So I have this theory: 5:00am is the earliest acceptable time to get up in the morning. Anytime before that, including 4:59, is still night time, and unless absolutely necessary, should be avoided at all cost. Granted, I don’t particularly want to get up at 5am on a regular basis, but at least when I have to it’s “morning” and not “night”.
I was booked on the first flight out this morning and knew I’d be running late. I always am. But you better believe I set my alarm for 5:00 on the dot and rushed through my morning routine to get to the airport on time. Now I do just fine without caffeine, it’s not vital to my survival, but when my sweet husband offered to make me coffee, knowing I didn’t have time to do it myself, I sure wasn’t going to turn him down! He even made my favorite coffee - Kona Chocolate Macadamia. I was so grateful for the pick-me-up as I rushed out the door.
When I was a kid we weren’t allowed to drink coffee, though I don’t remember having much interest in it. But when we stayed with a friend of my parents’ she’d let us have “coffee milk”, which I’m pretty sure was 25% milk, 5% coffee, and 70% sugar. I remember the first time I ever had black coffee was 8th grade, I was running late (nothing’s changed apparently), and just didn’t have time to doctor it. It was the most disgusting thing I’d tasted to date but I wolfed it down out of necessity. At the age of 16 my family spent several weeks in Tanzania, working and staying on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The variation in rainy and dry seasons make the area perfect for growing coffee plants and I remember driving through a coffee plantation and being confused by the little red “berries” and the guide having to explain to me that that’s what a coffee bean looks like.
Flash forward 15 years and, though I don’t mind a good latte, I drink my coffee in a nice, solid, American-style black almost exclusively. Sure I went through a phase while living in Florence where I couldn’t survive without a daily espresso (if the Italians are allowed to put 3 spoonfuls of sugar in it then so am I), I knew never to order a cappuccino after noon, and could tell you that the word macchiato means “spotted”. But seeing as how there’s not a single coffee house in eastern Georgia that I’d trust to get Italian coffee right, and I’m too lazy to do it myself, I mostly just stick to black.
It takes an actual human being, like a separate human being, to coax me out of the house for coffee. But rarely do I regret it. The Italians can do magical things with the coffee bean but the wonderfully unique coffee houses that have sprung up across the country over the past 10 years or so are beginning to make a name for themselves and develop their own style. And each venture I make with a friend to discover these places has so far resulted in renewed relationships and renewed energy through a very yummy and often singular cup of coffee.
I discovered Indah Coffee Company while on a day trip to Columbia with Lauren Carnes. She took some absolutely stunning photographs of their shop, their process, and their coffee while I tagged along like an adoring puppy soaking in everything. (See some of her stunning photos here!) They have the most beautiful and finely tuned roaster and scout all over the world for the best beans. I learned that there is apparently a specific ratio of grounds-to-water that creates the perfect cup of coffee and is measured on a scale so that every single sip comes out just right. They make their own syrups in-house including one that was used in my absolutely fabulous lavender latte. I loved it so much that a few weeks later when my best friend from Texas came to visit that we drove all the way to Columbia on the pretense of seeing the city but mostly to get coffee at Indah. She’s much more of a coffee snob than I am so her high praise meant even more than mine!
They’ve only been open for a few months but they sure have got things figured out. The inside has a wonderful vibe with wood countertops and tables and industrial style chairs facing huge front windows that flood the building with natural light. Overstuffed leather chairs invite people to get comfy and stay a while. The word Indah is apparently Indonesian for “beautiful” and beautiful it is - the building, the experience, the relationships that are built within those four walls. There is something beautiful about coffee that brings people together, lifts the spirits, comforts the soul.