I don't know if I am becoming a Starbucks Snob, but I am finding that some of my best conversations are occurring over a cup of coffee, away from the office and away from the house. My work colleagues and I, my friends and I, my kids and I, even my wife and I seem to find the freedom to build community and go deeper in conversation when we're away from the familiar surroundings that "house" us for most of the hours in the day.
I guess Roy Oldenburg had me in mind when he argued for the Third Place in his book "The Great Good Place".
It really doesn't have to be the coffee or the Starbucks (although for me it seems to be there a lot - for convenience reasons, of course: there are a couple close to where I live and work; my daughter works at one, I have a Starbucks Gold Card, etc.). It really can be anyplace where we "get away". Sometimes the car becomes that place when I'm going somewhere with my kids or my wife. Sometimes it's at a restaurant. Sometimes it's as simple as a walk.
The key seems to be (for me anyway) that I am engaging in meaningful conversation in a neutral setting that lends itself to listening, creativity and trust.
And so I drink coffee with people. But more than that, I continue down the path of friendship, relationship and love, not knowing where that path will take me, but willing to take the risk of pressing forward, while I listen, share, and grow with those I am journeying with.