In 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman, a Christian couples therapist published his now most famous book -The Five Love Languages. It became a bestseller almost immediately, as his writings helped people love others better and reciprocatively feel more loved. The book is still popular, 30 years after it was first published, and there is a website where anyone can take the love quiz and find out what makes one feel the most loved.
I personally find a very strong bond between coffee and love. Whether it is romantic love, family love, or simply love for myself, I have very often felt loved and given love around a cup of coffee.
One of my earliest memories of coffee is at my grandma’s house. She would often host all the grandchildren over the weekend. We would spend Saturday playing and watching movies at night, and on Sunday morning my grandma would make breakfast for all of us. With breakfast came a cup of coffee. She steamed gallons of milk (She was serving coffee to 12 children. Brave woman.), served it in cups and individually added instant coffee and brown sugar to each cup. She did it individually because she knew each of our tolerance and preferences around coffee. Later, my grandparents moved, and my mom found out that my siblings and I were not only hooked on coffee but knew exactly how we liked it -how grandma made it. My mom put a lot of effort into recreating that same cup, but it was never the same.
Coffee has always been important at my family home. The drink is a tool to show love. My dad in particular makes the absolute best cappuccinos and generously makes them for everyone after lunch. If we are feeling festive, we would replace the milk for ice cream and make it an affogato. His coffee-making ability fills him with pride, but not for the skill alone, but for the fact that it’s one of his ways to make everyone around him feel loved.
Outside of home, I can clearly remember most of my friends' coffee preferences. The type of roasts they like, if they like flavors or not, their typical orders at cafes. Every time a friend says “I don’t like coffee” I think to myself “You just haven’t tried the real deal” and I make it my personal business to introduce people to good coffee. This has led to wonderful experiences. I’ve found most people think of a bitter dark brew when they think of coffee, but once exposed to the richer options a whole world opens up.
Going back to Dr. Chapman's love languages, I believe all these memories around coffee are so significant because they were all opportunities to experience love. Here is a quick chart on coffee’s relationship with love.