How Coffee Fueled the ‘Gilmore Girls’

Colette Smith

One might argue that coffee is what fuels the fast-talking antics of the Gilmore Girls. Some reports claim that the mother-daughter duo drank 503 cups of coffee over the 153 episodes and seven seasons. To celebrate National Coffee Day, let’s look at how coffee was really the third lead character in Gilmore Girls.

Coffee and Love


To the Lorelais, coffee equals love. It is the key to their respective hearts. Lorelai (eventually) finds love in long-time friend and coffee provider Luke Danes, who pours her her daily fix. When the two argue or split up, and Lorelai has to avoid Luke’s Diner, it’s as though she’s lost a limb. And while she’ll substitute Luke’s coffee for Weston’s or coffee at the Inn, she always laments how it’s just not the same.

When Lorelai and Max realize their mutual attraction, they also know it’s a bad idea for Rory’s mother to date her teacher. But Max is smitten and won’t back down. So, Lorelai mentions that she will be at a cafe at a specific time and if Max happens to be there too, she couldn’t stop him. Naturally, Max turns up, and it’s over several secret dates over coffee that they become close and eventually start dating. Many may believe they should’ve stayed together, but perhaps the magic of coffee got them talking in the first place.

In another relationship inspired by coffee, Lorelai meets a man looking to open a chain of coffee shops. Their first date is tasting coffees, and if anyone is an expert on the subject, it’s Lorelai. They also discuss names of the shop and the annoying, overused puns to avoid. Although the relationship doesn’t work out, it’s yet another example of the way coffee equals love.


Rory too is no stranger to the allure of a man who bears gifts of coffee. After Rory discovers Logan had sort-of-but-not-really cheated on her, she refuses to listen to anything he has to say. Logan, a man of means who knows the key to Rory’s heart is through coffee, hires a manned coffee cart to follow her around all day. It’s also worth noting that Rory first meets Logan by a coffee cart. Coincidence or is it the magical coffee gods putting their fingers in the matchmaking pie?

Coffee and Rebellion

Coffee isn’t just Lorelai’s favorite beverage, the stuff that keeps her upright all day and talking at a rate of knots; it’s a symbol of her rebellion against her family’s strict rules. On many occasions, Lorelai grabs a coffee on her way to her parents’ house for Friday night dinners. She then hides the evidence, whether in the bushes or her handbag so her mother won’t find out. Although alcohol gets her through the often awkward obligatory dinners, it’s the coffee that gets her to the door. In this way, coffee is just another way that Lorelai shows that her rebellious side is still part of who she is.

Coffee and Togetherness


The drink is a prominent aspect to Lorelai and Rory’s mother-daughter bonding — a ritual that’s as important at home as it is wherever they are in the world. During their European travels, a waiter serves Rory coffee with a side of cheese that Rory is adamant that she didn’t order. On Rory’s first day at Yale, Lorelai scopes out the best coffee carts around the campus. And of course, at home, the shared mug of java is more than a morning jolt. Coffee is comfort, it’s the solution to all problems, and it’s the salve to every boo-boo. So naturally, when Netflix released the first trailer to the upcoming four-part revival Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, it shows the mother and daughter seated at the all-too-familiar coffee table in their kitchen with a plate of Pop-Tarts and sipping on coffee.

Colette Smith
Senior Copy Editor at FANDOM currently obsessed with K-pop, Rick and Morty, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Pearl Jam, Korean film, K-dramas, and anything Bryan Fuller touches. Secretly a fan of trashy rom-coms but don't tell anyone.
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