Home : HOME – Michael Lichauco – Medium


When I leave San Jose, I think the place I’m going to miss the most is the little local coffee shop right by my house. It’s family-run, and they serve some of THE BEST caramel macchiatos I’ve ever had the pleasure in drinking.

Around my junior year of high school is when I started to going there. I believe I skipped a day’s worth of school to work on a final for English. Ever since, I’d go there to study and indulge in my own company.

I spend a lot of time focusing on myself, especially within the last couple of years. Ever since college started, I’ve been trying to keep up a low-profile when it comes to classes (and social life). I don’t know why, but to help me focus, I’d rather go to somewhere more low-key compared to a hellishly packed library. Crowded places get me anxious, and I tend to leave if I feel uncomfortable.

With time and luck, I found a coffee shop that provided everything.


I’d say that the biggest advantage is its seclusion. It rarely gets filled during the weekdays. Come to think of it, it’s been getting a little more packed lately. Good for business, bad for my studying environment. It’s not too well known, but there are a bunch of regulars who come and go. Some really beautiful women pop up here and there. No ABGs though (sigh). Unfortunately, on the regular, it’s mostly elderly people and high school students who stop by.

Going back to the seclusion advantage—it’s perfect for individuals who want to be independent but not be alone at the same tim. Even if the shop is empty, the workers are always there to keep the store in check. And when there are people there, it’s not too overwhelming. It’s the perfect ambience for people who want to read indulge in books, watch the daily news, and catch up with old peers. Lots of locals bring their dogs so it’s really cute to see some of them sitting outside, making eye contact with you through the glass.


Sometimes, that blender in the left corner gets really loud (Like REALLY loud). Plus, the left corner of the store has a wall outlet, but no extra plugs for it. So, it’s a fight-to-the-death for the one remaining outlet. Also, if you sit by the window side bars at the front of the store, get ready for the sunlight to hit you right in the face later in the day.

My biggest regret is going to the coffee shop during Wednesdays and Sundays (Sundays especially). The farmer’s market runs right by the coffee shop’s doorstep, and people tend to come and go during those hours. Basically the whole day.


I had this quote on my coffee shop playlist on Spotify, and it pretty much sums it up:

Coffeeshop vibes — the lingering fragrance of espresso, the ambience of slow music mixed with chatter, and the table-side windows that separate this world from the outside

Every time I step in, I tend to do at least one productive thing while I’m there. Most of my days are consisted of writing, reading, and brainstorming ideas for films. Most importantly, I enjoy spending my time there. It’s a breath of fresh air for me. I can’t focus at home, so I gravitate towards a place that fits my needs. I patiently wait for my usual spot—a table-side window right next to that stupid outlet that I can take all to myself. Most of the times, the spot is vacant, and I tend to take it. There, I enjoy peering out, watching people pass by the street. The lovey-dovey couple sitting at the park bench, the elderly doing Tai chi early in the morning, and the local cops who want to get that quick cup of joe.

However, I recently tried to be productive there. I was, but not in the way I wanted to be. I ended up leaving a little halfway through my session. It kinda of got me frustrated. Maybe I’m growing out of my little home. Who knows?

All I know is this: It’s a place I called home for years. It allows me to focus on myself, and myself alone.

I hope that others will find this little gem. It won’t be a home for everyone. But eventually, one will stumble upon this place and do so unknowingly.


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