Welcome to Minnesota!
When we say, “let’s have coffee,” we do not literally mean coffee. We mean hang out and visit, chat, snack, craft, enjoy each other’s company, network, pick something. Coffee will not be the only option. The other day, I was meeting the mother of a friend of A-. She is a very nice lady-not orginally from MN-and is interested in knowing the families in the area. I said, “Let’s have coffee this week.” Her response was that she does not drink coffee. It took me a second to realize she was not turning down my invite, but being literal in my invite. With a smile, I explained the expression.
Let’s have coffee is a phrase I have heard all of my life. These gatherings included tea, hot cocoa, soda, water, cocktails, smoothies, ice cream floats, and lots of laughter. And of course…coffee:)
Two of the closest ladies in my life do not drink coffee. Still, they text me about coffee dates and vise versa. This is just an expression we use to express our desire to visit other people. It is a general, informal invite of some kind. Perhaps this is a phrase that is only popular here. I think one of my college professors explained language the best way,
“In Oklahoma, people say We have howdy-ed, but never shook.”
He was trying to teach our class that each part of the world has its own way of speaking in casual terms. Each part of the world has its own slang to describe life events. Who invites someone over by saying, “Let’s have beverages.” This just sounds awkward and unnatural to say.
So if you are ever in Minnesota and someone says let’s have coffee, remember the beverage is your choice:)