Anyone who has spent enough time in the coffee industry at some point has had the following question posed, “What’s your most memorable cup of coffee?” It makes any coffee person think for a moment – was it the first cup of coffee, the most recent, or maybe it was the one you shared with someone close. More than likely, it is one that is coupled with an amazing experience.
We decided to ask the staff, “What’s your most memorable cup of coffee?”
Allison (Barista of Kindness and Keeper of Zach):
My most memorable cup of coffee happened last winter, when I was home in Northern Kentucky for a much needed break between my first two semesters of college. My best friend and I hadn’t seen each other in months because we go to different schools so we naturally decided to catch up over a wonderfully warm cup of coffee at a local coffee and bike shop, Velocity Bike and Bean.
It was one of those reunions that makes you cry because it feels so good to actually speak in person. While sipping on a dirty chai and a cappuccino, we talked about all the things that had happened in our lives over the past few months that just can’t be shared correctly over the phone. We cried and we laughed and it was maybe the most emotional cup of coffee in the world but it was perfect and memorable and beautiful because coffee and friendship are two of the most important things in life.
Zach J. (Barista of Inappropriateness and Appropriateness):
My most memorable cup of coffee may not even be considered coffee at all. It was really more like a wonderful piece of dessert. I was sitting at a café with some classmates in a small town in Germany. As I sifted through a menu filled with foreign words I came across "iced coffee" and quickly ordered it, expecting the usual coffee poured over ice. Instead, I was given a tall glass filled part of the way with coffee and the rest with delicious ice cream that would put even Graeter's to shame. As I sat back in my chair sipping this masterpiece, eating a slice of chocolate cake, and having a view of the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle, I experienced one of the most relaxed feelings I've ever felt.
Jeff (Buyer of Fun Coffee Stuff):
I was about 15. My dad and I were in the middle of Ohio visiting my grandmother - just across the street from our hotel was a Border's bookstore, and they had a cafe inside. The coffee was simple - it was a house blend with cream - but the memories around it were pervasive: the cold fall air, the plethora of books and music, and good times with my dad.
Shivani (Barista of Conversation & Banter):
My most memorable cup of java was the classic cappuccino. It was so memorable - I had to be basic and take a picture of the coffee and post it on Insta. From everywhere I had ordered a cappuccino, the one from A Cup of Common Wealth was the best cup I had ever had, because not only was the latte art awesome, it was a smooth, creamy drink with a bold taste. It was a cold day, and my homework was getting nowhere and I drank the cappuccino and my life was made.
Joe (Manager of Crazy Cats and Bodacious Baristas):
My most memorable cup of coffee was over two summers ago, at the Anchor Grill in Covington. It was a hot summer night in Lexington, and a group of friends were drinking beers and chatting on the front porch about the Anchor. I had never been before and wanted to see this mythic place my friends spoke of with such reverence.
Somehow, I convinced everyone it was a great idea to drive through the night and eat there at around five in the morning. Some slept for the ride to northern Kentucky, while the rest of us listened to the radio and joked around. The Anchor is not an impressive place, the building is old and falling apart, the food is just above average, and the staff is friendly enough. It was also one of the only restaurants left in the state where you can still smoke inside. Naturally, I loved it.
I had previously agreed to drive us all back to Lexington, so I gulped down three of the worst cups of coffee I've ever had just so I could stay awake. As we left The Anchor the sun had crested the hills above us and the Ohio River snaked below. Driving away I knew the Anchor was a place I could never forget.
Evan (Barista of Hops and Magic):
My most memorable cup of coffee was on Christmas morning a couple of years ago. My dad and I were sitting in the living room acting as guardians over the presents. Without us, the presents would surly have been eaten by the dogs. My mom and sister were in the kitchen preparing breakfast casserole. The coffee, itself, wasn't that great. But, the people around me - my family - made all the difference in the world.
Katie (Marketing Madam for Vehicles of Anything: Coffee Art, stuff on the internet thing, and high-fives):
It was a brisk morning back in April on a whimsical visit to the windy city of Chicago. My boyfriend and I had just got done walking miles and miles on our tired feet; we were just dying for some place warm to sip on some much needed caffeinated drinks. While perusing through downtown, we saw a very familiar sign that immediately jolted a sense of pure bliss.
It was the one and only, Intelligentsia Coffee. I could barely contain my excitement as I walked into the coffee shop that first peaked my love and interest for coffee. As I sipped on a pour over, I sat back, looked at the beautiful city and it was as if the coffee had soothed my soul.
Blake (Barista of Class and Condiment-Creating):
The first cup of coffee I ever remember having was with my father. We were fishing on an early fall morning. The sun had barely risen and a heavy fog was resting on the pond. My father poured me a cup from a green Stanley thermos. I have that thermos to this day. I remember not enjoying that cup of coffee but at the same time loving it, because it was with my father.
Salvador (Owner of a Blue Door):
About two years ago I was in Selva Negra in Nicaragua on a coffee origin trip. We were cupping five different coffees from around the farm. The fourth one was my favorite and as I slurped it up the sun’s rays shot through the windows. There was something very romantic about that moment and the coffee. Surrounded by friends and colleagues, on a remarkable coffee farm, during a beautiful day, sipping an amazing cup of coffee made quite the impression on me and solidified the experience. Reminded me how vast and yet familial the industry is.
Alexandra (Bar Supervisor of Mustaches, Michael Jackson, and Oreos):
My favorite part about coffee is how it can bring people together: from strangers to friends and friends to family. One special cup of coffee I had that I will always remember was during a rough season of my life. A friend at work, who at the time I didn't know very well, came by my office, knocked on my door and held up two lattes she'd bought.
"I didn't know what you liked so I got Salted Caramel and Pumpkin Spice!" It's crazy how just simply buying that latte on her way to work would make such a difference in my day. It was not only the deliciousness of the espresso but also the love she extended to me in a time of need.
Bonnie (Barista of Wit, Sarcasm, Irony, and sometimes Hipster):
Back in November of last year, I was on an unofficial first date with my boyfriend. Over the course of this cup of coffee I told him stories about my family and vented about the communications class I was in at the time. I learned about his major and we shared mutual feelings regarding the theater course where we first met. I am not going to lie, I absolutely love when I am working in the shop (or when I am not working) and am witness to a first date over coffee. The potential awkwardness of it all, the typical first date questions, and the ‘if there will be a second-date’ prediction. Most of the time, I will never know if that first date was successful, but it's fun thinking about how many relationships, friendships, and such all start while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Zach W. (Barista of Well-Groomed Beards):
It was probably during my senior year of High School, and it wasn't even particularly good coffee. I was on a trip to France with some classmates. We had had a late night and in the morning I was drinking my coffee and enjoying the continental breakfast. I just remember looking around and watching some of my favorite people ever, laughing, chatting, and just enjoying being with each other before we all graduated and life would send us in our own directions. That's my most memorable cup of coffee.
We hope that everyone has that special cup of coffee that stays with them, like a cherished memory and precious moment. There is something incredible about it all and everyone should have that experience. If nothing else, at least have it over a tea, a beer, or some bourbon – we are in Lexington, after all.