I never thought I’d consider a coffee shop as a kind of home.
Almost every morning last year, I stopped by the same coffee shop on my way to work. It didn’t matter if it was scorching hot or pouring rain – I’d order the same thing daily and always left with more than just a cappuccino.
I guess there’s something to be said about the power of caffeine. But more than that, there’s something to be said about the people.
Nothing begins my day better than the warm greeting of the Seattle Coffee – the barista’s contagious joy, their ability to remember the orders of over a dozen different people, and their sincere hope that I wasn’t working too hard when I’d come in earlier than usual.
Stopping by every morning set my day in motion (and it’s wasn’t just the coffee. Although, that definitely helped).
I stopped interning in that area in December 2018. And although that in itself was sad, it also meant that I wouldn’t be near that coffee shop each morning. So, I began frequenting other (closer to home) Seattles and carved out a new routine. I got to know the barista who greets me in French and the barista who sings and the barista who likes my new haircut.
This is February, I went back to that company (in a kind of two-day-a-week position). And my first stop, on my first day back? The coffee shop.
It felt like coming home.
Familiar furniture, friendly faces, the same early-bird corporate drones typing away on their laptops, the recognisable whirl and hiss and wham! of the coffee machines.
When I stepped up to the counter, I had my usual offered to me before I could even say a word.
“Tall cappuccino?” she asked. As I waited for my order, already feeling my first-day nerves settle to non-existence; replaced by a warm familiarity, I was reminded why I love this place, this coffee, these people.
12 out of 10 coffee beans to Seattle Coffee.
(Illustration by Hans-Gerhard Meyer.)