finding the new normal

One person’s adjustments to feeding their coffee addiction in the time of social distancing.


I’ve fallen into a rhythm of making a cup of black coffee mid-morning with Counter Culture’s Big Trouble blend singles . After lunch I’m making cappuccinos for my wife and me. You’d think more home coffee would mean improved milk art quality. You’d probably be wrong in this case. Some days I think I’m getting better and some days I don’t; the better efforts often are sheer unplanned luck that looks like I might have done something on purpose. Here are some recent examples.

I miss my guy Sami, I worry about how he’s doing. Judging by his twitter feed, he hasn’t been at work for 11 days, and I’m sure his last few days on his usual corner were very slow.

We’re going through coffee faster at home, of course, so this presents an opportunity to show some love to roasters. I just got in an order from Vigilante Coffee, a roaster and cafe operator not far from us who produce great beans, have really nice cafes, and also teach classes (I took a milk art class there a while back). Like many coffee merchants, they’re offering free shipping on online orders.

I got a bag of their Tin Lizzie espresso blend for me, a bag of a half caff blend for my wife (pre-ground for french press, her preferred method when she’s making herself a cup), and made a donation to support their staff. I was delighted to find the box came in cool packaging, and in addition to our coffee they sent a lovely thank you note, and postcards about each type of coffee we bought. Even the tape on the box was cool.

I’ve been wearing my coffee shop tee shirts more than usual. Yesterday I sported this one from a place I visit in New Haven, CT.

Today my wife and I managed to get out of the house. While practicing appropriate social distancing, we stopped at my favorite, Northside Social, to take out lunch for the family. It was sad to see this vibrant place empty, with all the chairs up and the patio tables stacked on top of each other. I was glad for the opportunity to give them at least some business. Last night the restaurant group which includes Northside sent an email plea for donations to GoFundMe pages set up to benefit their hourly and tip staff, most of whom have been laid off. I’ve included a link to the Northside page below.

Good luck as you make your way through this terrible fog we find ourselves in, let’s hope it lifts soon. Oh, and do yourself a favor: join the rest of humanity in checking out Tiger King on Netflix. Mindblowing.

Here’s some links with helpful coffee resources:

virtual tip jars to support coffee shop staff
independent roasters selling online
buying merch online from coffee companies

GoFundMe page benefiting Northside Social’s staff

Vigilante Coffee staff support page (add-on to online orders or stand-alone donations)

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