My friend Albert has written a book on constitutional law. Currently, he is on a promotional tour discussing the various nuances and intricacies of the Constitution. He is debating heavy topics such as First Amendment, Gay marriage, Freedom of Speech, Obscenity, etc.
I on the other hand am writing a blog on coffee. Yes, coffee! Yesterday, I experienced a dead hand. I thought, I am a practicing attorney and the partner in a law firm, yet I am writing about something as trivial as a cup of coffee. Should I not be discussing serious subjects such as trademarks, patents, copyrighting and even if I do discuss coffee, shouldn’t it be in the context of interstate commerce rather than merely describing my enjoyment of the frothy beverage! Doubts started seeping into my mind..am I shallow? Is my cerebral matter limited to the extent of discussing only “froth” topics? Then I sternly admonished myself and said…I love coffee, it is not a mundane topic, it is not trivial. In fact, it is probably one of the most valued products in international commerce these days. Many a contracts are drafted around coffee, many a closed door corporate meetings are held around coffee, many a brain storming sessions are held for coffee and most importantly many a cups are enjoyed all over the world. So, I am basically writing an analytical piece on an international topic (so, I tell myself.)
I am an olfactory challenged person. My sense of smell and taste have been destroyed by a chronic sinus inflammation. Alas, the doors of the wonderful world of discriminatory palette, discerning taste and the new “hip, recently discovered” sense of UMAMI are ever closed for me.
New York City
As you must know by now, I am a being of finesse and luxury. My affliction however leaves me gustatorially (if that is a word) challenged! With the paucity of my olfactory senses I cannot discriminate the boldness, flavor, body, aroma and finish of my very favorite beverage-COFFEE!!
So what do I do? I use the neurotransmitters in my brain to provide me the pleasure that drinking coffee does to connoisseurs.
I use my hands to feel the warmth of the cup. The joy of cupping my hands around a hot cup of coffee on a cold day and feeling the warmth seep through is inexplicable. Forget about the unsightly brown cup sleeves that were solely designed to avoid a “burn lawsuit.” I will take my chances with second degree burns!!
I use my eyes to visually thrill myself with the steam emanating from the cup. The delicate brown swirls in a cappuccino exult me.
I use my tongue to feel and imagine the bold aroma of the concoction whiffing through the steaming cup.
I use my brain to imagine the far flung corners of the globe that the coffee has been imported from. Imagine a hot, steaming beverage coming all the way from the forests of Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia, India and Columbia, an ode to international commerce in a culinary global world!
Imagine all the people who work on the coffee plantations and have the joy and good karma of tasting and smelling the fresh roasting of the coffee…brings tears to my eyes. You might think I am being melodramatic as it is JUST coffee and WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL!! Well, it IS a big deal for me!! I love the warm beverage as it invokes feelings of happiness, community, relaxed times with loved ones and a moment of respite in our hurried lives!
The act of drinking any coffee, whether it is a cappuccino, Madras coffee, cafe lungo, cafe macchiato or Turkish coffee, brims my heart with frothy rapture and bliss…whether I can taste it or not, who cares…AFTER ALL it is “ALL” A STATE OF MIND!!