The Purpose and Philosophy of Coffee

The Purpose and Philosophy of Coffee

Why do you drink coffee? As in what are the aesthetics, philosophy or purpose of your coffee drinking? If you’re a serious coffee drinker, these are topics of delightful contemplation. For coffee not only stimulates activity, work and thinking, but inversely invites reposeful contemplation. Coffee seems the perfect compliment to awareness, right?

The whys of coffee drinking are bountiful, of course, and is usually a melding of many different perceptions (brain neurology, bio-chemistry, just plain sensual stuff), events we’ve experienced or knowledge accrued, or lots of subconscious conditions (the archetypes of coffee pleasures according to Carl Jung, yah).

I started drinking coffee as a dilettante when I was 19 years old, while in a theological seminary (philosophy and metaphysics), and was having to do late night vigils and study periods, and work periods. A very welcome late night treat when our team was working hard was fresh brewed coffee with a slice of toast thinly layered with butter and strawberry jam. That treat fueled many a night of hard work and study. And for long meditation vigils at night, just a cup of piping hot coffee to start it off. That coffee was purposeful and pleasurable, and it wasn’t a brand or anything outstanding. Just the usual stuff off the shelf. But it became a still-energized memory and practice for me. It added to my philosophy of coffee as a centering, pleasurable, rewarding ritual.

Now, speaking of purpose: the first known coffee makers and drinkers were Sufi mystics in 15th century Yemen who drank it strong to stay awake for their all-night spiritual practices. Their coffee philosophy was to use it as a practice aid.

What is your purpose and philosophy of coffee drinking? It’s coffee fuel for thought, and thought that makes you want to go to your coffee. Works both ways.