Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Go ahead. Pour a cup of coffee. Enjoy the fragrance and the flavor. Coffee is good for you. It stimulates brain cells. Here's an idea... Why not be a barista?

Coffee is a commodity that falls in and out of favor with health professionals, social graces and economic availabilities. I recall the first time I heard coffee was dangerous for human consumption. The warning coincided with my new-found pleasure of drinking it. While ignoring any danger signs, coffee shifted back into the healthy column. Believing it could keep the consumer mentally sharp and alert, people kept drinking it and coffeehouses popped up from coast to coast. Health professionals no longer limit patients to two cups a day. Actually, one health magazine (Aug 2011) stated women 65 or older who drink three or more cups a day were 33% less likely to experience a decline in verbal fluency than their one-cup-a-day counterparts. - confirming this is a good time to be a barista!

Coffee plays an important role in our social expectations. It is routinely served to clients or guests and it is commonly available for business meetings. Coffee klatches were vital in managing child care and community interactions while raising 'boomers.' Every housewife was a barista - and didn't know it. In the 21st century, men, wives and mothers, pick up drive-thru coffee in paper cups and conduct business, social and community interactions by cell phone.

Coffee has been at the center of political and economic disturbances, too. The first coffee house documented was in Istanbul in 1555. Coffee houses in Europe became gathering places for people of all walks of life to discuss trades, arts, finance, theater, politics; solving problems and, sometimes, causing them. Coffee became the drink of choice in America when tea was taxed and thrown into the sea. The cost of coffee fluctuated from, "Brother, can you spare a dime," during the Great Depression to a $10 Latte four-score years later. Currently, poor harvests and increasing demand has elevated coffee to its hightest price in fourteen years, according to a June 2011 business magazine, but cost isn't stopping consumption. Branded coffee and coffee houses continue to earn impressive profits.

It is intereting to note a 3-day training class to become a barista is $1425. Here is my theory: If the aroma while making coffee is beneficial to one's brain cells, and drinking coffee stimulates brain function, should that $1425 be deducted on the IRS tax form as a busines expense, educational investment or as health insurance? What do you think? I'd like to know.

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