A good cup of coffee can actually leave you weak in the knees, and at a loss for words with a high temperature. Seriously. This rush is especially experienced as you take your first sip of caffeine. It forms part of your senses which leads you into another mysterious dimension.
As emotional beings we invest in things that make us feel good. It’s like when you were younger and your parents came home with a new pair of sneakers. Those shoes were no longer seen as just shoes, but the moment you started wearing them in the bath tub and strategically placing your legs outside the tub so that they don’t get damaged, is when you start altering your universe around them. The sensation made you feel good inside and out which is exactly what coffee does to people. It alters the universe around one hot beverage.
Whether you like the idea or not, we are all farmers at heart. We all grew up playing “farmer-farmer.” We made sure that we don’t eat the watermelon seeds (not just because our mother told us that a watermelon could grow in our stomachs!), apple seeds, grape seeds, all kinds of seeds, actually anything you could stick into the mud, say a little prayer over and hope to see a full-grown tree tomorrow. Agriculture has always been, and will always be part of our lives. Where do you think your Nescafé Gold comes from?
Terms such as “Coffee is life”, “But first coffee”, “Procaffeinating” – basically a tendency to postpone everything until you’ve had a cup of caffeine – are now part of our daily vocabulary and lifestyle.
It makes us feel part of a movement amongst a generation that is fast-paced, energetic and open-minded.
Starbucks saw this revolution coming a mile away and took full advantage of it. They first came up with the idea to write the customer’s name on their coffee cup making them feel special, but then people started feeling nostalgic and ran with the idea by creating coffee-merchandise. From coffee mugs that have your name and city printed on it, to T-shirts with fun slogans like “Coffee helps me expresso myself”.
Now if you just happened to be a single fellow sitting in a coffee shop sipping a chai latte wearing a “Coffee is my first love, but you can be my second” T-shirt, you are bound to walk out with the cellphone number of another coffee lover or even the barista if you are really, really lucky. This warm drink can open up more doors than you could ever imagine.
One door it has certainly opened for Uitenhage coffee fanatic Gerald Pietersen is the door to his own coffee shop. Agape Café shares their love for coffee with the people of the Eastern Cape as they serve quality coffee that would make you spend hours at the shop just to order your second or third cup of caffeine.
“That moment when you take a sip of a decent cappuccino and you feel it in the tips of your ears, and it starts to settle in your feet, you know, you just know!” says Pietersen, describing the wonderful sensation of a coffeegasm.
Pietersen also describes coffee as an important part of agriculture. He believes that any business can and will last as long as you want it to, and that in the case of a coffee shop it depends on the owner, market and the quality of the product they are serving.
He knows best that coffee shops are no longer seen as your granny’s favourite hang-out spot. Coffee shops, such as Agape, create opportunities for young adults to grow and are often safe spaces they can call their “home away from home”. So, next time you drive pass a cute little coffee shop, stop procrastinating and start procaffeinating.