Today's guest post comes from one of our favorite bloggers and Twitter-ers, Jan Moyer (@moyermama). She's a faithful fan of Coffee Shoppers (and would probably let us claim that), and she's Canadian, so she has an entirely different set of shops to work with. [If you would like to tell us about a coffee shop in your town, or write something about coffee or tea or coffee shop culture, please let us know! We love guest posts.]
When someone asks you to “go for a coffee” or “meet up for coffee” or “have a coffee” (depending on your region’s dialect) there are a multitude of meanings and interpretations. I’m not referring to the actual beverage—latte, cappucino, espresso. I’m talking about the activity.
Think about it.
We say “coffee” but really, tea, hot chocolate, chai, could be consumed. It’s about the time, not the drink. “Let’s go for a coffee” can mean a multitude of things. The following is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover a many of the translations I’ve encountered.
- Someone at work keeps eating my yogurt. Let’s brainstorm tactics.
- My friend hurt my feelings and I need to work through it.
- Someone needs to tell you that hair style is just not working. Might be easier to hear over a mocha latte.
- I’ve had too many evenings at home and need adult conversation where I’m not surrounded by Lego and small children.
- I don’t think he’s that into me and I need to hash that out at great length.
- He really isn’t that into you and if I tell you that in a coffee house you are less likely to kill the messenger.
- It’d be nice to catch up over a drink, but I’m sleep-deprived and require caffeine to stay up past 8pm.
- I have to ask you a favour.
- It’s a really big favour.
- We could hang out at home, but I need an excuse to change out of this hoodie.
- I’d really like to have some cheesecake and calling it “coffee” sounds so much healthier.
- Treating you to a vanilla latte will make up for missing your birthday last month, right?
You might be asking yourself, “but Jan, what if you’re invited for a coffee at someone’s house?” Fair question. Some of the above reasons might apply, so be prepared for possibly heavy conversation. However, if children are involved in this situation, then I can guarantee “come over for a coffee” means “I’ll serve coffee and likely a sweet treat, and you should stay for 1-2 hours.” This might be a Dutch thing, I can’t be certain, but in my circle, it’s the standard definition. Let’s go with that.
Sometimes it’s not two gals living it up, sometimes it’s a date dressed up in casual clothing. In this situation, “coffee” translates into “fishing expedition”. I like you, I think you might like me, let’s grab a coffee and check it out. Look at us, keeping it light and breezy. No labels, just two “friends” sharing a warm bevvie. It’s not a date because although you seem okay, you might turn out to be a Nickelback fan and I need an exit strategy.
To summarize, many invitations to have a coffee imply much more. Agenda or not, when women “go for coffee” it’s just a gateway for conversation. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that aside from legit meetings, when guys say “let’s go for coffee” what they really mean is (brace yourselves, this is deep):
“Let’s go get a coffee and drink it.”