carrot – egg – coffee / a life lesson from the kitchen

22 08 2007

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee…You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

carrotsHer mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

eggsIn about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

coffee beansFinally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water , they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

latte artMay you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

*anonymous author




13 responses

2 09 2007

This is such a great story. It also makes you realize that when you are in hot water, you don’t have to be cooked to make it work.

3 11 2007


I like the image you have chosen for the coffee beans. May I use it on my personal blog?


1 12 2007

I am also wondering if I could use your coffee bean image on my personal blog, along with the other images and the anonymous story. Do you hold the copyrights?

9 03 2008
Mark Anthony Siason

i was just browsing for pictures of coffee beans until i stumbled upon such a wonderful story, at a time in my life when i needed the message most…thank you…i wish to be the coffee that shall impact and change my world…may you be blessed even more than i’ve been with the message of the story you posted…:)

22 08 2008

hey! may I use you image of the coffee beans… I love it!

22 08 2008


i don’t remember where the image came from, but I think it was public clipart. i’d just go and use it!



17 10 2008
ali reza


30 10 2008 » Blog Archive » associate to innovate

[…] Like the step from information to knowledge relys on associativity the source of innovation is also often an association. Just take the following story as an example (found at innovation playground): credit: Oboerista […]

10 02 2010
seb som

hey can i use the picture in my film?

11 04 2011
Gary Seeman

Hello David,

What a lovely story you tell here! May I link it to in their Knockbox forum? As a budding coffeist myself (aka drgary in the H-B and CoffeeGeek forums), I’ve obtained a Conti Prestina and am restoring it and found your site through YouTube’s listings for Prestina showing your video of round 2. Does that video link to a blog?

Buon caffe!
Gary Seeman

22 03 2013

Good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep it up!

9 07 2013

Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we
are looking to trade solutions with other folks, be
sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

7 04 2014
sylvia wheeler

I am not a carrot, an egg nor a coffee. I am a human.

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