We entered the shop
and stood in line for service.
I held Anders in all his winter clothes
and watched Addie explore the shop as only a 3 year old can -
finding all the things you wouldn't want a 3 year old to find.
We did what we often do:
Becky ordered a regular coffee - the medium roast if that's an option,
and I ordered an espresso,
and then we bashfully ask for a small cup with a little frothed milk for Addie to sip on.
We call it a babyccino.
That was also Anders' name while he was unnamed in Becky's belly.
Most of the time the barista understands what I'm asking.
And only once have I been charged for it, thankfully.
We waited for just a minute until the espresso shot was pulled
Addie and Becky were already sipping on their drinks.
We stood at the end of the bar
letting our kids roam
while we drank our drinks and talked about them.
The cup of coffee was good -
smooth and light.
But the espresso was unbelievable.
Though I have had some incredible espresso shots,
I hadn't had espresso like that before.
The flavor can only be described as brilliant.
It was from Kickapoo Coffee, based out of Lacrosse, Wisconsin.
I talked to Caleb, one of the owners of the shop, about the Modbar espresso machine he had.
We enjoyed our morning at Five Watt.
The pancakes were a blast, too.
The thing that hit me today about that visit was something that's been with me for a while now.
I think of how incredible it is that that espresso tasted so good.
That it's possible for coffee to taste that good at all.
And how I have had several cups of coffee that have literally blown my mind,
completely shattering my concept of what coffee is.
It blows my mind because the only way for great coffee to be great
is if those few beans that went into making that cup
had the incomprehensibly rare journey they had;
That they were a handful of beans out of billions who were cared for the entire way through.
From growing up in a field between the tropics,
surviving animals and weather,
getting picked by one person,
sorted by two more,
stepped on by another
washed by one set of hands
pushed around on a patio in the sun
and finally bagged up.
Sold at a small dusty market
and put on a ship that crossed the world,
and arrived at a roaster
where a thoughtful, intent, focused person roasted them with care -
roasting them until the sweetness balanced out the bitter, bright notes
so that when those beans were perfectly extracted and sipped,
the sweetness welcomed you,
and the bright, juiciness made you stop.
This only happens once in a while,
but the authenticity of that moment,
and the positive energy from such a journey,
stays with you.
It's half the buzz.