In my quest to learn about all things coffee, I noticed that the one thing that isn’t discussed to the degree of the newest brewing method or the trendiness of the newest coffee shop that has opened in Anytown, USA. Somehow, someway we seem to miss the obvious. Coffee just so happens to be an integral part of the social structure amongst both families and communities.
Social structure, “…is sometimes defined simply as patterned social relations—those regular and repetitive aspects of the interactions between the members of a given social entity.” Don’t feel confused, there really isn’t a consensus that defines clearly and succinctly, social structure.
James Robertson’s article in the Athens Daily Review, “Family Peace Project believes in coffee for domestic violence victims” spoke about a donation drive for the month of December run by the nonprofit, The Family Peace Project. The organization, “…steps into the lives of local victims to help make life after abuse easier.” According to Marlena Taylor, the Executive Director,”…that something as simple as a cup of coffee provides that extra level of constant comfort” And you know what? I agree. In even some of the direst of situations, the simple act of preparing a cup of coffee can provide a sense of normalcy that we as social creatures need to regain focus and relax. And after we’ve taken that brief moment of respite, we reach out to others, and the unifying constant to the social structure is that plain ‘old cup of joe.
Don’t get it wrong, I am a coffee drinker, or rather a serious coffee drinker (It comes with the job. Trust me, I begin my day with an 8 shot Americano and a touch of coconut oil), but the reason that I sought a new chapter in life through coffee wasn’t because of the love of a great cup of coffee. Like a REALLY BAD cup of coffee, life can be traumatizing, it really can. I needed to focus on something that gave me comfort. The coffee ritual was very prevalent in the social structure of MY family during my childhood. Usually Saturday always started with a cup of coffee, kiddos included. Though, I remember tasting a bunch of sugar and milk and somehow the smell of freshly cooked bacon comes to mind. While the adults in the family drank their coffee, and read the paper, we, the kids argued over different parts of the comics and sipped on our coffee as well. I found and most likely will always find comfort in that routine. Yup, you better believe that coffee was a part of my family’s social structure.
During any given time of the day at Darrin’s Coffee, you’ll most likely hear people talk, cry while laughing (no sad tears allowed!), to enjoy an event, to relax, occasionally to settle problems, or just to spend some quiet time away. There is dad that comes to, “just hang out with his kids”. And occasionally, the kids bring their friends along to “chill” as well. To see a father hanging out with his teenagers while they are sipping on a mocha we made for them makes me smile; especially when it’s happening at Darrin’s Coffee. Indeed, coffee is certainly a part of the social structure, even more so when it’s healthy. I’m just sayin’.