My Coffee Altar

When I was in my mid 20’s, my boss asked (told) me to move to Connecticut to help open a furniture store.  A week later, I had rented a tiny apartment that overlooked a large parking lot. Every day, I would show up at my artificial Mall world and fight back waves of homesickness.

During this displacement, there was one surprising thing that brought me comfort. It was the sound and smell of brewing coffee. That gurgling brewing sound accompanied by that deliciously earthy rich bean smell made me inhale the aroma and exhale out my worries. Truthfully, sometimes the coffee wasn’t that great; I just loved the sounds and smells. It felt like … well … home.

Whenever I visit my friend Brett, he reminds me of my Xanax-like love of brewing coffee.

He doesn’t keep the coffee pot on the kitchen counter as most of us do. He created what I refer lovingly as a  “coffee altar.” I call it that because,  one, it’s beautiful and two, I approach it with such reverence.

He clusters all you need to brew a morning cup: a large glass canister of fragrant dark Sumatra coffee equipped with its own silver scoop, unbleached coffee filters,  an array of one-of-a-kind hand painted tuscan mugs, little stirring spoons, napkins, and these cool hand-packed brown sugar cubes. Good morning!

Yesterday, with a wave a nostalgia I decided to set up  my own barista bar.

Got a killer deal on canisters, grabbed a bunch of glass mugs, have an old school french press that makes a mean brew, tossed it all in a wonderful wicker tray. Added a linen dishtowel ( just to act cool) and wallah.


Photography by Michaela Ristaino

Maybe Dorris Lessing was right when she said that, “Small things amuse small minds”. However,  I am partial to this quote as well …”Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault


the barefooted designer,


Amy Archer

Check out more of Michaela’s mind blowing photography at





4 thoughts on “brew-diful

  1. Love this!
    I’m the one who sets up “the coffee station” when entertaining at my house. Complete with all the beautiful fixings displayed on a very large antique metal tray! A proper coffee after all, should be celebrated and definitely not hidden!
    Happy Holidays Chica!!!


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