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Updated: Sep 17, 2023

My big secret? I have never liked the taste of coffee. It’s become somewhat of a joke in my family. While both of my parents seem to operate with an IV of drip coffee hooked directly into their veins, I’ve always managed to avoid it. Growing up you get told “that will change when you…” go to college (nope), start working (also no), have kids (don’t plan to find out for a while). But I am pretty convinced that it is just one of those things that people trick themselves into enjoying, like olives or red wine.

(Please note: I am told by many of my trusted coffee-drinking friends that Happy Brew coffee really is quite good - don’t doubt that!).

However, as my parents have faithfully followed the call to help start Happy Brew, I have found myself in a bit of a predicament. I mean, who has family working at a coffee shop and hates coffee? So, I have a timeline. HB is set to open in November, which leaves me a little over a month to become an avid coffee drinker.

On this mission, I have discovered a few things. First of all, I am anti hot-coffee. That could be a byproduct of trying it for the first time in a record-setting summer here in Jacksonville, or I am just not prepared to take that step. However, if you put enough creamer in, I can choke down an iced latté. (I have also learned that if I drink too much too fast, I have heart palpitations – let me know if that is a universal experience to new coffee drinkers, or if I should be concerned).

But the biggest lesson I have learned is the power of the phrase “let’s grab a coffee.”

You want to catch up with a friend but can only squeeze out an hour in the week? Let’s grab a coffee.

You have a group assignment due that’s going to take several days and if you spend one more of them on campus you might just pull your hair out? Let’s grab a coffee.

A low-pressure first date? Let’s grab a coffee. (Ask my best friend Leah about her liquids-only first date philosophy)

Need a quiet afternoon to yourself with no questions asked? I’m going to grab a coffee. New to drinking coffee and actually have many questions to ask the barista about, like what the hell the difference is between a macchiato and a cappuccino? You can grab a coffee! (That’s a blog post for another day and another writer.)

I guess what I am trying to say is this… I freely admit to still not liking the taste of coffee. (What do you want from me? Even coffee-flavored ice cream is too bitter.) But there is something infused in that smell that fosters conversation. It's in coffee shops my friends have felt comfortable enough to open up and share what has been weighing on them. There I have laughed harder than ever while catching up with my high school crew. I’ve joined in several bible studies. Received advice from people ahead of me in school, and done my best to pass it on. It’s smiles and tears, and sometimes a combination of both. But it all started with “let’s grab a coffee.”

That is my prayer for Happy Brew. That friendships and community would continue to be fostered here. And that ALL my friends would find a safe space. Where no one is worried about how accessible the back porch is. Or the parking. Or the bathroom. It’s just coffee and conversation.

So, my challenge to you is to find a friend who might need some encouragement this week and ask them to coffee. And if you are free in November (by which point I WILL be drinking coffee regularly) I would love to grab a cup with you!


Logan Franks

(Daughter of Amy and John Franks)

(Occasionally moonlights as tech support for the HB website)

(Has ensured that there are plenty of HB menu options available for fellow non-coffee drinkers!)

1 comment

1 Comment

Sep 21, 2023

Well said, from a fellow non-coffee drinker who loves what coffee does for friendships and connections!

Jim O

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