To all the baristas I've loved before

If you’re a coffee fiend like me, I’m sure you’re no stranger to the luxury of living in the midst of a local café hub. I’m spoilt for choice - the question of where to brunch lingers on my lips almost like a night-time lullaby. Which should be my regular stoop, for those days where I need to write a last-minute essay over a large cappuccino, and those where I’ll rush through for a takeaway on my way to the train station? It’s a tough decision, and like anything, the first place you go isn’t always necessarily the best.

That was the case with me. While, for the sake of preserving the dignity of these haunts post-break up, these cafés shall remain nameless; just imagine this taking place any time, anywhere, as I’m sure it does. We can all relate. We’ve all cheated on a cafe, broken up with a barista. I’m here to tell you about my first barista break up.

The first café was like one of those starter relationships that you have in high school, before you really know what you’re doing. You settle for what’s in front of you, and sure, it’s not too bad, but you don’t yet know yourself enough to know you can do better. My first café was at the end of my street. It was perfect, because I could grab a takeaway and run for the bus, and it had these urban hipster vibes that at first, really drew me in. They sold Kombucha and grew plants on the wall, and the hiked-up prices didn’t matter a whole lot to me. The barista was friendly and definitely knew me as a regular, but he never remember my coffee order, or even knew my name. This is where things started to get dicey.

The dreaded question floated into my mind. Can I become a café polygamist, since obviously my barista cycles through orders with the enthusiasm of Brigham Young? Was it something I’d been born with, or something I’d just discovered? Maybe it was a phase. Nonetheless, it was time to explore. I ventured down the block, closer to the train station, trying out a cappuccino here, and a long black there. I’d still go to my first cafe sometimes, and I’d always wonder - did he know I was seeing other baristas casually? Did he know I had other roasts in my life?

It was a pretty clean break after that. I haven’t been in a few weeks, and I look back on the taste of their slightly bitter, chocolatey blend with a warm nostalgia that I know is firmly rooted in the past. I was swept out of one relationship and into another; one, now abundant in chocolate sprinkles. My old barista was never generous with his chocolate sprinkles. If only he could see me now.

Tara Wesson is a second-year Journalism and Creative Writing student. She likes long walks on the beach, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain. But no, she's really just a book-lover with a dog called Shorty, a love of travel, and a penchant for dad jokes.