Battle of the Beverages (Another Coffee Poetry Prompt)

coffee poetry prompt

There is no doubt, we are becoming a coffee culture. Across America, soccer moms have traded Diet Coke cans for paper cups of their favorite double-shot lattes. Working stiffs pull single servings of barely palatable stuff from the Keurig. Hipsters eschew all other permutations of joe for a mug of single-batch Harrar (chemex brewed, of course). It’s intriguing, I think, the way our various subcultures have adapted the drink to their own particular styles.

This nationwide trend is felt acutely in my medium-sized university town, where we boast no fewer than thirteen coffee shops, the majority of which opened their doors in the last ten years. We have local artisan roasters, expert cuppers, and graduate students who prepare well-researched papers regarding the socioeconomic effects of corporate coffee plantations on local farmers. Here, the university has influenced us, so we mostly take our coffee with a bit of cream and a spoonful of pseudo-academic sweetener. And we take it by the jugful.

Yes, it seems that coffee is infiltrating all of our communities, replacing the time-tested stimulating beverages of yesteryear—cola. After all, I can’t remember the last time someone asked me if I wanted to take a Coke break (though my grandmother insists this was all the rage in the 1950s). And though my anecdotal observations may not conclusively prove that coffee is quickly supplanting cola as America’s drink of choice, I stumbled across an article that seems to lend support. According to the Atlantic, coffee revenues are trending upward while soft-drink revenues are heading south. Moreover, sales of coffee are projected to surpass those of cola in the not-too-distant future. What does this mean exactly? Folks are pitching the Pepsi, ditching the Diet Coke, and swapping their Sprite for a cup of joe.

The beverage wars are on—soft drinks v. coffee. Which will ultimately win? I suppose that depends on whether the growing interest in coffee is more than a passing fad. Which brings us to the subject of this week’s poetry prompt. Pit coffee against soft drinks (or any other drink, really) in a duel to the death. Compare; contrast. Write something unexpected, something different. Play with personification; use metaphor. But above all, have fun.

Now, who’s first? Let the battle begin!


Tweetspeak’s January Coffee and Tea Poetry Prompt:

This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is coffee and tea, and we’re composing poems that play with the theme. Perhaps you can gain a bit of inspiration from this month’s playlist, from the music at your local coffee joint, or from some other coffee or tea inspired piece of art. How do you participate?

1.  Think about your favorite experiences, works of art, literary scenes, or songs that involve coffee or tea. Listen to the Tweetspeak monthly poetry playlist.

2.  Compose a poem inspired by your coffee and tea experiences.

3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSCoffeeCup hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.

4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.

5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.

Last week, there were a few gems dropped on Tweetspeak’s “How do you Take it?” prompt. Monica Sharman shared a poem on her her own website. In “How I Take my Coffee,” she opens with a marvelous run:

Coffee is unlike an emergency
or harsh criticism
or a sudden change in plans;
I take it well 
no matter how it comes…

I’m with you, Monica. Visit her site for the full poem.

Tess shared 5 different haiku with us. In “So Cold,” she writes:

The sun she floats up.
Even cold, you arouse me.
Ice trails down my skin.

Craig visited, too. He shared his observations from a coffee shop. In one, he writes:

Serving time
at my fav’rite café
Allen’s last poems
wait on the table.
Even reading demands courage…

I’m imagining him to mean Ginsberg, which indeed takes courage. Good work Craig.

Visit last week’s poetry prompt and read the prompts for the full offering of responses.

Now, let’s brew up some great poetry. Who’s first?

Photo by mattcameasarat, Creative Commons via Flickr. Post by Seth Haines


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In January we’re exploring the theme Coffee and Tea.

Every Day Poems Driftwood


  1. Ruben says

    My cup is full
    The door is open
    and life walks by

    This plate is full
    and I drink it slowly
    She watches anyway

    Fair trade
    for a bear market
    A farmer’s plate is half full
    and he drinks his coffee quickly

    Shade grown
    sown on steep hand drawn hillsides
    Her grinder calls me back

    How lovely she stands
    Plaid on black
    My cup runneth over

    • says

      A different take on coffee seen from the different lifestyles of others. I can relate to the first line since I love to enjoy my coffee and watch the world go by; whether it be in a street cafe or from the view from my kitchen.

  2. says


    Dr Pepper Hour, that most Baylor
    of Baylor institutions, still
    attracts college students. Sixty years of refreshing floats. They visit
    from 3 to 4,
    then walk down the street
    to Starbucks.

  3. says

    The morning hopes for better days in early reflections and first sunrays. No soda no beer will calm the fear, soothe the mind and make it clear. Tope. The color of tope and a morning reflection of hope awakens the night and dawns the day.

    Morning Hope

    No ode to syrupy brown
    Pop and fizz—not my biz
    Dripping brew
    Off bottle brown
    Nothing to see to
    Barley and hops
    Second at tops
    Bubbly—no better than Brew
    Water washes down
    Better, when filtered brown
    Through bean
    And morning hope
    Sweetened and creamed
    To color of tope

    © January 21, 2013, Robbie Pruitt

  4. Donna says

    My husband loves his coffee, and he takes it with cream, no sugar. And so I have this special opportunity (on days when I know he’ll be down before the cream goes too warm) to let him know I love him without a word….

    his favorite cup
    waits with cream (no sugar)
    whispering Honey

  5. says

    I live in Seattle;
    there is no battle-it is
    COFFEE all the way
    in this town.
    the only battle is
    the choices–far too
    many (and Starbuck’s
    is NOT at the top of my list)
    It’s the quiet
    common cupcake cafe
    on the downtown corner
    where I know the owners
    and they say my name.
    I ask about the cupcakes
    and the piereced and tatooed
    20 something
    remembers what I like (double
    breve, extra foamy) even
    though I’m her Grandma’s age
    and that makes me feel
    like I belong.
    At the very cool
    downtown corner
    cupcake cafe
    coffee shop.

  6. says

    Just Coffee Please

    Like a childhood memory; the aroma brings me back,
    Its full bodied smell filling my senses
    beckoning me like the warm morning sun.
    It possess a comfortableness and a familiarity
    like a treasured friend I look forward to seeing;
    warm and inviting it never seems to disappoint;
    partaking the moment my morning day has begun.

    Copyright by NewLife2008

  7. says

    What if I didn’t speak
    of The 2nd Amendment

    But only of fine
    China teacups
    Saucers, blue -n- white

    Hand-painted flowers
    Poetical stuff

    Then I’d be a darn
    Blasted fool
    To be
    I am

    Despite misconstrued
    Ill-conceived, stereo-
    Momma’s don’t

    Maybe, just
    I drink
    A similar


    (or maybe mine
    is a mug,
    coffee puddles)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *