When you haven’t seen a friend in a long time, and you want to catch up, what do you do? If you’re me, you invite them out for coffee. When you’re meeting someone whom you don’t know very well for the first time, and you don’t want to bring them into your home, you invite them out for coffee. When you’re looking for a place to study with friends, where do you go? Out for coffee.
Coffee is an easy social crutch. It’s an excuse to be in a place- that place being a coffee shop. It gives you something to lean on in hard conversations. You can stare into it, or break eye contact by taking a sip. However, if you’re using coffee as a social crutch, you don’t actually need the caffeine. Therefore, you can reduce your caffeine intake by switching to a lower-caffeine alternative. For example, tea.
If you want to save a bit of money, and seem like a more interesting person, as well, try inviting people over for tea instead. It provides the same excuse to talk, but without unnecessarily drinking an extra cup of coffee, and spending $3 on it. Furthermore, you can catch up with friends in the privacy of your own home, without worrying about what the table behind you thinks of how your breakup with your boyfriend went. Rather than inviting a guest out to coffee in a coffee shop which you hope portrays the aesthetic you’re going for, invite the into your actual home, which is much more authentically you. Finally, there’s a certain joy in being able to open a conversation by explaining your tea collection to someone. It starts a conversation on the right foot- one where you sound knowledgeable and cultured.
Try using a tea pot, rather than brewing individual cups. It’s a little more convenient for brewing large quantities of tea, and it means that you’ll be drinking the same thing. If the conversation hits an awkward silence, talk about the tea. Stay as long as you like- you can be certain that you aren’t keeping the barista from closing up, or keeping the table from someone else.