Poets Online Talking About Coffee: Rita Mookerjee

72 reasons for coffee. Go.


I’m at the dentist, but I can send you stuff once I’m home!

Hope teeth okay.

I could only make it to 55.

  1. To sip dramatically while someone tells you a story
  2. For getting through meetings that should have been emails
  3. For an exfoliating scrub because allegedly the caffeine makes your lumps go away but even if it doesn’t, your shower will smell good
  4. To drink when you’re out of whiskey
  5. To drink when you’re out of wine
  6. To kill time in the airport
  7. For taking a principled stance about trade and the ecosystem so you can show people how much you read
  8. For filling the novelty mugs you get from people who know you best or don’t know you at all
  9. For perfuming the air when your officemate heats up brussels sprouts and cabbage
  10. For the love of beans
  11. To grind loudly and cover the sound of your neighbors fucking
  12. To fill your cupholders
  13. To make your garbage look more like garbage
  14. To rub into a slab of beef before it meets the grill
  15. To buy time in uncomfortable conversations
  16. To sniff in between testing perfumes (although smelling your own sleeve clears the olfactory senses much better)
  17. For rotting the teeth
  18. To drink with whiskey
  19. To drink with horchata
  20. To drink with Bailey’s
  21. Because who likes drinking water?
  22. To provide barista jobs for young people in the arts
  23. To leave brown rings on ungraded papers
  24. To spill on the train
  25. To surprise your tattoo artist
  26. For stating elitist opinions about roast and region
  27. One of the only drugs you can do at work without getting funny looks/fired
  28. For suggesting an activity to do with someone you want to date because drinks will lead to a one-night stand and you’d like to see them many more times
  29. For warming your fingers during the polar vortex
  30. To mix with lemonade (trust me)
  31. For something to do with your hands while NPR is on
  32. For an excuse to sit in the café from open until close while you work on your second manuscript and fend off creepy smiles from singles
  33. To gauge the cost of living in your area
  34. To draw foam and cream designs into for your social media pages
  35. To increase your heart rate
  36. To excite the bowels
  37. To pair with cigarettes
  38. To fill the thermos you will reheat no less than 3 times on any given weekday
  39. To sip with good company after a fine meal (see aforementioned beef)
  40. To percolate. What else can percolate?
  41. To remind you of simpler times
  42. For slicing through your hangover with ruthless efficiency
  43. For carafes
  44. For pour-overs
  45. For filling K-cups, wretched little things that they are
  46. For fetching on your unpaid internship where you will allegedly gain invaluable work experience
  47. To boost your metabolism (probably)
  48. Because it’s delicious by itself
  49. Because otherwise you’ll chip a tooth on that biscotti
  50. For bathing ladyfingers as you prepare an enormous tiramisu
  51. For procrastinating
  52. For making excuses about lethargy
  53. To give you some mild twitches after cup #4
  54. To drink as a sign of adulthood
  55. To burn your mouth and keep you humble



Rita Mookerjee's poetry is featured or forthcoming in Berfrois, Lavender Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Occulum and others. Her critical work has been featured in the Routledge Companion of Literature and Food, the Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, and the Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory. She is a PhD candidate at Florida State University specializing in contemporary Caribbean literature.
Russell Bennetts co-founded Queen Mob's Teahouse in 2014.

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