The Human Bean: Connecting Beyond Coffee

The Human Bean: Connecting Beyond Coffee
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Sometimes you find the love you’re looking for in the most unexpected places. This Friday, I found it curbside at my neighborhood café. As the owner of a coffee business, I partner with a local coffee roaster specializing in small-batch, craft coffees. Each week, I deliver the labels for my own coffee company to his café to be affixed to the bags after roasting. I offer the coffees for sale online, with a portion of the sales benefiting individuals with health conditions and disabilities. Connecting also with nonprofits serving these populations through coffee provides immense love and camaraderie for me.

Upon pulling up, I was greeted by the familiar dark eyes and unfamiliar masked countenance of my roaster. We quickly fell into conversation about coffee, creating new blends specialized for tolerance for those of us with digestive issues, and their Juneteenth celebration. As I continued to blabber on about my frustrations regarding my health, he listened. He validated my experiences without condescension and with only empathy. Realizing how much I have missed connecting with him over months, the conversation naturally delved deeper into my relationship problems with men.

Though exhausted by the end of our hour-long chat, I felt exhilarated. Unfortunately, it is often so rare to be greeted with compassion, empathy, and profound respect when revealing the deepest of heartaches. Upon doing so, I often expect to be judged and minimized, pelted with clichés and nauseating positivity. That he took the time to not only discuss coffee and explore new innovations for my business during an event, but also listen earnestly to the overwhelming chaos of my life means so much.

Because his roasting process facilitates my tolerance for coffee, a rare delicacy, he takes time to better understand why this could be. Offering to further explore the scientific reasons for my tolerance and to promote accessibility to pure coffees for people with chronic health issues, I looked at him with astonishment. This kind of compassion, a gift of not only wonderful coffee but also of connection and inclusion, can spark joy on the hardest of days.

I’ve lately been wondering how I will continue to exist with the pandemonium gnawing at my flesh incessantly. It would not be hyperbolic to say that on many days, I’m living for coffee. With few dietary options and even fewer delectable treats, coffee has become a reliable companion on which I can depend. Apparently, so is the human making it.

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Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disorder. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

Briana grew up in Northern California where she pursued her love for sociology at California State University, Chico. Since graduation, she’s remained passionate about social justice and human rights. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler, Briana blends her love for creative self-expression and meaningful connection into her column. As the former co-founder and director of a nonprofit serving children with and without disabilities, Briana is a dedicated advocate. When not embarking on aforementioned adventures, you’ll most likely find her basking in the company of her beloved bunny, Harper, or working on her coffee business
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Briana grew up in Northern California where she pursued her love for sociology at California State University, Chico. Since graduation, she’s remained passionate about social justice and human rights. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler, Briana blends her love for creative self-expression and meaningful connection into her column. As the former co-founder and director of a nonprofit serving children with and without disabilities, Briana is a dedicated advocate. When not embarking on aforementioned adventures, you’ll most likely find her basking in the company of her beloved bunny, Harper, or working on her coffee business
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2 comments

  1. Arnie Slater says:

    Briana,
    Hey, Cool arrival about one of my favorite beverages, and how it can bring people together. I’m intrigued by the idea that you have your own coffee company. How does one do that? I assume you also have CP. I do too, otherwise why would I be here? Right? So, a successful disabled woman with her own coffee company! There’s another article right there if you ask me. Me? I’m a semi retired substitute teacher/former athlete/wanna be writer with CP, a wife, two kids, and several pets.. . Oh, and I really dig coffee! Nice to “meet” you.

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