Sunday, January 9, 2011

For the love of COFFEE...and Friendships

Yesterday, very early, I drove in a light, poetic snow, first to the nearby Long Gate Shopping Center's Safeway, which houses a Starbucks, then over the Patapsco River Bridge to ATWATERS in Catonsville, and finally meeting a friend at the Trolley Stop in Oella for breakfast. Drinking coffee along the way and talking to several women who were serving it--a gratifying experience, for sure.

On the Way. Holiday decorations are still up here on January 8th...lights on porches and in trees. With the foggy windows, I felt buoyed up, a kind of forced joyfulness, self-created and coffee-induced, then momentarily sailed beyond three dimensions...not really, least over some kind of bridge that separated me from post-holiday letdown, or whatever that is I see on people's faces and hear in their voices--beyond the economy and cold...and now, fresh political violence.

Coffee! How do we love thee? Let me count the ways---or names--and I am sure there are many more--these names were "borrowed online>:

 Cuppa
 Cuppa Joe
 Java
 Cafe
 Devil’s Drink (17th century name)
 Black brew
 Hojo
 Mud (as in “here’s mud in your eye!”)
 gold
 Picker-upper
 Turks Berry Drink (17th century name)
 Wine of Islam (17th century name)
 Mud puddle buzz (Australian slang)
 Everton Toffee (Cockney rhyming slang, usually just referred to as Everton)
 Fully leaded or unleaded

First Stop: Starbucks. The idea for this blog feature was Robyn, a consistently smiling and upbeat young woman whose charming professionalism never fails to impress me. Here she is, making coffee. While we talked, she recalled what kind of coffee she served my son a year ago...starting with "double red eye with hazelnut syrup..." It blew my mind! I don't have to ask her what I drink...nothing fancy, but half real; half decaf with "room..."

So, sipping the coffee out of a cup with a straw, something I poo-poohed when I saw my son doing it in August on a trip to Rehoboth beach, but later adopting it, I left the shopping center (still dark) and headed for Catonsville. That's when I photographed the blurry lights out the window, slowing, or pulling over momentarily because I was the only one on the road.

ATWATERS opens early, 7:00 a.m., and welcoming lights were on. Naturally, I found ample parking right outside the coffee shop/bakery. When I went in, much to my delight, two women I always enjoy talking with were behind the counter, laughing on a snowy Saturday morning in January, partly because the shop was celebrating its 1st Birthday--I bought a small loaf of bread, coffee, and received a coupon for more bread, to be used another day. Here are Ona and Karrie, behind the counter, under shelves of the most delicious bread!

I couldn't leave without photographing the shelves of coffee, and although I am not plugging any one place or any brands, I must say that--in my opinion--this coffee has a beautiful flavor, and is most beautiful when ATWATERS brews it. I am still seeking that perfection with my little green plastic cone with #2 brown filter paper. Yeah, good luck! This coffee drinker, with cap down, didn't care if I put part of him in the photograph because he was too busy getting his morning coffee "fix."

Finally, later in the morning, I met a good friend in Oella at the Trolley Stop to have a Bloody Mary type breakfast, an every-once-in-awhile-occasion, and after we talked and ate, we ordered coffee--as a chaser.

Once back in Ellicott City and my apartment, peering down into ATWATERS' familiar brown bag, I noticed my gloves were curled around the contents in a manner that made me smile. I did not pose "them." And so ends another morning on the Java Road in Ellicott City and beyond.

Blog feature/photos: Kay Weeks
With appreciation--Robyn, Ona, and Karrie.

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Kaye said...

Good one, Kay. Sounds like a really good morning. I love the gloves hugging your coffee cup!

Anonymous said...

Anyway, I was saying that I felt like I had been with you for your morning jaunt, stopping along the way and meeting those friendly people. The bakery looked divine! Just about my favorite food! And meeting a friend for breakfast, superb! Lovely start to your day . . . .

Karen J. Olsen
Redmond, WA

Anonymous said...

Hello Kay! All of us at Atwater's always enjoy your visits and conversation. We love getting to know our customers on a first name basis. It's the way Catonsville has created itself into a small town comfort zone and the real reason why you come! Sure, the coffee's fabulous, but so is the atmosphere - especially when filled with folks such as yourself. See you soon!! Ona

Anonymous said...

Great, Kay...I really enjoyed this blog. You know what a coffee lover I am...and Atwater's has the BEST (from coffee to soup to bread)! I, too, felt as though I were accompanying you on your java jaunt. Happy Anniversary Atwater's!!
Sharon Crain