The Wait(er) magazine website is going through some changes and a couple of my articles have been taken down. In the interest of keeping them out there and getting as many people as possible to read them, I’m reposting them here. This one was originally published in August 2013.
Before the sound of coffee beans plunging to their deaths and the incessant queries of customers requesting half-sweet-soy-no-foam-no-whip-extra-hot caffe mochas and then changing their mind after you’ve painstakingly crafted their beverage, there is peace in my cafe. We open at six, so baristas are scheduled to begin work at five-thirty. Thanks to temperamental public transit schedules, I arrive at five. I let myself in, enjoying the emptiness and silence broken only by my footsteps across the still-immaculate floor. The coffee brewers loom behind the counter like sleeping giants and the partially dismantled espresso machines are waiting patiently to be reassembled and awoken for a day of pulling shots and steaming milk. I turn the oven on as I walk by and it roars to life. Like me, it also needs thirty minutes to fully awaken and embrace the day.