Here in America, we’re sometimes obsessed with the French: their style, their cuisine, their simple joie de vivre. We just can’t get enough of their every move, from baguettes to bistros, from lunch wine to lavender, they seem to do everything right. Between moving a little slower yet still remaining effortlessly elegant, we all secretly strive to be a little more French. Where do we begin? Let’s start with something simple: morning coffee.
For 99 percent of Americans, morning coffee comes in a to-go cup or thermoses; in other words, we’re constantly on the move, distracted, or doing multiple things at once. Coffee has become a simple form of fuel, powering us through our already overpacked day, rather than a moment of serenity. As we all can attest, the way our morning starts sets the mood for the rest of the day. So why not focus on yourself for a minute?
Morning coffee in France goes a little differently than it does here. Rather than using coffee as motivation to accomplish a task at hand, the French actually take a minute to stop, sip, and savor their beverage. Now of course, this is much easier there, as the coffee itself is much smaller. A petit café to start the day is a nice potent shot of espresso. Though even if you do spring for that café allongé, or cappuccino, you’ll rarely get a serving larger than eight ounces. Regardless of which poison is picked, the French will take a moment to sit down with the daily paper or a cigarette and really enjoy that coffee for a solid five minutes. It’s not just the coffee they’re enjoying, but that moment of peace, the serenity that comes from setting distractions aside and really tuning out the world for a second. You’d be amazed at what a few minutes of shutting off the mental noise will do.
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Here in the U.S., all of us are busy, and every minute of every day is precious. Most of us don’t have an ideally open schedule that permits hour-long coffee sessions spent people-watching and chain-smoking. However, in a world full of constant distractions and nonstop movements, we owe it to ourselves to start the day turned off, sipping and savoring — if only for a brief moment.