Blog | Feb 15, 2011 | 14 Comments

[writers and coffee]

[a love story]

I woke up feeling like crap this morning. Then, within a very short time, I was downright chipper and had happily begun motoring through a to-do list that had previously seemed completely overwhelming. What’s my secret? Coffee. And more coffee.

Creativity really taxes your brain. Mine needs some help.

I frequently wake up feeling sluggish and unprepared for strenuous things like productivity and creativity. I often wonder whether I should just go get a retail job that doesn’t tax my brain. Then I drink the first cup of coffee, and another, and–it’s magic! I get my stuff done. All of it.

In fact, I originally wanted a coffee theme for this blog. Unfortunately, a little research turned up blog after blog with virtually the same visuals: a messy desk covered with papers, books, pens, a laptop (sometimes), and a big cup of coffee. So I had to ask my blog designer, Lori Randall Stradtman, to find a WordPress theme that didn’t have my favorite beverage in it.

Writers love coffee houses, too.

I once wrote a blog about working at Roy’s Station in Japantown in San Jose. I’ve written numerous blogs there, and at Cafe Trieste and Peet’s. Coffee house refreshments and atmosphere are essential to the creative process. It’s also true that when you work from home, you can get dead bored hanging out where you live all day and all night.

Where does this drug come from?

You can go to wikipedia and read about the real history of coffee, but I like one snapshot from author Judith Merkle Riley. She described how this new drug  became all the rage in Paris in the 17th century, and coffee houses were almost like opium dens. I laughed as I read her description of the giddy aristocracy sipping this black liquid and feeling invincible. (I think this bit is in The Oracle Glass.) Not much has changed!

More resources for coffee lovers

Check out this hilarious poster on 15(ish) Things Worth Knowing About Coffee, from The Oatmeal. (If you’ve never been to this site, do yourself a favor and go now.)

The Coffee Detective blog has everything you need to know about coffee buying and brewing. I have a single cup coffee maker, which doesn’t make the very best cup, but it makes a darn good one very conveniently. I’ve heard that French presses make the best-tasting coffee, and I have two of them for when I want a cup that’s “hand-crafted.”

Here’s another coffee-related blog: Coffee Sage. I got a big kick out of this post: Is Starbucks [sic] Trenta Size Making Us Fat And Do We Really Care? The answer is “yes,” it’s going to make us fat and go into a diabetic coma, and “no,” we could care less.

And if you want to learn some new ways to brew coffee–even in a sock!–check out this blog: Six Ways to Brew Coffee Around the World.

Because–big surprise–this is an addiction, folks.

Just for grins, add a comment and tell me your favorite cup of coffee. Mine is just a strong cup of regular coffee with milk or half and half. Occasionally, I like a really good Italian-style latte, like they make at Cafe Trieste.

Photo credit: Me. I bought this coffee in Portland. Don’t you love the name of the roast?
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Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

14 Comments

Coffee is the best thing in the world. I normally have two cups before I can get moving. That and six cigarettes!

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

God, I love cigarettes. There, I said it. Fortunately, I was only a casual smoker and stopped about 25 years ago. But when I’m really stressed, I dream about smoking and I feel better when I wake up. Having said that, Natalie: you gotta kick the habit, girl! Maybe pair your coffee with chocolate???

[Reply]

Natalie

2/15/2011

Way to go Claire, have been looking forward to reading, now for another cup this ones empty \_/

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Kevin, so nice to see you here. I so enjoy your tweets. I’m lifting my cup to you now – cheers!

[Reply]

Kevin Green @MySOdotCom

2/15/2011

Claire – I had to laugh, as I am reading this while drinking a fabulous latte from Dana Street Roasting in Mountain View, which I needed to kick-start my day! Thanks for the Java-themed blog. /Anne

[Reply]

Anne Janzer

2/15/2011

Love this!! Excuse me while I head for a cuppa inspiration, er, Java.

[Reply]

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Patricia Sundik, Kevin Green and Claire Wagner, Claire Wagner. Claire Wagner said: Coffee and writing: why it's an unbeatable combination. http://ow.ly/3WkhV […]

I double-venti-moccachino like this.

BTW, read “The Coffee Traders”, by David Liss. A WONDERFUL book about the beginning of the coffee craze in Amsterdam, 1659. Historical fiction at its best. Perfect coffee house reading in-between being productive. I’ll lend you my copy.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Sounds great – I know I would love it.

[Reply]

Lisa H.-S.

2/15/2011

We can’t leave out “Uncommon grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World” by Mark Pendergrast. Such detail! This is a book for true history coffee buffs!

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m getting out my Kindle!

[Reply]

Alison Drake

2/16/2011

I’ve been having a hopeless love affair with coffee for 10 years. I am saddened she is cheating on me with you.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

When it comes to coffee, we are all hopelessly enslaved. Maybe we could write a sad song about this love triangle. We could use the tune to “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, and substitute the name “Caffeine”…

[Reply]

Cheryl Harrison Reply:

LOL – yes. I’m in.

[Reply]

Cheryl Harrison

2/21/2011

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