Sobremesa. Here at The Bridge, we’ve thrown this word around numerous times over the last year. It’s a beautiful word with Latin roots but it doesn’t have an English equivalent. It’s a deep word that represents the time after a meal. The time spent sitting around a table, laughing, sharing stories, sipping coffee, and connecting with others.

I recently went on a trip to Nepal with some friends. We practiced Sobremesa on a daily basis, without really trying to. Time slows down outside of the U.S. It’s a beautiful and freeing thing to realize the people you are with are more important than what you have to do next. To firmly believe that notifications won’t actually blow up your phone if you don’t check them right away. To be present where you are and invest in the moment. To connect with human faces and hearts rather than digital photos, emojis and comments.

For me, it seems to happen naturally after dinner. Bring out the desert, some decaf coffee, and a good conversation is sure to follow. This is the main reason for calling our decaf coffee from Mexico, sobremesa.

Morena Escardo writes about her experience growing up with Sobremesa here.

For us Latinos, on the other hand, food is an excuse to spend time together; that’s why sobremesa is as important as the actual meal. The best part is that sobremesa is not planned; it just happens. And we should try to hold on to such an authentic custom. As a friend of mine once said, “a family that eats together, stays together.” And that can be even truer if sobremesa becomes a habit at home.

If you allow time and space for it, it’s a natural move to connect after a meal over some sort of coffee or tea. So, here’s to many future dinner parties and evenings spent connecting around a table.

Post and Photo by Hannah Zimmerman