Dear the coffee that represents me,
I don’t remember the first time I tasted you, but your flavor was something I had incredibly warmed up to, despite your iced addition. I didn’t know a lot — I was nine, yet I had found the connection I’ve yearned for all throughout my life.
You’re special. It takes a resourceful workaholic to create your concoction, not just the Keurig on my kitchen countertop. I take pride in being able to consume you, and even learn how to make you in the most perfect way possible. I have never tasted anything else so mighty — so sweet, so pungent, so strong, both in flavor and in impact. The push you give me drives me to be the best I can be, and not in the way that you make me feel my heartbeat. You empower me to be my own person: a person who is driven, industrious, savvy, and grateful, all for her people. You remind me of a better version of myself.
The way you drip from the pot is mesmerizing. I love the way you flow down to a bead, and let go softly, rippling the surface of the honest drink. You feel better than the rain falling from the sky and the waves of the ocean running across my skin in the summer. You’re patient, just as I am, and you’re consistent, like who I work to be. There’s a reason you power the coffee industry — you’re remarkable and unforgettable. Your existence changed the people who savored you. You acclimated to the West, representing home to your audience.
I can be miles away from my ancestors, but you remain my connection to them. You remind me of what feels like home — the polluted air and the roundabouts into seven different streets. Wherever I’ll go, from the sprawls of suburbia to the compacted traffic in the capital of California, you bring me back to where I came from. You are a time capsule and a machine all in a drink. You are home. You are Vietnamese.
I give you all of my love on your trip around the world.
Editors: Nicole O., Leandra S., Joyce S.