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Name: Marsha Brofka-Berends
Location: US

Marsha knits . . . and reads and cooks and edits and gardens and hikes and thinks and eats and photographs and sings and writes and travels and plans and hopes and . . .

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Knitting + coffee + pastries + friends = HEAVEN

(Well, maybe not heaven. If the Democrats took control of the House and Senate and kicked Rick Santorum out of office, well, then that would be heaven. Oh wait a minute...HELLO, PARADISE!)

My local knitting group meets on the third Thursday of each month. Some of us were interested in meeting a bit more frequently, so about two weeks ago I sent out an e-mail asking if anyone would like to get together on the first Tuesday of each month as well. I figured that would give us about two weeks between meetings (not this month, though: because November started on a Wednesday, the first Tuesday is less than a week and a half away from the third Thursday).

I also suggested that we meet at a coffee shop. (I'd called this place--a nearby Starbucks--to ask if they'd mind having a group of knitters hang out there on a weeknight once a month. They replied by inviting us with open arms.) I did this for two reason. One, it's often nice to have a little drink-and-munch while knitting, especially if it's a social affair. And two, I love hanging out in coffee shops. When I was in graduate school, I practically lived in one particular coffee shop. I read social theory there. (It's a lot easier to plow through Foucault, Bourdieu, Benjamin, Gramsci, and the like if you have a good cup of coffee at your side.) I graded papers there. I held my office hours there. Lucky for me, everyone thought both the date and the venue were a good idea.

So yesterday six of us gathered for our first Tuesday night meeting. In attendance were three fellow bloggers (and also SP9 participants!), Katie, Beth, and Gina (who actually took a nearly-one-hour train ride from the city to the suburbs to join us), as well as two other friends. We had a blast, talking about knitting and pretty much everything else that came to mind.

After we'd been there for about half an hour, one Starbucks employee approached us. "Oh no," I thought. "They've changed their minds about the knitting and are going to tell us to pack our needles and go." But no, Mandy just wanted to know if we'd be interested sampling some coffees paired with the appropriate pastries.


Um, hello? Would anyone in their right mind actually say no to something like that?

As it turns out, Mandy is working on a "coffee master" certification through Starbucks. From her description of it, it sounds not unlike being a sommelier for coffee. She brought out three different coffees and pastries for us to try. After instructing up in how to smell the coffee properly (cup your hand above the back rim of the cup, then inhale) and how to taste it properly (slurp it--yes, audibly--through your front teeth), she gave us some House Blend with blueberry cake to pick up the blueberry notes in the coffee. Then we tried Yukon with oatmeal-spice cookies and the Christmas blend with ginger-spice cake. In all cases, we could really taste the flavors she told us to look out for!

Lucky us: Mandy has promised to do tastings for us every time we meet there! Next month, she may focus on coffees with citrus notes. Yum!


Slaax Gumbo said...

Okay, now you're talking about hanging out at Starbucks and getting special coffee tasting privledges?

That's it - I'm starting a knitting group!!!

Do you actually have to knit?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 11:34:00 PM  
Marsha Brofka-Berends said...

I know (via Beth) that there is at least one good yarn shop in your neck of the woods--maybe they can hook you up with a knitting group. Or you should start your own! Seriously!

Thursday, November 09, 2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

And we DID take over both the House and the Senate! YAY! I guess Belinda Carlisle was right: Heaven really is a place on Earth! :-P

Wasn't it super fun? I mean really!

Thursday, November 09, 2006 11:05:00 AM  
Liz said...

that sounds like heaven to me - expecially the part where Rick Santorum gets the boot. Go, PA!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, November 12, 2006 4:32:00 PM  

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