Pouring The Season Into A Cup: My Five Favorite Drinks For Autumn

What kind of drink gets you in the perfect autumn mood?

Halloween’s over and done with and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you can finally start pretending you didn’t just destroy your diet with fistfuls of candy…even as you stock up on eggnog. I’m certainly feeling the chill in the air (and the regret in the distance), figuring out how to keep my office space warm and admiring the fall sheen on the trees. This week got me to thinking about all my absolute favorite homemade drinks. Everyone’s got a thing that just never seems to leave the cupboard…and if it does, has to be replaced at all costs.

I’ve got a three cupboard’s worth of favorites, but for the sake of brevity I’ll sum up my top five seasonal go-tos below. Who knows? You might just discover a new love.

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It’s All In The Wrist: How Much Does The Coffee Brewing Method Matter For The Final Cup?

We all have our own little rituals when it comes to coffee.

Some folk just have to make theirs at home. The baristas can never seem to get it right! Others aren’t too picky and just want to get as much caffeine into their system as possible before the morning rush. No big. The art of the subtle details can be bought and this is where better equipment comes into play.

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Do You Remember The 29th Of September? America’s Very Own National Coffee Day

Let’s be honest…every day is national coffee day. For the sake of acknowledging the Western calendar and not being a total scrooge, however, let’s go ahead and pretend like the 29th of September is any different!

There are lots of deals popping up today and only so much time to get to them all. Your endless cravings for cappuccinos just hit the jackpot.

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Don’t Get Too Cozy, Washington Coffee Culture: California Is Brewing Its Own Reputation

When it comes to coffee, Washington is widely considered by many Americans to be the king of the hill. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s the birthplace of Starbucks, after all (as well as the subject of many an ironic eyeroll when discussing hipster culture). While most coffee comes from outside of the United States, the Pacific Northwest has put in a lot of work to cultivate its go-to image of frothy lattes sheltered beneath cloudy days.

It’s not the only state sharing the top spot, however.

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Is That Your Final Answer? Fifteen Common Questions I Was Asked As A Barista

The human condition comes in a tall or a venti, it seems. After a few years of serving lattes in movie theaters and old-fashioned cafes I started seeing a different side to the mundane.

It’s not just bagging or grinding that inspires naval gazing, but sitting back with your hands folded in your lap and doing a tally of all the sometimes-funny, sometimes-frustrating questions brought to your attention during an average shift. Why do so few people seem to know what a cappuccino is? Why do so many expect a part-time employee to be omniscient? Is this the real life? Call it soul searching with a dollop of creamer.

Being a part-time or full-time barista may be a common job, but that still doesn’t put a dent in some of these questions! Thanks to these I can approach the vast world of coffee from multiple angles…and many of them humorous.

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Here are just ten common questions customers had about the process nearly every time I was behind the counter:

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A Conversation With Joe: What A Mug, Cup Or Can Of Coffee Has To Say About You

Coffee isn’t just a drink to perk you up in the morning. It’s a personality test.

One person may drink their coffee black with a nigh-religious fervor because they like to keep things simple. Others need a big dollop of sugar and milk to get it tasting right because what is life but a series of indulgences? Yet more prefer to brew at home rather than swing by their coffee shop of choice because they’re flat broke. It’s fascinating how much coffee speaks to our personality, lifestyle and interests.

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What separates a great song lyric from a forgettable one?

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Ever since starting my Sharing The Goodness series I’ve been getting more and more into the art of songwriting and the impact it has on me. When a lyric sticks with me through more than just the melody, and sometimes exactly because of it, it causes me to look inward and analyze myself from head-to-toe. Why did this particular line bring me to tears? What makes this lyric echo in my head more than, say, this one?

Some might cite songwriting’s relevance to whatever they’re currently going through in their life, while others might prefer something more on the poetic side. You can glean a million different interpretations from a single line and below I’m going to take a look at some stand-outs I’ve been thinking about lately.

If you’re interested in some good music from primarily lesser-known artists and bands, check out my past Sharing The Goodness posts where I looked at disco and funk as well as soul, folk and lounge.

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1. “Is my head in the clouds or are the clouds in my head?”

from “Smoke And Mirrors” by PATRÌCE

I’m going to start this off with the song that inspired this Sharing The Goodness spin-off in the first place. I picked out the S.G. Lewis remix in my Youtube recommendations line-up a little while back, originally finding it a touch stale…yet I came back to it again and again. There was just something about the echoing, mysterious hook that stuck with me. The best part? Thanks to the stylistically filtered vocals, I actually had no clue what they were originally saying the first few listens! When I looked up the lyrics later, I was alarmed that my favorite part was actually my favorite part.

Too often I wonder just how many of my anxieties are valid and how many are not. What’s actually an outside force trying to rob me of stability or an inside one tearing me to pieces. While there are plenty of amazing lyrics to be explored yet, it’s validating to hear a common inner question put to musical form. I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.

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