I’m pretty sure I was at Grandma’s house the first time I drank coffee. I might have been five or six years old at the time. There were a few of us sitting around the table in the kitchen. So many good memories were made in that place. The last thing I remember someone saying before taking my first sip was something about my growth being stunted.
Everyone quietly and patiently waited my reaction. I must not have disappointed anyone because I remember the smiling faces which I can only now assume was amusement. I must have no doubt made the bitter-tasting facial expression then followed by the wide-eyed expression of “THAT’S REALLY GOOD!!” when the full bouquet of flavours had presented itself and ran its course. When I was a kid, this was the treat a grandma’s house: coffee or tea and coffee bulla (Pulla or Finnish Cardamom Sweet Bread).
I began drinking coffee regularly in high-school at maybe 14 or 15 years old; I didn’t have a driver’s licence yet. My group of friends tended to congregate at one coffee shop or another: Country Style, Robins Doughnuts, or Tim Hortons. All any of us needed to do was show up at some point after dinner and there would be someone to have a coffee, a smoke, and a conversation with. We’d spend hours there. Multiple coffees, overflowing ash trays, and stimulating conversations that made us not want to sleep.
I’m not going to let my coffee get cold today. I’m not, going to let, my coffee, get cold
I’m going to finish the entire thing while it’s still at the righttemperature.
I’m going to finish it because yesterday, the last two
mouthfuls for the lack of a better way to put it, left a poor taste in my
It tarnished the experience that I expected to end well.
I already knew before I drank coffee, that it was cold and that the cream might be off, but I rolled the dice anyways.
When I look back on why I finished it: I didn’t want to
waste it because I put effort into making it, and because I thought I needed it.
The aftertaste of the cold coffee was an experience that I didn’t
care for considering I didn’t intend for it to get cold in the first place. I
wanted a congruent coffee experience, like I normally have.
What the poor ending to my morning coffee experience did for
me yesterday, was allow me to connect a few a few thoughts together.
matters. The is especially true if we have formed habits around what we do
on a constant basis. We expect the experience
to be the same throughout. The congruency of the experience from start to finish
plays a large role in how we rate the quality of an experience and forming an opinion
of it as generally good or bad.
Timing is important,
and sometimes everything. Had I remembered
to start the kettle first so that I could pour some hot water into the mug to get
it warm before I pull my shots, my coffee probably wouldn’t have gotten
cold in the amount of time I normally take to enjoy my coffee.
How you finish is
what creates the lasting impression. Regardless of how the entire
experience goes as whole, we tend to only remember the really high points and
all of the bad stuff. The slogan “good to the last drop” comes to mind.
Finish what you’re doing
on a high point. We generally like to have a positive outcome when we do things.
Finishing on a high point is one of the best ways to create a positive lasting
impression of the overall experience and sets the tone of how we remember the
entire experience. The reciprocal of this is also true, finish on a low point and
the entire experience will be tarnished.
It’s never too late to
make something right. You can always reflect on what went wrong, ask some questions
and do some research to figure out why the outcome you arrived at was different
than what you had expected. A new plan of action can be made for the next time,
or steps can be taken to improve the situation.
Impressions can be changed if expectations are managed. Have you ever tried iced coffee? It’s pretty good right? Cold brew (or iced) coffee has a different taste to it because the extraction process is much, much slower. If I started out by making cold coffee in the first place, I would have managed my expectations.
Just because you put effort
into something, doesn’t mean you have to live with it. This is a negative
feed back statement. I could have just poured the cold coffee down the drain,
but my morning coffee ritual takes time and a bit of effort to prepare a good
cup and it seemed like a waste to not finish it. The whole experience was
This is a lot like putting effort into a career that gets
your priorities all mixed up, makes you sick and act like person you didn’t
want to become. When knowing for certain that there will be a bitter ending, it’s
better to make the hard decision to end on a high point.
So did I finish my coffee this morning before it got cold? I
Was the last sip as good as the first? I’ll make sure to warm
up the mug more next time. 😊