Frizell Bailey

Frizell is Co-founder and Chief Content Officer at Pendulum.

My first memories of coffee are from my mother. Nearly every morning she drank a cup or two of Folgers with two sugars, two cream. She liked the powdered stuff and still does.

For me, morning was and still is synonymous with the aroma of coffee brewing. When she finally allowed me to have a cup, some time around 13 or 14 years old, I drank it just as she did if with less gusto.

I thought of coffee houses as these romantic places where intellectuals sipped unending cups of coffee and discussed philosophy, literature and politics.

It wasn’t until college when things began to change. My campus was a gated one and I didn’t have a car. Freshman year I drank whatever was hot and cheap at the union or gas stations. Coffee was really still all about the caffeine. It might have remained that way were it not for a trip to the University of North Carolina.

The urban campus was not isolated like my own. Walking to non-campus run coffee shops and restaurants was easy. One day, a friend and I took a walk to explore. We came across a bookstore that also had a coffee an amazing shop.

I was smack dab in the middle of my Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Negritude movement obsession, which is to say I thought of coffee houses as these romantic places where intellectuals sipped unending cups of coffee and discussed philosophy, literature and politics.

I, perhaps ill-advisedly, elected to have a cup of espresso. Three cups later I was completely tweaked and driving my friends batty. I don’t remember much else from that day, but i remember the creamy, flavorful espresso.

When I returned home to Mississippi weeks later, I discovered Cups Espresso Cafe and began buying beans and grinding them in my tiny apartment. I bought a french press and packed away my Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker for good. By then I also had a semi-reliable Volkswagen Beetle and began opting for the cafe over the library to study and write papers.

My interest in coffee, obviously, has only grown. Thankfully, I learned my lesson about shooting cups of espresso in quick succession.