Something I dearly miss about being home is my family’s weekly coffee run on Sundays. After attending mass at St. David’s Catholic Church, we make our way to Tarantella, our favorite Italian restaurant in Weston Town Center. For us, it is a tradition to eat lunch there and then walk over to Starbucks, right next door. My dad and I particularly bond over this practice, as we are coffee enthusiasts(as proven by our ability to drink it at any time of the day). This specific Starbucks is right across the street from my dad’s old work office, so he used to be a daily customer there, which explains why my family frequents this establishment in particular. As a whole family, we generally consider our Sundays incomplete if we do not fulfill this custom.
When my dad and I enter the Starbucks, we are cheerfully greeted by a barista who is ready to take our order. Although I typically ask for the same drink every time, I still glance upward and review the menu, as I am curious about the new caffeinated inventions offered throughout the year. My dad usually orders first, requesting a grande Americano. I have never seen him order coffee in any other way, since he thoroughly enjoys the rich simplicity of plain espresso. After the barista jots down his order, I habitually ask for a venti vanilla sweet cream cold brew. Preferring iced coffee over hot, unlike my dad, I find that this drink skillfully blends the pungent bitterness of cold brew and the luscious sweetness of vanilla sweet cream. Then, I remember to order a vanilla frappuccino for my youngest brother and two birthday cake pops for both of my brothers. Hence, the family order is complete and we shift leftward towards the front of the pick-up counter, where we wait for a few minutes.
These few minutes mean a great deal to me because it is when we update each other on our individual lives. Attending college in Boston means that I typically do not have that much time to meaningfully converse with my dad, who lives in Florida with the rest of my family. Although we keep in touch over conversations on WhatsApp and occasional FaceTime calls, this is the time where we are truly able to reflect and share our emotions. Whether it be about school, work, family, goals, or the future, we always convey what is on our minds in a vulnerable way while the drinks and cake pops are gradually handed to us. My dad grabs an extra cup to pour some of his coffee into for my mom and I secure a few straws and napkins before we exit the Starbucks together, thanking the barista as we walk out. Approaching the parked family car with my mom and brothers inside, we continue our conversation and sip on our respective drinks, feeling immediately energized and delighted.
Our coffee choices are vastly different but we drink them with similar enthusiasm. Simple moments like ones in which my dad and I order Starbucks drinks on Sundays are important in my life because they illuminate how valuable family customs can be. Weekly-bought caffeinated drinks from Starbucks ground my dad and I to the present moment, allowing us to think about and communicate the life updates which are worth sharing with those we love and respect. On the short drive back home from Starbucks, everybody in the car is content and appreciating each other’s company. While I’m away from home, I look forward to partaking in this tradition on Sundays, as one never knows how long practices like these can last. Unfortunately, as I get older and pursue post-grad opportunities, I might not be able to visit home as often as I would like anymore; perhaps I will be occupied by a job opportunity in a different state in a few years. Whenever possible, it is crucial that I relish quality family time when I am home in Florida, just as I savor chilled, flavorful sips of Starbucks’ vanilla sweet cream cold brew.
Cover photo courtesy of batoryfoods