July 6, 2007

Java Jive

Category: Feasting :: Permalink

Grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the following:

* “Making the Most of College: Finding Your Coffee Community” by Bethany Warren.

Coffee lends itself to these third-place scenes. It warms and soothes the body, and gives a quick energy boost. People drink it everyday, and many go to the same places everyday to get it—coffee is the second most highly traded commodity in the world! You’re likely to run into people repeatedly that you don’t know outside the shop, and get to know them there. Those people you meet due to regularity will meet and blend with your usual friends. Suddenly the retired grandma you met last month is chatting with your roommate, and they find out they are both originally from the same hometown a few states away. Your close friend discovers that he shares a favorite drink with the businessman sitting near him at lunch, and the association they form over weeks of showing up at the same time and ordering the same thing eventually leads to an internship. A mill worker chimes in during a meeting your project group is having, and gives you an idea for your presentation. All the while, the coffee is flowing.

* “The Scandal of the Evangelical Coffeehouse” by Gideon Strauss.

The kind of intellectual circles we need … do not exist in the ether of the internet. However much I love the world of blogs and magazines, I do not believe that it is possible to foster a truly rich intellectual life other than face-to-face. It is important for small groups of people who think hard about the big questions of life to talk with one another all the time, over food and drinks, playing around with ideas in an atmosphere that allows for the serendipitous interaction of imagination and reason, current information and ancient wisdom, literature and politics. Only in such an atmosphere do ideas become adequately emotionally charged for them to be propelled into the public square with the necessary vigor. And that atmosphere demands coffeehouses in a very-much-not-metaphorical sense. 

I dream of the possibility of living within a streetcar’s reach of a coffeehouse where I can sit down with a good magazine, and within an hour or two be embroiled in a loud argument with four or five friends about the content of an essay. But finding a neighborhood with such a coffeehouse, and with such friends, will probably take more than dreaming. It may even take sacrifice.

* The Social Life of Coffee by Brian Cowan.

* “The Gift of Lisabet” by Kirsten Vander Giessen-Rietsma.

* And, for you who are new to this coffee shop stuff, here’s some Coffee Shop Lingo.

Now let’s hope I can write my sermon quickly and get out of my office and into a coffeeshop sometime this afternoon.  I’ve been trying to do that more often, not only because I enjoy coffee (though, alas, no one in Medford does a cortadito and Bucer’s in Moscow is too far away!) and not only because I enjoy coffeeshop culture, but because that’s been part of my ministry ever since moving to Medford.  I sit in coffeeshops, drink coffee, read, and strike up conversations with people or have people strike up conversations with me, often after they’ve spotted my clerical collar.  There’s nothing like an environment with food and drink for sparking conversation, as several of these articles point out.

Posted by John Barach @ 12:06 pm | Discuss (1)

One Response to “Java Jive”

  1. Bcferpg Says:



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