That’s it, I’ve had it.
It’s what you hear yourself saying when everyone and everything ~ the boss, your clients, that project you’re still working on ~ wants more than you can give right now.
Time to take a break, but where to?
If you’re in Las Cruces and the coffee matters, you’re off to Mesquite Street to visit Beck’s Coffee: a center of calm with crazy good coffee.
So what makes the coffee here so “crazy good?”
For one thing, the focus on GOOD coffee is intense.
So many other “coffee shops” in Las Cruces offer a wide assortment of baked goods, burritos, and many other edibles to take with your coffee. And yes, there’s a place for that.
But that place isn’t here.
Inside Beck’s Coffee, you can enjoy light menu items such as seasonal fruit or oatmeal. But you won’t see a single burrito or “lunch plate” in sight.
This Las Cruces favorite is virtually all about the coffee, the freshly roasted coffee, and nothing but the coffee.
Could be that’s why the owners opted to name their shop Beck’s COFFEE rather than Beck’s Cafe.
Blackboard menus posted behind the counter overflow with the various beverages available. There are some options for tea drinkers here, sure, but pour-overs, espresso, and other coffee drinks predominate.
Also on display are small tins of mints, teas, and bags of coffee so you can brew Beck’s at home.
My first time there for coffee with a friend, I ordered a pour-over. Then I watched with interest as the barista prepared to do her thing since I’ve had few pour-over coffees before.
Since Beck’s Coffee roasts on the premises four days a week, I knew my coffee would not only be freshly ground but freshly roasted as well, no earlier than the day before. Even as we ordered, I could see roasting was underway in the room just beyond the counter.
So yes, I was hoping for, even expecting great things with this cup of coffee.
The pour-over will take a while, the barista said, and she invited us to take a seat. She would bring our orders over when ready.
And so we sat down.
That’s when I noticed a shelving section with plenty of books.
Real touch-me, hold-me, turn-a-paper-page types of books.
And I thought, YIPES! Do they seriously expect us to get QUIET ENOUGH to curl up with our cuppas and READ?
Yes. They do.
And that brings me to the other thing that’s so intense about a Beck’s Coffee experience.
This is a quiet place. Not so quiet that you can’t have an intimate conversation as I would learn this visit.
But quiet enough that you can get deep into that book you’ve been meaning to read, finish that work assignment, even polish that blog post.
So quiet you may start to wonder just how “intimate” your intimate conversation should be in so much quiet.
That afternoon when my friend and I were the ONLY ones talking, we sure wondered.
At least twice, one of us said to the other, Wow, we sound so loud!
But the self-consciousness didn’t last long. Because the other patrons dotted about the room, seemed oblivious to us, consumed with what’s right in front of them.
They sat INTENSELY relaxed, an oxymoron I know but one that fits.
So we felt free to relax and stay consumed with our conversation, too.
This was one time when it was a relief to know:
They’re NOT that into you.
(Like the twenty-something guy I noticed on a barstool when we came in. Dude was zeroed in on his laptop and still at it when we left two hours later. Whether HE ever noticed us, I doubt it.)
The simple decor contributes to the calm.
From the comfortable seating choices, including bar height tables with stools, sleek sofas, and ~ our choice for the afternoon ~ sturdy wooden chairs pulled up to a wooden table.
To the sweet aroma of coffee and the warm sunlight streaming through the windows.
A person could get used to this.
This atmosphere of calm is one of the coolest things about the place.
I thought of trying to capture the atmosphere for you by taking a photo of my fellow coffee drinkers, but THAT even Barstool Guy would have noticed.
Such an interruption might have spoiled the entire chemistry of the place.
It could have interfered with the natural course of civilization, exactly what the Prime Directive instructs Captain Kirk and other Starfleet commanders NOT to do.
And I don’t want to change a thing about the calm state of civilization at Beck’s Coffee.
Because I need calm.
There are not too many places you can go these days where you’re guaranteed a quiet place.
Not even the public library when young kiddos are about.
And even when the library is quiet, try marching by the librarian with a mocha latte in your hand and see how far you get.
Which brings us back full circle to Beck’s crazy good coffee, the star of this show.
It comes to you in REAL cups. Great big ceramic things, filled almost to the brim, with sides thick enough to hold the heat and warm your hands.
The barista must have prepared it with infinite patience.
It took the several minutes that had passed since my order for her to pour a precise amount of water over and through the fresh grounds in the filter. Then more time still to wait for the flavor to be released into my cup.
Would the taste be worth the wait?
I lifted my cup and took a whiff before drinking.
I had ordered “Java,” one of Beck’s full-bodied dark roasts.
It is, literally, my favorite blend of java these days. But I usually buy a bag, make it at home in a coffeemaker, and drink it with half and half.
So this cup would be my first “Java” pour over. And I was taking it black and without sugar . . . .
. . . . and it tasted crazy good!
What’s your hallmark for good coffee?
I figure if you’re able to enjoy it without any frou-frou ~ that is without any sweetener, cream, or flavor shots ~ yet still drain the cup, that’s good coffee.
My friend pronounced her Dirty Vanilla Chai Latte as the best she has tasted. Smooth and not as sweet as most others. The shot of espresso, she said, sees to that.
Then we both drank some more and kept talking.
We didn’t care if anyone did overhear us.
Even if we shared state secrets ~ which we didn’t ~ we were in the zone now, too.
No one intruded. Not the barista who had served us, now reclining on a nearby sofa, wrapped up in a book.
And most definitely not Barstool Guy who continued to tap away on his laptop, listening through headphones to who knows who.
That’s the real reason Beck’s is a favorite coffee house.
Because however crazy good the coffee is, it goes down best when I can drink it in a calm place shared with a crazy good friend.
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