Local coffee shop ‘the place to be’

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

I do not care about evidences of heartburn, anxiety, high blood pressure, hyperactivity and many others that caffeine, a type of drug or stimulant found in coffee beans, appears to be a causal factor. Let the medical experts and researchers keep themselves busy gathering compelling evidences of the side effects of drinking coffee, just let me have my daily dose of caffeine.

When I was still in the Philippines, there was one coffee shop that I spent most of my “coffee night” in. Bo’s coffee club was my source of a short mug of dark brewed coffee that went very well with my attempts in solving three crossword puzzles from three news dailies. Most of the time, I went home with the “across” and “down” filled to the last box. Coffee had something to do with my every crossword puzzle success.

You see, I please myself many times with the piece of information that caffeine used in moderation is not particularly destructive (read that as me being defensive). Here is another one of my defensive retorts: the harmful health effects from coffee will ultimately come to a close as there are already a number of verified rewards to partaking it in a daily cup or two. For instance, regular coffee intake could reduce the risk of developing kidney stones; coffee drinking could lower your risk of colon cancer by up to 25 percent; coffee may help prevent cirrhosis of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, skin cancer and gallstones. All right, I have no medical expertise to substantiate these claims. As a coffee drinker, I only have the impression that coffee has an enchanting taste drinkers do not need a white man in a robe to enlighten them what a dosage of caffeine could bring into the body or how a dose benefits them.

In Brookings, Cottonwood Coffee – only a hop, a skip and a jump from where I live – is the place to be. Call me a coffee loyalist who happened to find the right place to stabilize my sleepy head. An hour or two inside a coffee shop is more than enough to emancipate myself from the negative thoughts on coffee, especially when there is an exodus of other loyalists – people who try to escape from their daily routines and gratify their palates with caffeinated, drowsy-head-quick-fix drinks inside our “refugee camp”.

Russ and Jay know me full well as the coffee mocha guy. No latte, cappuccino, espresso, flavored coffee or other multitude of iced coffee beverages could appeal to me more than the mocha (white mocha is feeding my sense of taste these days). Blame it perhaps to the distinctive espresso shot and chocolate flavor mix done to a T, which never fails to excite my taste buds. Blame it to my order of, almost always, medium size mug that sufficiently fills the longing, sufficiently stimulates the wit and sufficiently awakens inactive senses.

But it is more than just sipping mocha coffee. Cottonwood bar is the place to locating hard-to-find friends for quick chit-chats. Or to make new friends. It is where students convene for an inexpensive coffee treat whilst assignments are answered and discussed. In some instances, a sip offers surprises from all-too-loud conversing loyalists leisurely exposing their secrets over cups of coffee. There were secrets on a love lost and found, new business started or family squabble. A group of loyalists in one corner talks about other loyalists in the other corner. Every sip offers a story wonderfully told.

I need not go to sophisticated coffee chain stores like Starbucks. I do not judge a coffee shop by its brand name but by the fast service, friendly people and, most especially, the quality of its mocha coffee, or whatever coffee concoction you like. If I can have the best of both worlds: good coffee plus great service, absolutely, caffeine, here I come.