Food & dining

Double Shot

How coffee, ink, and friendship formed a mother-daughter bond

This is a story about coffee. But even more it’s about a relationship.

It begins when Hillary Biggs was 3 years old and first took a drink from her mother’s coffee mug. It was love at first sip.

“Unconventional parenting? Maybe,” Biggs says of her mother, Terri. “Did I have any hope of growing much taller than 5-foot-2 anyway? Nope.”


The story continues in high school, when the two would sit together each morning at the kitchen counter in West Newbury, over a homemade cup of coffee. In an age when mother and daughter can conflict, this was their bond.

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On weekends, they would enjoy the morning brew over a favorite TV show, “Gilmore Girls” (featuring title characters who were similarly close-knit and similarly obsessed with coffee).

The story ends a few years back, with mother and daughter in a chair at Jim’s Tattoo Studio in Seabrook, N.H., choosing an enduring symbol of an enduring ritual. They wanted to remember that morning ritual, the one that began before their day really began.

So on the inside of the left arm of each woman there is now an identical tattoo: A coffee mug, steam rising out of it.

“We see coffee as something that is meant to be savored, in the company of those you love,” Biggs says. “It’s something that brought us together as more than mother and daughter but as friends.”


“And we continue in this tradition whenever we can.”

More coverage:

Double Shot: Matt Viser fills your virtual coffee cup with news and features

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