This post brought to you by New England Coffee. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Mom.
There are a few things that are engrained in my memory from my childhood. Warm summer nights catching fireflies in the backyard of our little red brick house, family dinners around the wooden table that had seen better days long before I was born… and my grandparent’s house.
In many ways, their house was more special to me than my own. My grandfather built it, brick by brick, plank by plank, with his own two hands. He worked tirelessly for 6 years building a home for his family. When he began, he had two kids. When he finished, he had four. And two more came after that.
His blood, sweat, and tears flowed throughout the walls of that house. His hands blessed the soil in the land where he raised animals, farmed the food he brought to the table each night and the fields his children played in. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling life.
Many of my most sacred childhood memories were born within those walls. Christmas and Easter celebrations, blowing out birthday candles in that sunny kitchen – it seemed there was a birthday celebration just about every week in that house. But what I remember most of all is running through the living room with my sister and my cousin as our mothers visited with our grandfather the years following our grandmother’s death. We played on the staircase, crept through the hallways, giggled under the table in the dining room as we listened to the adult conversations taking place around the kitchen table in the room next to us.
Years later, as we grew older, we made our way into that circle, coffee cups in our hands, talking, laughing and sometimes crying with our mothers and their father. We had coffee at that table with my grandfather every single Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening. I never drank it, but I always asked for a cup. I would hold that mug in my hand, my fingers absorbing the warmth, breathing in the rich aroma of the strong coffee beans, and I swear it warmed my soul.
I am 34 years old now with two young children of my own. My grandfather has been gone for 13 years, and the house that he built with his own two hands left with him. I still meet with my sister, my cousin, and our mothers often for evenings of chatter and coffee. We take turns hosting each other in our own homes, and I actually drink the coffee poured into my cup now.
I have, in fact, become somewhat of a coffee addict. I try a new brand every single time I run out, and I always drink it black, because I believe that if the coffee is truly good, it doesn’t need to be masked with sugars and creams. I like to taste the rich flavors, so meticulously blended in each cup.
I recently discovered that New England Coffee released their Centennial Reserve, a blend of 100% Arabic coffee beans from Kenya and Ethiopia to celebrate 100 years of serving great coffee to <arel=”nofollow” href=”http://izea.it/aVlszwh” target=”_blank”>extraordinary people. When I heard this, I just had to try it for myself. I brought it to my aunt’s house for one of our weekly coffee nights, and she brewed a pot as we sat around her patio, breathing in the fresh country air one late summer evening.
I don’t know if it was the gorgeous August sunset that dived into the hills beyond her countryside backyard or the warmth of the coffee as I cradled my mug between my hands that evening. But as the night went on, each sip of that rich and bold brew made its way to the core of my being and I couldn’t help but think about the evenings spent around my grandfather’s table on his farm all those years ago.
New England Coffee Shop is celebrating 100 years of serving extraordinary people, and HE was an extraordinary man. Every time I hold a warm mug of coffee between my hands, and breathe in the therapeutic aromas, I think of him – of all that he was and all that he did for his family. He was a veteran of World War II, he took a bullet in the Bible in his chest pocket, and came home to build a house from the soil up, manage a farm, raise six children and work in the mill until his retirement. He was a simple man, who didn’t say many profound things, but he was extraordinary. And sitting there with my family, drinking New England Coffee’s Centennial Blend, I celebrated him by remembering his life and legacy with every sip I took.
I think we all felt something special that night as we drank this limited brew. There was something in the air. And something in that coffee that reached the core of our hearts and drew out memories of the greatest man in all of our lives. Whatever it was, he was there with us in spirit, and his life will forever be celebrated each time we get together for coffee.
I’ve tried many brands and styles of coffee over the years, but what I love most about New England Coffee is their dedication to choosing and roasting quality beans over the last 100 years, and their admiration and respect for the people who drink their coffee. The heart of this company really can be seen – and tasted – in each cup you brew. I think I will be brewing New England Coffee at all of my family’s get-togethers from now on.
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Photo credit: Marley Layne’s Closet