When facing a major decision, do you lead with
your gut, brain or heart?
Coffee house owners Brian Thinkalot, Amanda Heart, and Al Gutsenberg face the biggest decision of their lives. In a matter of days one of them must leave to open their first international coffee house in Beijing. They all know it’s a true honor, a second chance to build something anew, and an even bigger responsibility. Who is to be the one? A contest ensues and six coffee house regulars are brought to life to help them settle it.
Brian, Amanda, and Al bring us on one of their patron’s first date with a sexologist to experience the pressure of high expectations, to accompany three scrapbooking mamas in search of their true identities in Seattle, and to witness the adventures of a renegade executive determined to build her own Water Cooler Republic. They also take us for a subway ride from Harvard Square to the American Dream, introduce us to the Left Handed Queen of Caffeine, and allow us to tag along while a love-torn minor royal goes on a hunger strike at the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in Madrid. The ride is caffeinated, the emotions are real, and the laughter is the social lubricant that allows the learnings of our characters to sink in.
The essence of the book
The corner stone of our humanity is actually a triangle. We are all programmed to measure every action and decision that we take against the wishes and expectations of three forces at play inside of us. These are our romantic heart, calculating brain, and hopefully courageous gut. Humbly, I offer that this triad yields not only the 3-D validity to our lives, but is also a model for how we gather and take shape as groups. It’s a model that shapes our corporate, political, and communal spheres. The balance of these forces can be used as a litmus test for our happiness, and perhaps our sanity.
The Caffeinated Chronicles deals with these forces at play. Yes, “at play” for I use humor as my strongest advocate of the truth. I think a paragraph of humor can have more density and gravitas than Act III of a tragic opera. To portray this vectorial struggle, I have chosen a triad of characters. They are Brian Thinkalot, Amanda Heart, and Al Gutsenberg.
Why coffee as a canvas? I am a coffee producer
In my work as a specialty coffee producer, I have visited over 1,000 coffee houses around the world. Coffee is in my blood. I know how to grow, export, roast, brew, serve, cup, sell, and enjoy the best coffee in the world. It is the drink of choice for a strong conversation or to truly break the ice with someone. It is pure and honest and doesn’t numb the senses. On the contrary, it caffeinates the version of ourselves that we want to share with others in the hopes of making a good impression, enticing a romantic interest, disarming a foe, or even accepting ourselves for what we are: human.
Six columns hold the arch in the book
Each one of the six chapters in the book is lead by an interlude. These interludes provide the arch of our major story and carry names such as ‘The percolator brews a state of shock’, ‘Better latte than never’, ‘A Brew Ha Ha with a cup of Jet Lag Blend’ and ‘For here or to go’. Each interlude takes place around Sereno Coffee’s cupping table, the nerve center of their operation. We follow the conversation that is going on between our lead characters.
Prima facie, the six chapters within the book share the common bond of coffee.
Chapter One – Babes in Cropland
Chapter Two – The Left-Handed Queen of Caffeine
Chapter Three – The Water Cooler Republic 3.0
Chapter Four – Date with a Sexologist
Chapter Five – The Harvard Custodian and The Totem Pole
Chapter Six – The Absurdity of Instant Gratification