Morning coffee (Image Gamal Abda)

A friend just posted on Facebook that his barista was in a bad mood this morning.

It made me realise how important the mood of your barista is in setting up your day.

In fact, there are two influences worth noting: dreams and baristas.

Dreams and happiness

I stumbled upon some dream research and a smartphone app by psychologist, Richard Wiseman, recently.

He has developed an app that can:

  • monitor your phases of sleep
  • gently wake you close to your alarm time but at a time when you are in shallow sleep rather than deep sleep
  • quietly play a soundscape in your last phase of sleep to influence your dreams to be on a subject that makes you feel good

In essence, his app and research is investigating the theory that the tone and subject matter of the last dream of the night has a profound influence on your mood for the day.

If  your last dream was a nightmare or a stressful or angering experience, you’ll wake up like my friend’s grumpy barista.

In fact, you might not just be grumpy, you might be prone to heightened feelings of depression.

However, if your last dream is a happy or fun one, you are set for a day of boundless opportunity.

Richard’s app, Dream On, comes with a couple of free dreamscapes – city streets and a peaceful garden – but you can choose a number of premium dreamscapes to influence your dreams. Some of these include:

  • Paparazzi – yes, you are a star
  • Space Shuttle – yes, you get to pilot the shuttle to the stars
  • 50 Shades Of – yes, you get to, well, make the earth move

So, the first of two hurdles to daily happiness seems to confront us in our sleep.

Baristas and happiness

The next hurdle between us and happiness is the brief exchange we have with our barista.

Depending on your state of caffeine addiction (something we try to wean you off at Baristador in favour of coffee enjoyment), your starting mood is likely to be fragile as you line up in that morning coffee queue.

The moments when your order is taken and again when your name is called for your coffee, can set your inner mood soaring.

Just a smile or a nod to let you know he/she knows what you want, can make you feel like the world is right.

However, cop a barista who’d rather be elsewhere and suddenly your enjoyment plummets. Even the coffee will taste worse.

Coffee making is a blending of many elements, from water, water temperature and grind, to tamping, beans, and pour.

But we need to add the personality or presence of the barista themselves as an influencing factor.

Of course, one way to safeguard against this factor, over which you have no control, is to stock your own coffee at home and make your first brew YOUR way.

But what about the social aspects of coffee, I hear you ask?

Let’s face it, the coffee first thing in the morning is the LEAST social of all.

In most cafes there is little eye contact between patrons and people are on a mission to get coffee and go.

So with your first coffee safely drawn at home, you can then enjoy the social aspect of coffee drinking through the day when coffee IS taken socially.