http://revach.net/article.php?id=4564

Section: Stories   Category: Mashal
Rav Yisroel Salanter's Expensive Cup of Coffee
Once, when Rav Yisroel Salanter was in Paris he was in a very fancy hotel.  He ordered a cup of coffee and it cost him a number of francs.  Rav Yisroel wondered to himself why he paid so much for a cup of coffee which should have cost merely small change.  Why do they have the right to charge so much money?

After giving it some thought he decided they were right in charging the high price.  True, the coffee itself was worth far less, but they were charging him for ambience, the nice building, the  expensive furnishings, the beautiful gardens surrounding him, and the attentive care of the waiters.  All this was included in the price.  More than that he thought, not only did he enjoy all the accoutrements but it even enhanced the taste of the coffee itself!

The lesson from this experience said Rav Yisroel Salanter is that we are in Hashem's luxury hotel.  When we drink even a sip of water we must realize that we are getting far more.  We have solid ground beneath our feet, plentiful fresh air, a beautiful sky, the smell of flowers, the chirping of birds, and all the beauty and conveniences of the creation.  When we take a sip of water we should remember, not only do we owe Hashem a thank you for the water, but also for the ambience of his luxurious world!  (Talilei Oros/Darchei Mussar)