Coffee for the ANU Student's Soul

Content warning: Discussion of sexual abuse and harassment

“I learnt about the wonders of caffeine from my dad. With his highly stressful job, early mornings and late nights, a cup of coffee or two a day was his saving grace. But it was not just that: he enjoyed the process of making coffee. When I was 17 and in the midst of all the terrors that year 12 thrusts upon you, my dad’s love of coffee was passed on to me. He bought a new, fancy coffee machine and from that day on, he would use it every morning and act as the family barista. After a while, he decided that his time as the sole coffee-maker in the household was up. He taught me how to make my own coffee and I have never looked back. Now, my morning routine starts with making a cup of coffee for myself and my mum and I’m doing it pretty damn well!”

 

“The other week I was at Coffee Lab with a friend, and I told her about the sexual abuse I’d suffered at the hands of my father. It hadn’t been an easy thing to talk about, but at uni that day, sitting in the café with my hands wrapped around a mug, I felt capable of sharing the whole truth with someone without succumbing to shame or fear. It amazed me that I could talk about something so horrendously traumatic in a public place – and yet the whole café felt so warm and relaxed that it seemed totally safe. One of the turning points of my recovery happened over a flat white, and I love that.”

 

“There’s something about looking across a coffee table to see somebody you love staring back at you, bout sitting for hours talking about the universe, or sitting for hours in each other’s silence.

There’s something about staying up late with you, fuelled only by instant sachets in Styrofoam cups, about working on a project that doesn’t feel like work at all. Not when I’m with you.

There’s something about dragging you to small cafes and obscure restaurants, about finding every excuse I can to share a coffee – a meal – a touch. A kiss.

There’s something about coffee you.”

 

“I go on coffee dates with people I meet on Tinder. The mistake I made on my first coffee date was to actually drink coffee. I was already so nervous meeting her for the first time and caffeine only amped up my nervousness. I was reduced to a sweaty, jittery mess, just hopefully in a cute way. First dates, first meet ups can be really scary. Sure, you’ve talked to them online, you’ve gotten to know their text vernacular, but what do they really mean when they send a crying-with-laughter emoji? What would that look like on their face? Getting coffee is a casual way to scope out the scene and potentially meet the love of your life. (But like, on the down low.) My advice for a coffee date: order chai instead.”

 

“Shuffling one’s feet through polished halls of the Crawford School on a Monday morning is one of the hardest feats that any Public Policy/National Security Policy postgraduate can do. Despite our complaining about workloads and lectures, it is safe to say we are extremely spoilt when it comes to the elixir of life: coffee. Sitting in the old governor’s house with the perfect cappuccino in arguably the prettiest place on campus, looking over the lake and mountains, is a pseudo religious practice that I do almost every day. It is safe to say that I can only do this degree with the help of decent coffee and the contemplation that comes with good friends, good conversation and a damn good view.”

 

“It starts with a need to stay awake in 8am lectures. Then it’s needing to buy something so you can sit for hours in a café with a nice atmosphere for studying. A motivating factor to run errands, I’ll swing by a coffee shop on the way. A convenient default meetup with friends you haven’t seen in a while, or a good starting place with those you don’t yet know that well. Soon it’s become a reason to swing your legs out of bed in the morning and get to class, just to get a coffee afterwards. It tastes like productivity, even though it more likely just facilitates your procrastination. Even if you know that, it’s too late now, the deception is sweet enough and you’ll just keep going back for more.”

 

“I stayed up the night before a physics exam, cramming six weeks of content into one night. I remember I went to a cafe in the morning and asked for a coffee. The barista When I asked the barista for a coffee, he took one look at me, and said, “extra shots are free. Triple shot?” That was the day I learnt that coffee induces bowel movements.”