Coffee Break

Let’s talk about the wonder of coffee for a minute.

I have those days sometimes where I need more than just a quick pick-me-up. I need a soulful reminder that life is more than working 40 hours per week, making money, having and paying for kids, saving for retirement, the whole rat race shebang. I need a change of scenery.

Two Doors Down coffee house is one of the cool local places to hang out in Corsicana. It’s just down the block from the historic Palace Theatre–hence the name “Two Doors Down”–and has actually got a rather urban, downtown feel with concrete floors and interior brick walls. The place has a bit of eccentricity to it, although not the kind that makes you feel like you’ve walked into a nest of hipsters. They sell fair-trade coffees and organic oatmeal, not to mention homemade baked goods and yummy soups and sandwiches. Plus, there’s this little section they have designated as a library with a wall of books waiting to be read. Pretty neat little place.

In fact, it’s one of the places I like to go when I get a break from work because I feel like I can breathe there. It’s a bit nostalgic. I’ve gotten used to the quirks of the old door–it sometimes sticks, then swings open so that the blinds knock against it. That familiar squeak accompanies a rich aroma that comes pouring outside; not only coffee but cinnamon muffins, too. I used to eat those mini-muffins (from a paper sack, folded once at the top) in days gone by with my girlfriends in high school, as we sat in one of the back rooms giggling about boys and playing cards.

In the afternoons that I’ve been there recently, it’s filled with a comfortable quietness. Sometimes you have a bit of conversation with the barista or another customer, and sometimes you sit alone with your thoughts and the music playing softly in the background. It’s a relaxed atmosphere that lets my soul stretch out and prop her feet up.

Before, I used to always get a latte when I went to coffee shops. Something with espresso. Then, I discovered the magical café au lait. Instead of using espresso, this drink is just coffee + steamed milk, frothed. Simple. Cheap. Delicious. Since Two Doors Down does research and travels to find the best coffee around, you always get your money’s worth. Plus, there’s something about steamed milk. Harried mothers give warm milk to their children to help them fall asleep because of its calming effect. Combined with the rich coffee, it complements the energy boost with warm reassurance–you’ve got a buzz at your fingertips to get things done, but an inner voice that’s telling you that it will all work out.

Ah, the wonders of a good cup of coffee.

What I love about coffee houses, cafes and other little eateries is that you don’t feel rushed. If there’s one thing I love about the French, it’s the lack of the rush-rush-rush mindset that so many of us Americans get caught up in. I recently read a NPR article about how the French spend an average of two hours per day at a table. Even the McDonalds in France are specially designed for people to stay awhile. Less of that get-your-food-eat-it-and-get-out environment.

We could all use a daily break for quiet reflection and a good cup of coffee, couldn’t we?

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