The World Needs More Love Letters Project

Photo: ThinkstockBy Amy Shearn

Dear Latte Lady,

Those hearts you make in my latte foam? I know it's a little thing, but getting lattes is an extra-special-only-sometimes treat for me, and those wispy hearts really make it even nicer. I know you are on your feet all day, I know you go home reeking of coffee so much that you probably don't even like it anymore, and I know people get crabby with you and snap when you mess up an order. And I know that you are a kind soul, and most importantly of all, you are YOU, the only you there is, and that means something, even though I totally don't know your name.
The Girl in the Corner With the Laptop

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This is my contribution to The World Needs More Love Letters, the endearing ongoing project of Hannah Brencher, who started writing love letters to strangers on her morning commute to work, when she looked around the train she was riding and realized she wasn't the only one who could use a boost. Since then she's written over 400 love letters, leaving them scattered around for people to find, and invited many others to join her in various good-will-spreading projects across the world. This month, the focus is those wonderful people who make our lattes, sling our coffees, warn us about how hot the tea water is: baristas.

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I've been a barista, and ever since a lady yelled "You ruined my family's Christmas!" at me (the cafe had run out of her favorite cookies), I've made an effort to be nice to people working behind counters. Especially around the holidays, when everyone's on edge, orders are a little more complicated, people a little more unhinged. Personally, I just like the idea that by such a small, simple act, I could brighten someone's day. Particularly my latte lady, since she so often brightens mine.

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Everyone is invited to leave love letters for their own baristas, or to send them to the More Love Letters PO Box, from whence they will be dispatched to various cafes. Visit the More Love Letters site to see the love letter map, read testimonials by people who have found letters, and find out how you can participate.

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