For anyone who knows me relatively well, they know I like my coffee. Like wine, coffee gets me talking. I think the warmth eases me into it, the sharing of the common experience, the expectation of light talk - never anything too deep. That is why it works for interviews, and first dates.
I raised my kids at the same time as Lori, who now lives in England, and we often started our days together over coffee. I see now that she boasts often of fine wines, but I know deep down nothing replaces the coffee in her day. In college, Eric used to tell me that he refused to patronize the larger coffee shop chains, in favor of the smaller more obscure ones - so they wouldn't disappear. I too prefer the more out-of-the-way shops, and it's still easy to do after becoming single.
A coffee shop welcomes everyone and christens you family whether you want to be or not. It's easy to sit in a coffee shop alone, unlike a restaurant. Coffee drinkers understand the ritual of the cup, the aroma, the sip along with the gaze out the window. They will know when to leave you alone, and when to engage you. Like bikers, there's an understanding only we know.
I like watching videos on siphoning coffee - it's an art much like poetry. I have cups from all the presidential libraries I've been to, hand-designed cups from my children, and a specific cup set aside for me whenever I visit my mother. Last Father's Day I sent my dad two white Hotel grade coffee cups with saucers, and he knew why. They have "thin lips" - which is our preferred style. To my dismay, last I visited he showed me how even with the thin lips, the cups dribble coffee down the sides. Like the gravy bowl, I suggested putting a little butter on the edge for preventing this. We both laughed. You see, sharing coffee makes laughter easy too.