Taking it To-Go

I have had several friends from foreign countries point out to me something funny about the modern American culture: we are always going somewhere with a beverage.

The to-go cup of coffee is seen everywhere. We carry sodas, smoothies, teas, and protein shakes in travel cups, tightly sealed so that we can enjoy them on the go. 

Are we really enjoying them though? If we are moving about the world in such a rush, how can we focus our attention on the drink in hand? Enjoyment requires attention. In order to really appreciate something we must give it our attention. Do we truly enjoy the cup of coffee if we cannot smell it? So much of flavor and aroma are linked to our sense of smell, but our to-go cups place a barrier between us and the coffee, so how can we really get a sense of what it is really like?

What are we really looking for in these moments? Are we there to appreciate the coffee, or do we just want caffeine? Are we sipping on a soda in the car for the pleasure of it, or are we just looking to distract from the drive? Do we really appreciate the taste of the smoothie, or do we just want food without having to dedicate our attention?  

Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy. A good cup of coffee can completely change your day (and not just thanks to the caffeine). Take a moment to enjoy the aroma. Think about the people who were involved in the planting, tending, and harvesting of the beans. Express gratitude to those that fermented, dried, and roasted the coffee. Take a sip and listen to what your senses are telling you. Even if you’re in a rush, you can still take 30 seconds to appreciate, savor, indulge, and be grateful. I promise you it will be worth it.