One of the earliest credible descriptions of the experience of drinking coffee comes from german physcian and botanist, Leonhard Rauwolf in the 1500’s. He described coffee as “almost as black as ink and very good in illness…” Leonhard was a people watcher. Just like myself, sitting here in Luna Bakery – I too am keen to sit and people watch people – and their coffee.
I came across Leonard in my quick internet studies of the history of coffee. He was fascinated with people, customs and the sites of the Levantine region. (Levantine is artistically referred to as the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranian and Northeast Africa. It covers quite an area). Leonhard traveled the area extensively starting in 1573 for two years looking for herbal medicine supplies. And there he wrote about his observations of people drinking coffee… “…This they drink in the morning early in the open places before everybody, without any fear or regard, out of clay or China cups, as hot as they can, sipping it a little at a time.”
I can imagine Luna Bakery would be a fine place to meet Leonard for a quick cuppa. Or more like a five hour cuppa for this place is hopping with activity, with moms and their children to retirees and their buddies – even a few business meeting are happening in the close quarters. And Luna is expanding. They have broken through a wall as I speak making more room by utilizing the upper dining room of the Mad Greek restaurant. The shine of the Luna moon just got bigger. How lovely.
In front of me sits a dark, cuppa steaming coffee. As black as ink? No, but dark like brown bear fur. What? Ok, maybe more like dark chocolate. Once I add my prerequisite three turbinado sugar packets (they seem to be getting smaller, four packets would be too much but it might get to that) and my half and half – I take a sip. Nice. Quite nice. The price point is the same as Starbuck’s… but what else sits in front of me is… a ham and cheese croissant. It’s almost too much goodness in one afternoon. Life is the simple pleasures, right? I am thankful for a moment to think about Leonard. I was a history minor in college and in fact history is all around us. We forget how we come from somewhere and that when we’re gone – we hope people will remember us… over a cuppa coffee? No doubt.
Luna is fast putting themselves on the map with their chocolate croissants. My neighbor told me yesterday, while we chatted in the backyard over our barking dogs, that she had rushed to the bakery by 9am on Saturday only to find they were sold out of the coveted pastry. I was happy to hear it, though sad for her longing. I’m excited a local company (Co-owned by a Saint Ann School graduate (Bridget Thibeault) ! Go Sabers…) is making it in this slow economy.
What’s great about our little neck of the woods is that all within walking distance we can find coffee, pastries and everything under the sun just at Cedar Hill – even films – at the Red Box inside Dave’s Supermarket and random crafty gifts from around the world at Ten Thousand Villages.
Alas, I digress… back to people watching and my coffee before it gets cold.