Taking a Moment to Yourself

Last fall I took a Caffenture and met Jenn Chen for the first time.

In less than a year, she has become one of my favorite people in Chicago. She is encouraging, inspiring and a really fun friend. I'm honored that she agreed to write a guest post for A Foreign Land and of course I'm excited that she chose to incorporate coffee since I consider her to be a genuine expert. 


I live a pretty solitary lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I love the company of friends, the experience of new foods, the moments of bonding at an event. I also like my quiet moments of reflection and enjoying my own company. I think in a world of being busy, it's nice to slow down, even for half an hour.

On the weekends, my plans range from brunch to kickball to working. Many people try to cram everything cool into two short days and then end up on Sunday night being exhausted. To me, the weekend is a nice time to relax, catch up with friends, and de-stress my mind. And the best way for easing this stress (for me) is having coffee in a cafe.

Take advantage of the current patio weather and go outside! Bring a book, a crossword, or a sketchbook. Find a café with an open area, chat up the barista, and then dive into your singular activity for any amount of time. Not only are you able to enjoy a beverage that wakes you up, but you also get to work on a creative part of you that might not come out during the week.

So here, I present some moments for you to enjoy in various ways, paired, obviously, with coffee.
  1. Coffee and a donut at Heritage Bicycles. Heritage uses Stumptown coffee and Glazed & Infused donuts on the weekends. This one is a very decadent lemon glazed donut. They also have a fantastic patio and those Chicago parking space-turned-hangout areas.

  2. Coffee and a book at Intelligentsia Coffee in Lakeview. Since their reconstruction, this particular location has opted for more tables and chairs, but you can still sit in plastic armchairs on the side or watch passerbys on their patio.

  3. Coffee and granola at Caffé Streets. Their outdoor patio is stellar. You get a place to spread out and watch people go about their mornings. If you arrive before 10 am, you'll probably have the patio to yourself.

  4. Coffee and croissant at Ch'ava Cafe. I can not say enough positive words about Ch'ava. They serve in table-top style. You sit down, wait for your coffee and food, and they bring it out to you. Nearly all their food is made in-house (baked goods are delivered from Beurrage Bakery) and it is honestly one of the best cafe-food menus in the city.

  5. Coffee and fresh flowers at your home (or a cafe). Never underestimate the power of fresh greens. The below was taken at CityGrounds, but you could also grab some cuts from the farmer's market and enjoy floral whiffs while sipping on your coffee.

It's been a pleasure taking some moments with you. I hope you're able to find some time to enjoy coffee [and its pairing] to yourself this Sunday.

How do you like to start your Sundays?

Like what you read? Find more from Jenn Chen on her Website, Instagram or Twitter.