There are two kinds of people in this world: those who drink coffee and those who don’t.
I have been drinking coffee since I was in my mother’s womb. The very fibers of my being are probably made of coffee. (Obviously, I didn’t teach science.) My sister’s first word was “huff-y” as in COFFEE! It’s a part of my heritage.
I am a coffee purist, someone who prefers pour overs, single-origins, and both the form and function of the Chemex. While I’m not a fan of Starbucks and its Frappucino culture, I’m not writing to condemn its many fangirls and boys.
There is a crisis in America, and it’s two-fold: we need to drink more coffee, and we need to drink better coffee. I’m not a doctor, and as a recent college graduate, I can assure you that most Millennials are way over-caffeinated. Nobody needs more caffeine, more sugar, and more “whip” in their diets.
But, many people are suffering from loneliness in plain sight, and I think coffee has a way of curing it.
As a twenty-something, this hit hard after relocating to a new city. I was surrounded by peers in elementary school, high school, and college, which consequently was my entire life up to that point. Suddenly, upon graduating and moving several times, I realized that I was suffering from loneliness.
It was right around this time when my husband started dabbling in the craft coffee scene. We began hanging out at a coffee place across the street from his seminary. Getting coffee became a way for my husband and me to connect in a new way for us. Between commenting on brew styles and bean origins, we would update each other on how classes were going or how my students were doing. A sip here, a flavor note there, and before I even knew it, my husband and I were developing a penchant for coffee.
Coffee has healed my loneliness. Okay, “healed” might be a stretch. But we’ve moved four times in five years, and in every city we live, we immediately locate our local craft coffee shops. Coffee has become our entryway into some really cool cities and introduced us to some of the most delightful people.
“Have you been to Neptune Coffee?” is a way less awkward friendship pickup line than, “Hi. You look nice. Can we be friends?” Finding friends can be challenging enough, but there is always potential for something great when you can share an experience with someone. For me, I’ve enjoyed sharing coffee with people. I like to order it “For Here” and get a sweet mug. I like to sit down and see the people I’m meeting with. I could talk all day long about the brewing process. Or not. We don’t have to talk about that.
What is it for you? Do you have a love of something or a hobby that has helped you connect with people?
Let me suggest that you drink more proverbial coffee and better proverbial coffee. Just imagine the stories you’ll have to tell. Imagine the people sitting around your dinner table with whom you’ll share a meal. The richness you’ll have is worth more than all of your coffee cups combined.