Monday, July 1, 2024

The Year of Coffee Shops

We parents have a lot of guilt — or at least I do. I am so sorry for addicting my youngest daughter, Chloe, to caffeine. My bad!

It began in 2020 when she was doing online eighth-grade school. She, Dina and I would walk to Ding Tea in the afternoon, and she and Dina would get tea drinks. I'd do the walk, then come home and have an espresso.

Sophie's online school went longer than my and Chloe's school day, so she didn't often walk with us and partake. Then, a bit of irony hit, when Sophie got a job at Ding Tea the summer before senior year in high school.

Through this caffeine addiction, we all have bonded, and Chloe's junior year in high school — on some level — was "The Year of Coffee Shops."

Chloe and I went to 27 different coffee shops, and without talking about it much, she made a critic's spreadsheet of these shops. She critiqued atmosphere, quality of coffee, vibe and a few other things. Eventually, a couple shops, especially Homeboy Coffee in Artesia and Wood Coffee Co on 10th in Long Beach emerged as our favorites (We actually went to Wood with Dina and Sophie as well yesterday). We went to many places multiple times, but in the back of our minds, we kept searching for new shops — new vibes.

All the while, Chloe diligently did her school work as she swashbuckled through five AP classes with her badminton journey, advanced orchestra, K-Pop club and friends also a part of life. So she'd work her butt off at these coffee shops, and I did a little and then tried to make it look like I was working as I collected Pokemon Go characters.

Anyway, Chloe finally ended junior year two weeks after me and a month after Sophie finished Year 1 at Berkeley. Then, during that schools-out weekend, we hit up three coffee shops new to us on three consecutive days. But that wasn't our plan. Our plan was to visit the Watts Towers as a Father's Day outing, and on the way, we ate in Paramount and stopped at Patria Coffee Roasters in Compton.

There is something to be said about driving in Los Angeles on surface streets and not the freeways — when feasible. You get more of a feel of neighborhoods, and I realized that my ideas of certain neighborhoods were off. Next to Patria, for example, a park called Wilson Park stands in all its glory, where there were so many kids on bikes that it resembles a unique version of CicLAvia.
After Patria, we realized it would behoove us to get out of our immediate Long Beach/Cypress area and explore some new neighborhoods. So the next day, we went to Ced Coffee & Donut in Little Saigon Koreatown in Westminister. Incredible drinks!

The day after that, we returned to Little Saigon at Trung Nguyen Legend. Totally worth checking out.

So with Chloe's junior year being "The Year of Coffee Shops," it was interesting/surprising how we took it to the next level once she got out of junior year alive. I thought we might be done. OK, phew, maybe it was time to kick back, maybe go to the beach or something. Nope! We did more coffee shops elsewhere.

When you go to so many coffee shops, you learn how to better use Yelp and the Interwebs and not even try for mid coffee shop. Only the best for us! We also are so comfortable in the context of however they do whatever they do wherever we. Honestly, there's not much range for how people do things.

I must say one of my favorite experiences was in February, when both Chloe and I were feeling guilty for going to so many coffee shops and questioning our caffeine addictions. Somehow, through a lengthy, roundabout conversation, we somehow got affogatos at Aroma Di Roma in Belmont Shore that day. Fuhgeddaboudit!

That started a wild, two-week stint in which I believed there was NOTHING GREATER IN THE WORLD THAN THE AFFOGATO. Eh, the writing was probably on the wall then — Chloe and I might want to cut down our caffeine.

Well, that will have to wait, I suppose. She turns 17 tomorrow, and we don't want caffeine-withdrawal headaches on that big day. Happy birthday, Chloe. Let's get some affogatos.

No comments:

Post a Comment