Coffee seems to be a central part of my life. And no, not because of my so-called caffeine “addiction” (although my wallet is not enjoying all of my coffee shop trips), but because of the role coffee has in various relationships.
A silent force, coffee has the ability to build, strengthen, weaken, or break bonds. We “grab coffee” with our close friends or “meet for coffee” with our colleagues and acquaintances. When we’re bored and thinking of something to do, we end up on a coffee run, often accompanied by some sort of errand. Coffee dates have the ability to ignite the beginning of a romantic relationship.
Some of my strongest bonds have been built and/or strengthened through coffee. My cousin, AKA one of my best friends, and I have a ritual of going to a Starbucks no matter where we are. I know her order by heart, and some of my favorite memories with her include the drives to Starbucks. My mom and I have always been close and as I’ve gotten older one of our favorite things to do is find new coffee shops. When I’m away at college, I’ll FaceTime her to tell her about my newest coffee adventure. Every time she comes to visit, our first stop is always a “caffeine break.” My mom even gifted me a Nespresso when I moved to Ann Arbor. I love grabbing coffees for my friends whenever something good happens or just as a little pick me up. I imagine that my two best friends internally roll their eyes when I suggest grabbing coffee at random times during the day, but those hangouts always end up being the best.
On the flip side, coffee has the power to facilitate those less than ideal interactions, from breakups to comfort during hard times.
Some of the hardest moments for those close to me have involved coffee. One of my close friend’s breakups involved many tears and the subtle comfort of an iced coffee from Dunkin. When I was grieving the loss of a loved one, my friend came to my rescue with a comforting hand and a Starbucks drink. After being hurt beyond repair by someone I loved, my mom brought home one of my favorite drinks from a local coffee shop. After hearing tough medical news, I had treats and coffee ready to go for my best friend.
The power of coffee in relationships is unassuming yet so strong. Maybe it stems from the ability to do an activity with someone or maybe it’s the versatility of coffee and how there’s something for everyone. For me, the realization before writing this article that coffee has played such a large role in my life was a surprise and yet made sense at the same time. Now, I find myself ready to text my friend asking if she wants to go for a coffee run.