We are a coffee culture. In fact, coffee is so woven into the fabric of our daily lives that we don’t just simply drink coffee, we have coffee. It is so integrated in our daily routine and often feels like an experience, an event of some sort. We have fun, we have sex, we have second thoughts, but have coffee? We don’t have bagels or have beer so why do we have coffee? Because the art of having coffee is so much more than just gulping down a hot beverage to kick start our sleepy brains. It can be a destination on your morning walk with your dog, a respite from the madness of the world, a place to read the sports page or smartphone, an office to conduct business and, of course, a social meeting place. Package it all with a cool ambience, trendy music and free Wi-Fi and even the elusive hipster crowd is in on this gig (ahem, I am writing this at a coffeehouse fueled on caffeine).
Perhaps the beauty of meeting at a coffee shop is it is so elegant in its simplicity. It’s a way to invite a friend as if they were in your living room without them being in your living room. A level of intimacy without awkward boundaries. You can engage in deep conversation in a neutral setting without the usual entanglements of a meal. There’s no judgment because you ordered a bacon double cheeseburger, no big tab that you’ll get stuck with when your friend ‘forgets’ his wallet and no set timetable. If you’re on a blind date from hell, you can sip your latte in ten minutes and gracefully find the exit door without breaking any major rules for social etiquette; if it’s a business meeting, you can gulp your espresso and sign the documents in five minutes flat; if it’s an annoying relative, you can do your obligatory weekly get together painlessly.
Having coffee can also be a beautiful, tranquil moment of solitude. Even in a busy Starbucks, you will always find a loner or two leaning over their Venti cup, clutching it as if it were a hand warmer, while deep in thought. This may be their House of Worship as they sit in silence praying to the Coffee Gods amidst the chaos. It provides a sanctuary, to be alone in a crowd, that offers the solace of feeling connected. Where else can you see all walks of life converge: Suits, students, soccer Moms, the unemployed, Tinder hookups and even the slicksters with their business cards trolling for dates?
Our reasons can vary daily why and when we choose to have coffee, but it’s far more than just a caffeine fix. Indulge in the precious moments, whether social or solitary, and make it more than just sippin’ a hot beverage, have coffee and revel in the coffee experience.