I started French Press Saturday on my last blog and I thought I’d bring it back. Now that our family has transitioned out of survival mode and into what feels like “normal” life, our days have taken on more structure and stability. Chris has resumed his usual routine of taking the kids to the YMCA each Saturday morning, which means that this is one of my most savored times during the week–the perfect moment to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee and some solitude.
Since I’ve been revisiting our time in China, I thought I’d do a China themed French Press post. After all, the topic of coffee during our China visit deserves a post of its own. Coffee is that important in my world. My life is measured out and categorized by cups of coffee. Like music and scent, my memories are strongly attached and provoked by the taste of it.
I was anticipating that the coffee in China would be awful. One thinks of green tea when one thinks of China, not a steaming cup of dark, bold espresso. I love tea, but only when it is a compliment to, not a replacement for coffee. Therefore, I’d packed liberal amounts of Starbucks Via packets to get us through the sticky parts. We always had an electric tea kettle in our various hotel rooms, so Chris and I were able to make our own instant coffee during the afternoons when Ren napped, or sometimes in the morning too, if we couldn’t wait until our first breakfast dose.
We spent the first week of our trip in the city of Zheng Zhou, which is the capitol of Henan province, where Ren is from. Our hotel in Zheng Zhou surprisingly served some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Breakfast was the best part of our day (another post about that), mostly because of the coffee–cafe americano, hot and velvety, served in limitless amounts. I drank about three cups each morning. Shamelessly.
We spent the second week of our trip in Guangzhou, which is where all of the American families pass through before returning to the States with their children. Guangzhou is in the south of China, near Hong Kong, and is more westernized than many other parts of the country, which means there was a Starbucks right across the street from our hotel. I tried my standard tall americano at the Chinese Starbucks. It was great…until I added some half and half…and dairy products are an entirely different topic in China. That was my first and last Starbucks coffee in Guangzhou, but I did buy this commercial mug as a souvenir.
I am drinking my second cup of Saturday morning coffee from this mug as I type. Each time I use it, it reminds me that God provides for our daily needs. Sometimes, I experience His love most tangibly through a proper cup of coffee.