I spent my break at work in a coffee shop next door. It is not part of a chain I usually prefer, but it was raining, that one was closest and I had a voucher for a free drink, so hey, why not? My number one shop is in a different country anyway. That and did I mention it was raining?
Honestly? They should offer a coffee-shop-tours if you ask me. City-related, across-Europe or world-wide. If no one has come up with that idea so far, I call dibs on it.
There is some special air only those places have: and it is not just the scent of freshly ground coffee. It is the whole thing: you might find the noise of a huge and exclusive coffee-machine annoying in any other situation, but here, it just belongs and it would not be the same without that or the hum of the coffee grinder, the hiss of the cappuccino creamer, the clacking sounds cups and plates meet or are put down with, the chattering voices around you or the cashier‘s loud one that orders the desired beverages from the barista preparing them.
I love to watch how the single ingredients are put together; a little splash here, a little dash there, some sprinkles maybe… when I am at home I mostly drink my coffee with milk only, steamed one when I wanna go special and on some occasions I even have syrup, but that is as fancy as it gets. In a coffee shop I want it all; the chocolate, the sprinkles, the cream… sometimes the lack of a cocktail- or rather coffee-umbrella is traumatising. Just kidding. But the absence of a cookie next to my café au lait in a café is. No kidding. Forget the little glass of table water when bringing the espresso, but never arrive at my table without the little baked deliciousness. I will not cut down on tips, but it will ruin at least 27 full seconds of my time being there.
Sure, I also like to sit in a nice café and no, it is not he same thing, There is a huge difference between the two of them. Whereas a coffee shop also is for ‘transit traffic‘, cafés are for staying – well, mostly. If you get served and not ignored. Or a football team or hysterically screaming bachelorette-party-planning-committee sits next to you and you cannot just switch places for all seats are taken. But that is worst case scenario and has no place in here.
It must be difficult to offer a comfortable ambience even in a walkthrough-place, but with the right pictures (give me scenes of an Italian baretto or market or overly big cups of coffee anytime), maybe an old, unhandled stone wall and slightly scuffed furnishing you can create a location people will like to return to. If the main ingredients are right, of course. Delicious, fresh coffee, a variety of tea mostly made from complete leaves, cold drinks and some yummy treats, both salty and sweet. And free internet for the time staying. If you feel writer‘s-blocked; take your lappy and or pen and paper and try a coffee shop for inspiration. What does not come out right away will be saved in your mind for later. Works for me at least.
So, off for grabbing some more coffee. See ya.