Coffee.  Joe.  Java.  Cuppa.  

The sweet, creamy, earthy brown liquid goodness that is easily drinkable (by me) and warms the path to my stomach.

Yes, I love it.

It’s how millions of other Americans and I (and humans worldwide) prepare for the day.

With approximately 24,000 coffee shops in the U.S., it’s not difficult to find somewhere to get some coffee to jump start your morning.  Unless you make it at home, which is what I typically do.

Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee a day, with 65% of this consumed during the breakfast hours.

This is no new beverage, as it’s been around since the 9th century.

I purchase whole beans online from a company I love called CafeCampesino.  They provide Organic Fair Trade Shade-Grown Coffee at a very reasonable price.  I also love our local Capanna locations - locally roasted, LOVE THEM!  (They also ship.)

Whole beans from a single country or region (as opposed to a blend) are believed to produce the best flavor, maintaining the highest level of freshness.  Whole beans will keep their freshness for approximately 45 days, while ground coffee will keep its fresh taste for only 9 days.

There are many labels now included on coffee packaging, and it might seem confusing as to what each of these mean.

ORGANIC refers to coffee that is produced without the addition of artificial chemicals added to the coffee during the production process.  This can refer to the chemicals already present (or not) in the land producing coffee, the fertilizer applied to the crop or spraying pesticides or herbicides onto the product.

Buying organic is important, because coffee is the HEAVIEST CHEMICALLY TREATED FOOD COMMODITY IN THE WORLD.

“I would like to order a grande caffe Americano with a side of pesticides.  Heavy on the pesticides, please.”  I think not.

FAIR TRADE is a wonderful practice which ensures the farmer in the exporting country a fair price, impacting them and their families by giving them fair wages, thus better living conditions.  This also positively impacts the environment, as the farmer has the resources to maintain and restore the area using better farm practices.  In purchasing Fair Trade coffee, you are affecting poverty levels positively in other areas of the world.

SHADE-GROWN / BIRD-FRIENDLY coffee trees are in alignment with preserving the precious rainforest and ecosystem in these areas.  Coffee trees naturally grow under the umbrella of the dense rainforest.  Rainforests are being cleared at unprecented rates to plant coffee trees that are sun-resistant to keep up with the huge demand for the product.  Trees grown in the shade give birds a haven for rest and also provide a habitat for other animals present in the ecosystem.  This label is increasingly important when choosing your coffee.

RAINFOREST ALLIANCE promotes standards for sustainability.  This is determined by a score relating to not only environmental standards, but also community relations and fair treatment of workers.

If coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, it does not mean it is organic unless also noted as such.  Each of these labels carry with it their own criteria.

Recently, I began creating a library of FB Lives onto my youtube channel - and, of COURSE, this playlist is called...  Coffee with Chondra!  Check it out below...  and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE NOW so you don't miss any new videos!


A friend of mine is a listener and while on a recent trip to Hawaii, he picked up some Kona coffee for me - so thoughtful and also my first fan gift!  (Feel free to send coffee, anytime!  I truly am grateful!)  It was the sweetest thing ever!  

When drinking your delicious java treat, it only makes sense that you drink the elixir from a favorite vessel that is deserving of the honor.  I have several “go to” mugs that I prefer to must drink from in the morning.

These first two are travel mugs and I use one of them almost daily.  I designed the graphics for them for our church, and it is an important message to me.  The silver mug was given to me as a gift from my parents and the white mug was my dad’s that he was using close to the time when he suddenly passed away last year.  For that reason, it has even more meaning to me.

The two mugs below are those that I use on the weekend (or when I have the occasional weekday off just to spend at home), when I can just SIT and RELAX.  Sipping my coffee and savoring each moment of that time.  My first choice is the blue and white engraved Navajo pattern given to me by my piano teacher / professor in college.  She gave it to me one year at Christmastime.  I will cry if this one ever gets broken, I love it.  Love the organic & tactile pattern, the color, and the story of it.  It holds the right amount, and is just the right weight in my hand.  You all know what I mean!

Life is Crazy Good.  It is true.  No matter what, there is something to be thankful for and this is a great reminder.  I like the quirky design on this mug, but it also reminds me of the recent to trip to Colorado when I purchased this – an eclectic group of my extended family went one day on a tour of the Celestial Seasonings plant and this was my memento from the gift shop.  

Last but not least is a mug I recently acquired.  I love the message and colors in the design, so I needed to have it.  

On the exterior with a butterfly image: 

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.


On the interior:

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

It spoke to me about the metamorphosis I am undergoing.  Becoming.  Creating a life in which “when we are in our dreams awake.”  

All of these bring joy to me in the morning, whether it evokes a happy or bittersweet memory, or provides a positive message.  This is an important quality for connecting our brains to the correct vein of thought – especially first thing in the morning.  What you first see is what you think on for the day.  Happy people begin their morning with a routine of positivity that propels them into the day.  Acting in accordance with the Laws of Attraction and the function of your R.A.S. will output the feelings and attitude that you want to have coming back to you in your life.  

Go ahead and get some High Octane Wakey Juice, or some Horseshoe Coffee.  (That is, coffee so strong that you could stand up a Horseshoe in it!  It’s what we call that delicious, extra-strength coffee in my abode.)  Give me a cuppa Horseshoe in the chalice of my choice and let me get on with my day!

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What do you do when you’re grasping at straws to get that inspiration, that motivation going?  

1)  Think long-term.  Look ahead to what is promised you when you reach your goal.

“I already know what giving up feels like.  I want to see what happens IF I DON’T.”  Neila Rey

2) Reach deep down and find that spark to fuel your motivtion.

3) Be inspired by someone else.  Think of someone you admire, and emulate their actions and intentions.

4) Remember that quitting isn’t an option.

“It’s always too early to quit.”  Baltasar Gracian

5) Be a mentor.  

If you are a mentor, or teacher, it is easy to become passionate, because you know about the subject you love more deeply.  

6) Find your passion.

It’s much easier to be motivated to move toward a goal if you are chasing something you are truly passionate about.

 7) Hold yourself accountable.  

If you are not moving forward, know that you are the cause of this plateau.  Create a list of ways to overcome by taking action.

8) Regroup.

Walk away for a bit, and return with renewed vigor and energy!  

9) Surf.

Wander around that world wide web that’s available at your fingertips.  Just let the information take you where it will and find a topic that whets your creative appetite.

10) Get some face time.

Get together with friends or colleagues to brew some motivation.  Whether it’s to relax or meld your ideas, meeting up with others face-to-face is a great way to go.