When we moved to a new town, it wasn’t easy to make friends. Monday mornings were the hardest when everyone else went back to their routines. But the simple offer of “come by for a coffee” broke down barriers and allowed a few of us women to find common ground.
As a new mom, no matter how many books about baby you read or Google searches you conduct, there will always be things about parenting to improve upon and learn. Chatting with other new moms over a hot cup of coffee or tea, in your kitchen or on a stroller-push through the park, might be just the thing to confirm you’re on the right track. New moms need a support system. Joining (or starting) a morning (or afternoon) coffee date for moms group can help boost your social life by helping you feel like you are part of a community with like-minded women.
When you were pregnant, your doctor may have advised you to cut out coffee and caffeine altogether. While you’re nursing, experts at BabyCenter suggest it’s generally okay to have about 16 ounces (2 cups) of brewed coffee per day. The effects of caffeine in your breast milk peak roughly two hours after you consume it. Your baby should be able to more efficiently process caffeine after about 3 months of age. If you have any concerns, be sure to check with your family doctor before introducing caffeine back into your system while breastfeeding.
A common complaint about popular K-cups is that they’re bad for the environment. Not anymore—at least not all of them! Several companies, such as Marley (the brand of the late Bob Marley), produce recyclable or compostable coffee pods. And there’s no compromise because I can assure you that Marley coffee is delicious! (This is my assessment. It really is delicious!)
There’s more to making great coffee than meets the tongue! Beans (which are seeds) are harvested, processed and then roasted and ground. The various processes and the type and length of time roasting will greatly affect the coffee’s flavour. Coffee is an important source of income for many developing countries that grow it, such as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Ethiopia.
Did you know that how you store ground coffee is more important than where you store it? The Coffee Association of Canada admits there’s no consensus on whether it should be kept in the freezer or cupboard, but everyone agrees that the food container must be airtight and have as little headroom as possible. In other words, closely match the container size to the amount of coffee you’re storing.
I made a sign for my kitchen out of an antique, four-pane window and some vinyl lettering. After sanding off the chipped paint and revealing the lovely, old wood underneath, I applied the words “Life begins with coffee!” (Exclamation mark included.) Those words above our coffee bar—yes, we have a coffee bar—express the importance my husband and I place on coffee.
There’s a style of coffee maker to suit every taste: drip, percolator, French press, single serve, espresso and more—it’s a little crazy but it’s also indicative of how much people love their coffee. Coffee shops have their own preferences that allow you to experiment and test-drive the best coffee maker for you.
Here’s is a nice little unit for a household where one or two family members like a morning coffee. This Sunbeam 5-cup capacity coffee maker is programmable and has a pause and serve feature so you can pour a cup if you can’t wait for the whole pot to brew. It is designed to shut itself off after one hour.
Now that I’ve got you thinking about starting a coffee morning with moms, I’ll add that there’s no excuse for serving bad coffee. As my pal Paul has always said: “Life’s too short to drink bad coffee.” That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to purchase the most expensive one on the shelf. Try a brand you’ve heard of, and decide whether you want light, medium or dark roast. Use cold water (not hot) and drink it while it’s hot (not lukewarm). We are a dark roast household, but we always stock the lighter roasts for guests who like a less intense flavour.
Everything’s a little more special when you treat it with a sense of occasion. Create a certain vibe with the cups and mugs you use for your coffee morning with moms. Walmart has all sorts of mugs available online and in store. They are decorated in a variety of colours and come in a wide choice of patterns. Some mugs are plain while others are printed with flowers, or animals or clever and inspirational sayings.
If you’re avoiding caffeine, you should know that coffee isn’t the only source of it. As this chart from the Mayo Clinic shows, tea (including green tea), lattes and some soft drinks contain caffeine. Unless it says decaffeinated on the label, you can assume there’s at least some caffeine in these drinks.
I once asked a drive-thru server for her strangest coffee order. “An 8 by 8,” she said. She explained that’s eight sugars and eight creamers. That’s a person who doesn’t even like coffee!
According to results of a Maclean’s survey, McDonald’s McCafé coffee is taking over as Canada’s most popular take-out coffee. Its take-home version is available at Walmart. Although decaf can often taste weak, this medium-roasted blend is roasted a little darker than most, so it retains a full-bodied flavour.
Whether you’ve moved to a new neighbourhood, or you’re trying to adjust to mat leave or you want to find a way to bond with other moms with babies, an invitation to coffee can help give your social life a boost. Break out some croissants and muffins, share and consult on parenting challenges, and maybe you’ll make this coffee date a Monday morning tradition!