtains of darkness away. Thank You Lord–“Amen”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. H!–I could not resist–your vision of life- in my eyes–a short poem–Title–“Honest You Are” The Beauty of your Smile–Is My Dream for the Day–The Sparkle in you Eyes–Is Like a Galaxy of Stars–that turns the Darkness of Night–too the Light of the Day. Honest You Do Thank You Lord—“Amen”
    God Bless Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post makes me feel guilty that my love for coffee has now been reduced to leftover sludge warmed in the microwave and my morning coffee moments nothing more than chasing kids, feeding the animals, and rushing to work while stealing sips before it goes cold yet again. Even still, life is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re in good company, no doubt! I’ve also made cowboy coffee when I didn’t have proper coffee-making equipment. If you’re unfamiliar, that’s coffee made in a frying pan. Yes, it’s an acquired taste! 🙂


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