Not more than 4 short years ago, I considered coffee something that cowboys drank on the range...the equivalent of muddy water, with a swirl of sand at the bottom for dregs. Though I would agree, the smell of it delicious, it was similar to the aroma of abarbecue, in that the taste could never measure up to the waft.
Living a mere hour away from Seattle, one of the major coffee drinking hubs in our country, I succumbed to peer pressure and one day gave a cup of joe an honest try. Granted I would never drink it “black” like my mother did, I have to admit that with a healthy dose of steamed milk and array of wonderful flavorings, that brown water took on a whole new life and an addiction was born.
Yes, it would be far cheaper to buy a machine to satisfy my gray weather habit at home, but the fine marketing department of the coffee mecca, made it a point to hire perky people who were willing to memorize the names of all their regular patrons and their drink order. What girl does not like to be waited on by name especially in the wee hours of the morning?
Soon after discovering this new comfort, Devi arrived on the scene. Pat and I vowed from the start that Devi was joining our lives all ready in progress for far longer than hers, so we kept up the ritual of weekend coffees and simply brought her along. Hence, Story Time and Coffee Time was born and we have been partaking in this special bonding time ever since. We load up my big African Basket with juice and asmorgasbord of nuts, yogurt bites and dried fruit for Devi, toss in a few books or a game and our own cups (doing our part to save the environment) and off we go.
Over the course of three years, our coffee scene has changed many times for many reasons. While I tend to hit Starbucks during the week because of their early start time, the weekends are all about supporting the local businesses. Naturally this eases the guilt of frivolous spending, as we are stimulating our flat economy and helping the little guy (wink, wink).
For a long while we went to Art and Soul, a coffee serving-slash-ceramic painting shop, with the same employee (usually with experience in only one area) running both ends of the business. It was right across the street from the farmer’s market, and with plate glass floor to ceiling windows on all sides, the draw much more about watching the colorful pedestrians, many with a poochie or two in tow, then it was about the quality of the coffee, however it was the perfect scene for lulling a wee one to sleep. Closing for obvious reasons, we searched and found Origin 23, which wasconveniently close to Devi’s Kindermusik class. Here we found it all. Wonderful coffee roasted on site and a welcoming atmosphere with comfy overstuffed chairs, fireplace and coloring and game station for the kids. It was popular too and we soon knew and chatted with other “regulars”. Then, one Saturday in June, without warning, we pulled on the familiar door handle only to find it locked. Cupping our hands to our faces and peering into the windows, the place was deserted with not so much as a closed sign. We were once again without a coffee home. There have been several others that we visit for various reasons; Cavanaugh’s when we are walking and want to sit outside; Antique Sandwich Company when we want breakfast in addition to a coffee; and Devi’s favorite the Little Coffee House - a drive through that offers dumdum suckers to the kids, which we managed to keep a secret from her for a long time.
So why tell the long drawn out story about our coffee craving? Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. September found us still floundering for a new coffee spot so I put a shout out to T-town friends looking for a new haven. Melanie, a friend just voted the most influential woman in our city, suggested Caffe Dei. With credentials like that, I knew she must know what she was talking about, so last Saturday we gave it try. First impressions are that it is an inviting spot, with ample room to sit and very nice employees. The coffee - delicious. Devi even gave it the two thumbs up. The biggest sealer of the deal came as we were leaving. A sucker for artwork, I noticed a stack of prints for sale that were done by a local artist whose canvas originals were displayed on the cafe walls. While the walls were done in pigs, puppies and cows, I happened to find a hard to resist bunny – first on the stack of prints. Further inspection revealed the title of this particular print, THE one that caught my eye. It is called “I’ll Be Home Soon”. I love it. I bought it.
It even gives me goose bumps, or bunny bumps, thinking about it now. We’ve been praying for some sort of encouragement that our Treya will be cleared to join our family and as smooth as a steaming cup of coffee we found our sign in a bunny from our new coffee home - Caffe Dei.