For Coffee Lovers

Mercia Prince   |   January 27, 2015 

Flat White Coffee

I wrote this note many years ago when the residents of Delhi seemed to be initially talking about coffee. What once used to be an almost alien concept is now a ritual highlight. She asks, “What do you want to do this evening?” He replies, “How about we get some coffee?” I say, “Sounds like a plan.” And so we spend a few more hours together, warming our hands around coffee mugs!

But, why coffee?

Doubtless, there are still many who don’t understand why they need to make a trip to a café and spend a couple of hundred Rupees for a small cup of coffee. I’ve often heard the statement, I might as well have my coffee at home. Valid as their concerns may be, personally, I believe there lies something genuine at the heart of dates around coffee. And sometimes, that unique spirit of "coffee" is easy to miss.

For most of the past decade I have lived at least 30 kilometers or more away from where my parents live, though in the same region. However, the busy city life barely gave me extra time to spend with them. Hence, I made a conscious effort to take time out to schedule them into my crazy workaholic lifestyle. The first time I asked if I could bring them out someplace, they promptly consented, and so we went to a nice coffee shop which I personally favored. Both of them were then drinking coffee as opposed to tea, at their doctors’ orders. And I only drink coffee.

At the end of our time together, I’d wondered if they, at their retired age, would be able to appreciate the concept of a coffee-date. When my dad called me the next morning to thank me for the fun evening we had shared, and to my great pleasure, had asked, “When are we going to do this again?”and needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Coffee dates with the parents: good times.

As I write, I’m thinking back and trying to remember the number of coffee-dates I have had with a variety of people from across the world. The countries were different, the coffee-shops varied, the music unique, the coffee and dessert we sampled, delicious and many. Amidst such diversity, what made each of those coffee dates memorable? I could go out for coffee with friends, my siblings, parents, my professor, boss, co-workers or even strangers, if I were comfortable, and each date would be special because of the remarkable and exclusive personal life-stories they brought with them.

As a coffee lover, I have penned down from my own journey what I believe to be some crucial elements of coffee dates (apart from, of course, good strong coffee).

Coffee, the Opportunity to Unburden Oneself. Every scheduled meeting presents opportunities for work, relationship building or learning, so why not do those things over coffee? When two or three people gather together to share moments over coffee, they make a statement which says that they have time for one-another. This creates an opportunity to share with each other their lives, what’s on their minds and in their hearts, their passions, discoveries, sorrows, philosophies, dreams and more. A sip of coffee, a question asked and answered. Another sip and a spark of genuine interest from the listener, and a window is quietly opened allowing the other to bring forth his deepest thoughts held captive within himself.

Coffee, the Friendship that Lasts Longer than the Taste. The coffee experience comes under the banner of relationships, which is why one-time dates don’t bear lasting fruit or build into something substantial. Regular dates, on the other hand, can turn these opportunities into healthy and meaningful moments of give and take. Genuine warmth is built around coffee cups. Honesty, a listening ear, a hug, a box of tissues or maybe even a free coffee, will always be appreciated. Some days you may be the hearer, while, other times you may need someone else’s attentive ear. The friendships built over coffee are long-lasting because each date usually picks up from where the previous one left off, weaving depth and creating memories into each of these relationships.

Coffee, the Comfort Shared that has an Edge Over Regular Coffee. Opportunities that turn into friendships can give you chances to serve your dates in ways that can change the course of their life or add an immense amount of value to who they are. When the coffee tastes good and the ambience is relaxed, and when hearts lay bare and guidance is sought, we might find ourselves at a place where comfort and counsel can be shared with each other through words of wisdom and life experiences, gentle nudging or the painting of a vision. A particular coffee shop franchise in India has the slogan "A lot happens over coffee" in their marketing and promotion material. I vehemently agree. Yes, a lot can happen over coffee if coffee-drinkers around the world are willing to connect with their dates and offer the assurance and comfort they are looking for at moments when most needed.

My first “official” coffee date was with my big brother when I was a 10-year old kid (I know very few 15 year old teenage boys who like hanging out with their baby sisters). We both love coffee. Over the decades, we have had uncountable such coffee experiences resulting in an unbreakable bond of love and support, life-changing conversations and growing up together.

I hope you continue to discover newer and exciting personal favorites, and the coffee you order is always be served with unforgettable taste-- it definitely does enhance every coffee date. Coffee isn’t just about spending that money or wasting a couple of hours over mere chit-chat; it’s about taking deep pleasure in the various flavors of opportunity, friendship and comfort that come with every cup. It’s about honest and open times of giving and taking between your date(s) and you.

 

Photo Credit: Russel James Smith via Flickr cc

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Mercia Prince

Mercia Prince is a student of life, addicted to work and open to feedback. She believes in miracles, enjoys reading and is a Coffee lover. She works with a private liberal arts university in India.

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