Dr. Self-Love: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Coffee

Ten years ago, I didn’t like coffee.

Two years ago, I didn’t drink coffee.

Now, I love coffee.

For the longest time I resisted the temptation — I didn’t want to need coffee like everyone else. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I didn’t want to wake up and spend $6 on a latte at a chain whose CEO sent the Sonics packing. Whenever someone tells me to watch something, to read something, to do something, I am far less likely to do it. I’ve lost track of the number of times people have forced me to watch YouTube videos that they love and I pretend to laugh with them. While no one was actively telling me to drink coffee, it felt similar.

Until 2019. My partner and I were in Oaxaca. I ordered a smoothie (fruit smoothies remain a top 5 Andy drink) and Lili ordered a Chemex pourover from Cafébre. The presentation of the steaming liquid coupled with the aroma of fresh coffee AND the ability to pour it ourselves…?

I had to try it. I wanted to try it. This was the moment of discovery I had been waiting for.

On that trip, my partner and I got engaged. It was also the first spark of a new romance with coffee. We put a Chemex pourover on our wedding registry and my sister gleefully supported the endeavor.

Still, it was my wife’s Chemex. Not mine. I would drink it with her, but only if she made it. I didn’t want to learn, because I was afraid. I was afraid I would get hooked. I was still afraid I would need it.

So many things in my life I don’t do or resist doing or question whether I should or shouldn’t do, because I don’t trust myself. Because I broke that trust years ago and am very careful because of it.

But I’m learning to trust myself again. I’m an adult (!) and coffee brings me joy. Sure, there have been times where I drank it too late in the day and I couldn’t sleep. Or I had too much and I got anxious. I’m fallible! Isn’t that great? Like beer and smoothies before it, coffee has become a passion fueled with intention, a new journey to undertake.

I wanted to share the journey of the cup of coffee I had this morning. The red fruity coffee bean was plucked from the cloud forests in Colombia by Yensy Galíndez and her team. They removed the skin and pulp then washed the beans. They sent the beans to Unity Coffee, who roasted them.

I bought the beans at Constellation Coffee in La Cañada the next town over. A cafe I went to only because my friend Kyle sent me their info. After all, they had the same name as my favorite coffee shop that we stumbled upon during our honeymoon (Constellation Coffee PGH). “Coincidence?” Kyle asked me.

Last week, I made a pourover of the Yensy Galíndez #2 for myself. It was rich and acidic yet tropical and fruity. Heavenly. I felt connected to this coffee and I wanted to give proper reverence to the artist who made it possible. So I discovered Yensy Galíndez on Instagram; I thanked her.

Within moments, she invited me to visit her farm in Colombia and we’ve been talking in Spanish ever since. She graciously gave me permission to share her photos, her work.

Her passion and love for coffee inspires me. Estoy muy agradecida a Yensy. I’m so grateful to her and everyone that has enriched this coffee journey that continues to unfold. I’m excited to see where it takes me next. Maybe Colombia.

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Andrew Greene

Andrew Greene

A writer & traveler when his cat allows, located in glittering Glendale, CA.