Try making a cup of coffee for someone in your life today

Illustration for article titled Try making a cup of coffee for someone in your life today
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As we highlighted yesterday, there are all sorts of great resources out there right now for home chefs, whether you’re a passionate gourmand excited to use this period of social distancing to try some new kitchen projects or a reluctant cook afraid to take on any meal prep that doesn’t involve the microwave defrost button. In either case, we’re here for you, and so is Epicurious, which is currently running an interesting series called The Way We’re Cooking Now.


Most of the articles in this new Epicurious series are instructional—how to design a cooking playlist, the best lunches to prepare at home, etc.—but one short and sweet feature stood out to us. It’s an article by Maggie Hoffman titled “The Power of Making a Cup of Coffee for Someone Else,” and in it, Hoffman extols the virtues of performing small gestures and tiny acts of kindness for another person.

For Hoffman and her husband, there’s much that remains uncertain in the current moment, such as work, their daughter’s education, and her husband’s health. But then her spouse walks through the door with a cup of coffee he made to help her through the workday. “I’m worried, like everyone is, about everything and everyone,” Hoffman explains. “But right now, there’s this coffee, perfectly extracted in our trusty espresso machine, with just enough frothy milk, the way I like it. And it’s a comfort.”

It’s always been this way with sandwiches, too, hasn’t it? The bread and the fillings might be nothing special, but when someone crafts your sandwich for you, trying to make it just the way you like it, the finished product is all the more infused with surprise and delight. And while there’s a wealth of great info online right now about meals that you can assemble from shelf-stable pantry staples, it’s nice to read a brief meditation on another way we can take charge in our kitchens: by whipping up a little something for someone, a warm drink or a snack we don’t partake in ourselves.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.


Get off my... yawn

If you or that person has anxiety, consider making them something other than coffee or tea. Bake! Caffeine can exacerbate anxiety in some people, and so those who react to it must mindful that we’re not adding stressors to our lives even if the cup of coffee is reassuring and familiar. I love my espresso, but on mornings where I’ve not slept well, or the news is particularly grim, I’m grabbing a Diet Coke for a little caffeine rather than my homemade double espresso. Be mindful that there are little things still within our control to help us better cope with this stuff! In addition to being kind, patient and generous with your neighbors, friends and loved ones.