Nothing brings people together like a cup of coffee. That motto defines the LPGA Tour’s unofficial Sisterhood of the Traveling Coffee Shops, with siblings Jessica and Nelly Korda, and Megan Khang, running a group text chat among a handful of LPGA players that aims to find the best coffee at every tournament—which, in turn, lets the players unwind from the tour grind and bond on a different level.
“It's fun to have a group of friends who have a love for good coffee,” Nelly said. “The chat is always popping off with good coffee shops.”
The trips started in 2020. Khang, a coffee enthusiast since high school, often roomed with the Kordas on the road as well as playing practice rounds together. They began the day with breakfast, and naturally, coffee came to mind after a late morning at the course. Khang started researching coffee shops to visit.
Since then, the group chat has expanded to as many as five players a week. Those in town for a tournament inquire about who’s up for a cup of joe and where should they go. If they aren't coordinating to go somewhere as a group at a set time, someone usually offers to dart off and pick up orders for everyone. Patty Tavatanakit and Alison Lee are consistently in the chat as well.
The LPGA's coffee clique includes (clockwise top left) Alison Lee, Nelly Korda, Patty Tavatanakit, Jessica Korda and Megan Khang (center).
“It’s a nice little escape,” said Khang, who enjoys talking to the customers in line (to the chagrin of Nelly) and often sends videos of the coffee they’re getting to the others. "We can just joke around about things other than golf, talk about things that aren't just golf. We go to these coffee shops, and we'll sit down, and we'll just shoot the sh--.”
Khang's well-known reputation as a coffee-shop aficionado means players on tour are often checking with her ahead of time to see if she's been to the spot they're planning to visit. Yet her extensive knowledge is not exactly a well-kept secret, as Khang keeps track of her coffees with a comprehensive Instagram reel highlight.
So what kind of coffee is their favorites? Khang loves iced drinks. For Nelly, a good cup of coffee involves flat whites. The drink was invented in Australia in the 1980s, with an espresso with microfoam. “Once I know it's Australian owned, I know it's going to be absolutely fire,” Korda said.
Hearing Khang and Korda walk through their coffee orders is like an in-depth explanation of their swing mechanics, from the strength of the coffee to how milky they prefer their drinks. Proving how well they know each other's preferences, Khang and Korda nailed them when asked what the other person's usual order is.
“We know the orders by heart,” Khang said.
A typical topic of conversation over coffee is what and where they'll eat later. The group explores the best finds of Yelp for a quality hole-in-the-wall restaurant that the players can kick back and relax in. They'll get a meal together a couple of times a week.
“Family-owned, like ones that you can look like where you can go in sweats and leggings and you don't care how you look, but you just know that it's like family owned and it's good,” Korda said.
They've formed their own family over some of the simplest things: coffee and dinner. It gives the group a chance to disconnect from the typical day-to-day of the tour and create memories the group will keep long after their careers are over.
"I'm so grateful for my group of friends," Korda said. It definitely is kind of tough out here. You know, it does get lonely, but when you have people that you can connect with on a deeper level, over a cup of coffee [laughs]."