A Simple Way to Brew Some Connection

a drip coffee maker and a keurig in the background
Photo: Jessica Beckendorf

We have a Keurig in our office – a newer, fancy-ish model. We have a box of shared coffee pods, a stash of cups, and often a bottle of coffee creamer someone bought and wrote “for everyone” on the label so we could all partake. Both coffee drinkers and those that prefer tea love using this convenient machine.

Late last  week, on a whim, I purchased a couple pounds of seasonal flavored coffee and brought them to the office to share. I assumed we would just pack the reusable Keurig K-cup on an individual basis every time we needed our coffee fix. 

But what happened was so much better.

I arrived to the office late on Monday morning and I could smell the delicious Maple Pecan flavored coffee as soon as I walked through the door. One of my coworkers had dug out our old Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker and made a pot for the office. I was thrilled since I hadn’t had any coffee yet, and especially since I dislike messing with the reusable K-cup, much less having to do it more than once to satisfy my healthy coffee craving.

I made sure to thank the person that made the coffee, but otherwise thought nothing of it.

Another pot of coffee was waiting for everyone on Tuesday…another lovely surprise, but again I thanked my coworker and thought nothing more of it.

On Wednesday there was no pot of coffee waiting when I arrived. I was disappointed. Thinking it was just my coffee craving that needed a fix, I asked a coworker to show me how to make a pot (yes, I’m an adult that should know how to do this, but I use a snobby system at home and don’t know how to use a Mr. Coffee). As I waited for the pot to finish brewing, coworkers would stop in to chat for a moment, asking if the coffee was almost ready.

The conversations were short, but authentic and completely focused on each other. It was wonderful.

I looked at the lonely Keurig in the corner and realized that having shared coffee pods, creamer, and mugs just didn’t feel the same as sharing the same pot of coffee with others. The former is an individual process, a bit more clunky (and wasteful!), and disconnected. Kind of like any day where I am not making an intentional effort to connect with others with the gifts of generosity and time – the day feels lonely (individual), clunky (less focused), wasteful and disconnected.

May there be a pot of coffee (opportunities to connect with others) waiting for you every morning, and when there isn’t, may you have the generosity and courage to brew some yourself.


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