I didn’t begin drinking coffee until I was 40. Somehow, that milestone age found me more tired than usual, and I succumbed to caffeine as the safest addiction to get me through the day. However, I didn’t slip into that dark dependence easily. Enter all the modern-day accoutrements: sugar, cream, syrups, whipped cream, drizzle.
And it came at a cost, too. Frou-frou drinks ain’t cheap, especially when you buy them at Starbucks or whatever hipster cafe you haunt. I would do a little back-of-the-napkin math, from time to time, to compute how much this little habit was dipping into the kids’ future. Hmm… mom’s $5/day cup o’ comfort vs. college fund. So far, I’ve landed on the side of: Kids might not survive ’til college if mom doesn’t get her java, so first things first, right?
One “cheat” I have found is to open up shop in your home. In other words, make a coffee station in your own humble abode. By this, I do not mean setting up your Mr. Coffee machine in a dull corner on your kitchen countertop. You’ve got to create some ambience (with props!), people, lest you incessantly keep turning over your dollars to vendors. This can be fun, simple, and inexpensive… as well as provide you an opportunity to personalize your space a bit.
You can buy your coffee accompaniments at almost any grocery, Target, TJ Maxx — you name it. Along with the usual suspects of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, pick out some fun or stylish mugs, storage containers, and syrup dispensers. Embellish your coffee and your stand with cinammon, honey, and stirrers. If your set-up is on a different floor from your kitchen, try a dorm fridge to hold any cold items. Add a vintage sign, chalk board, or picture to top it off and, voila — instant coffee… er… coffee station.
It doesn’t take up much space in your home, and you can readily find small painted cabinets and quaint coffee racks on CraigsList or at second-hand shops. My particular version of a coffee bar found its way into my loft bedroom. I may not have breakfast in bed but, by gosh, I will have hot coffee!
Whatever you do, make it your own. Inviting, interesting, inspiring. Perhaps your own little sanctuary. Or a humming social center, replacing the water cooler, for your family and friends to gather. Whatever you like. Just make sure you want to come back for repeat business.