It is not overstating that coffee plays a very important role in my life. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was in high school. My best friends, Courtenay and Carrie, & I would drive thirty miles to go to an “edgy” college coffee shop, One World Coffee & Cargo in Peoria, Illinois. Nowadays, One World is much more “mainstream” than it was in the mid-nineties. (OH how I wish I had some pictures of high school me at One World!) Back then, they had mismatched furniture, couches, a small stage for open-mic nights, crazy indie art and graffiti all over the walls. And upstairs, there were a bunch of empty rooms painted with psychedelic colors. (I still wonder what happened in those rooms…) In the front part, they sold incense and hippie-looking bags and scarves. One World was always packed with college kids who wore flannels and ripped jeans and sat around having deep conversations over coffee and cigarettes.
In the beginning, Courtenay, Carrie and I would drink sweet flavored iced “cappuccinos”. Once we realized that a carafe of coffee was cheaper and lasted longer than one Vanilla Iced Capp, we quickly learned to drink the “real” stuff. The carafe allowed us to sit and talk and absorb all of the college atmosphere as we made preparations to go on our own college adventures. I’m sure the college kids thought we were ridiculously lame–especially when we brought our high school homework–but we made wonderful memories there, just the three of us.
In a classic instance of “you can’t go home again”, One World remodeled while we were in our first years of college and it never felt quite the same. Maybe it was because they got rid of the stage and the couches and the “Cargo”…but maybe it was because we had grown up a little bit, too…
I do still enjoy going back to visit for a cup of coffee and a Tomato Melt (still on the menu after all these years!), it’s just different now. I guess we all have to grow up sometime!