By Maya Frankel

Isn’t it everyone’s dream to be a regular at a cafe? It’s certainly my dream. My mind immediately goes to the “Friends” cast gathered on the couch at Central Perk, drinking coffee and tea while laughing. Don’t you want that?

I view coffee shops as a safe place away from the madness going on around me. They’re places where I can breathe and just be. The one thing I always look for upon arriving in a new city is a cafe I can call my new home.

Since I am away from home most of the time, a familiar cafe provides comfort to me. Even though everything around me is constantly changing, my cafe isn’t. It’s a constant amid all the adventures and obstacles life provides.

I just love the feeling of walking into a cafe with the staff already knowing what drink I want and what kind of milk I always order — in my case, oat milk. Being the cafe lovers we are, my roommate and I took on the city of Boston upon arriving at Boston University and stumbled upon many cute cafes until finally picking our safe place, our sanctuary.

You’re probably thinking I’m a little dramatic using the word sanctuary to describe a cafe, but I promise you I’m not. If you find the right cafe, it will become your sanctuary too.

I always alternate between a couple drinks: chai latte, matcha, lemon ginger tea and green tea. My Libra self always wants them all, so I rotate, normally going for the chai or matcha because there’s nothing like a nice latte on a chilly Boston day.

And even when it’s cold outside, I normally order my drinks iced. Is that just me? But I have a feeling I might be moving to the hot side of lattes soon as Boston switches gears to freezing.

Let’s have story time really quickly: The other day I walked into my favorite cafe on Newbury Street, and before I ordered, the woman stopped me and said, “I want to tell you before you order that we ran out of oat milk for today.” Knowing that I almost always order a chai latte with oat milk, she told me as soon as I walked up to the register. 

That small act of kindness instills a feeling of comfort and safety knowing that the people who are there everyday know you as more than just another customer. It’s also such a nice feeling when they know exactly what drink you want.

Picture yourself walking up the register to order. You order a chai and before you can say what milk you want, the person at the register says, “Iced with oat milk, right?” I think that’s pretty cool.

Familiarity in a place as simple as a cafe can be the determining factor of being happy in an unknown city. As silly as it sounds, having a cafe where the people and the place is familiar makes all the difference.

You better believe I have my cafe in Boston and back home. I definitely go to these places too much, but hey, it’s comfortable, familiar and delicious, so why not?

I hope you enjoyed my two cents about why being a regular at a cafe is so wonderful. Speaking of cafes, I’m going to head to my cafe and get a chai latte with oat milk. Now it’s your turn to find your cafe. I promise you won’t regret it.