Coffee – My Kind of Art

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In the past I’ve written about my favorite coffee pub, Rooster and Moon. This time though, I just want to write about experiencing coffee – good ‘ol delicious brain awakening coffee….hmmmm. I’ve come to believe that coffee is a type of art. I mean, why not? The taste is of course the first priority but it definitely enhances the experience when it’s done well, such as the gorgeous and delicious latte featured here from R&M. What if we used coffee images, like the one showing here, as inkblot tests? Can you imagine….you’re on a coffee date with someone and you lean over with your latte to ask “So, what do you see in my coffee inkblot?”. Could be very interesting…

Coffee and I go way back. My mother is from the Dominican Republic, home of some of the best coffee in the world in my opinion. And I would like to think that my opinion counts since I’ve been drinking coffee since the age of elementary school. Cafe con leche was my introduction to the coffee world. It’s Spanish for coffee with milk. What they don’t specify in the name is that it’s chock full of sugar as well. If you think that was not enough of a sugar high for kids, don’t worry…we also had it with frosted flakes for breakfast! Whew! Of course this dietary habit would take place when I was actually visiting the Dominican, not so much when I was in the US. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really enjoyed the Dominican coffee, Cafe Monte Alto from the Ramirez Coffee plantation in my mother’s hometown, Jarabacoa. Check it out and stop by for a visit if you’re ever in that beautiful part of the world.

According to Wikipedia, coffee is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world. Studies have shown that it has health benefits, such as antioxidants and the caffeine is not harmful as other forms of caffeine tend to be. It’s woven into multiple cultures as well, with significant meaning to people.

Think of how you enjoy coffee? Or if you don’t enjoy it for yourself, how do you see other’s enjoy the beverage? There’s a comfort to it that, as my Italian friends like to remind me, should be enjoyed sitting down and relaxing, versus  in a to-go cup as you rush to work.

I hope you savor a lovely cup of coffee today and that you take the time to learn something new about yourself by looking into the inkblot of your coffee art.

What Questions Would You Have About…

Starting your own business?

What questions would come to your mind if you were considering working for yourself? I may be in a corporate job currently, but at one time I had my own small business. I am finding that people, friends and strangers alike, are coming to me with questions about starting their own business. I want to provide them with more than just my insight – I want to gather a collection of questions that people have about starting their own business. That is where you can come into the picture, regardless of whether you are considering your own business. Send me your questions about starting your own business (use the “leave a reply” form below to send me your comments or email me at amalia4482@gmail.com). Make sure to note what kind of business it would be: for example, service or product oriented, food or retail, and so forth. And don’t limit yourself – think big and tell me about what business you would start if you could start any business of your own today, no limitations.

What I find fascinating, is that the best way to answer questions is by asking questions. Ultimately, the really important answers to questions about starting your own business, need to come from yourself (I’m pretty sure that this also applies to most aspects of life). It’s just a matter of asking yourself, or having someone else ask you, questions. There are a lot of different types of questions that need to be asked when starting your own business and the most important ones to start with are what I like to call the “driver” questions. They embody the passion and values that drive someone to have their own business. This is the most important phase of starting a business and it is crucial to keep it as your focus as you move forward. These questions will vary according to each person and there are no right or wrong questions and no right or wrong answers. We can have fun with it. For example, would you want your business to sell a service or product that you are passionate about? Or can the service or product be anything as long as the business supports your quality of life and values that you want to be living? Or perhaps you want your business to embody both? Asking these questions can show a person that you can “earn money doing what you love” and you can also “earn money to do what you love”.

Then there are “building material” questions. The answers to these questions are the practical action steps for starting your own business – they start to bring about life and form to your drivers. These are along the lines of organizational structure, partners or no partners, internet-based or office-based, overhead costs for materials, registering licenses, and on and on…this may seem like the least fun part of starting your own business, yet if you have come to your answers of the “driver” questions, your motivation will make this part entirely worthwhile.

Overall, I recommend that understanding your passions and life-values is the key place to start. That may seem overwhelming for some people since life changes and if you’re like me, you can’t imagine planning for even 1 year down the road, much less 5 years or more. But that’s okay. The best businesses out there are made to adapt and change, whether that is due to economies or due to a shift in your passions and values. Businesses are not set in stone and neither are you. Hmmmm, maybe that’s why some people want to start their own business? There’s a good question.

Forget Sugarplums…Pumpkins Are Better

Have you noticed how early Christmas decorations start to go up now-a-days? What about the icons of Thanksgiving, Fall and the harvest? What about pumpkins?

Pumpkins are one of my favorite foods and favorite warm fuzzy feelings of the seasons changing. I make it a point to visit a local pumpkin patch each fall season once October hits. This year I chose to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens Pumpkin Festival in Littleton, CO. My friends and I took some great photos of the scenic red barn, fields of bright orange pumpkins, and setting afternoon sun. It was beautiful.

Pumpkins and Me

When Thanksgiving comes around, pumpkins can decorate the table, the fireplace mantle, and of course they delight us as pumpkin pie! I’m famous for eating pumpkin pie, breakfast lunch and dinner, the weekend of Thanksgiving. That’s my weakness….pumpkin pie and a nice hot cup of fresh brewed coffee. Nothing better. And I do it all over again at Christmas time too.

Let me know how you enjoy pumpkins and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!