Coffee hits the sweet spot…

Day 16 of experiencing colour through the coffee shop ambiance..

I grew up in an age where coffee shops did not exist. I used to read about them in books set in Europe. The only coffee I ever drank was instant (how did I do it?). I studied French at school and my impression of a coffee shop was a haven where writers gathered to discuss literary topics and debate philosophical questions over tiny cups of espresso, swathed in clouds of cigarette smoke.

Certainly Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre did, at a very famous cafe in Paris, the Cafe de Flor. I tried reading their books in both French and English, but found their existential point of view very hard to fathom and mostly depressing.

Coffee shops today tend to have a low key relaxed vibe with an emphasis on muted tones and lighting, using plenty of wood, rough brickwork or plaster and stone or concrete floors. Plants, unusual light fittings and paintings or posters often form part of the decor. Coffee machines, the beans, bags of coffee for purchase, the cups and sweet or savoury treats, all seem to blend into these informal backgrounds. The actual shop size varies a lot from a tiny space with a minimum of seating to big converted warehouses.

It’s great if there’s outdoor seating as well. One of my favourite locations that opened recently over here, has the perfect shady courtyard out the back.

Just writing about coffee and coffee shops makes me think it’s high time for a visit…! Are you free to join me?

Where’s your favourite coffee hangout?



18 thoughts on “Coffee hits the sweet spot…

  1. The patio looks so inviting. For me, coffee shops are about losing yourself in a book, writing, or conversation. Everything else melts away. It’s a place that allows me to escape.

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  2. My favorite coffee spot? I’m not sure that I have one, actually! I definitely enjoy my daily homemade chai, wherever it is I might enjoy it.

    I wonder how it would be, at one of those cafes you describe and which seem so famous, where groups of people debate and discuss all things philosophy and what-not. I wonder how I’d do at my neighborhood Starbucks, sitting down to a tasty beverage, and then have that conversation.

    Now that I think about it, though, I *was* in a Starbucks once when that happened. And now that I think about it, I could make that my daily slice. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out. =))

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    1. Hi Lainie, so glad that I triggered a slice for you and it wasn’t about the coffee! Amazing these threads that slices can bring to mind. It might be different in the US, but over here, it’s rare for people and conversations to ‘mingle’ even in coffee shops. The folk I spot tend to be business and not literary (but then I don’t live in a big city). I wish it were different!

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      1. I would find the same here! There definitely aren’t a lot of literary folks, other than people who come in to sit and read. And there are social folks who come in to chat over coffee, but I don’t think there are any major philosophical schools of thought forming in my neighborhood starbucks anytime soon!

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  3. This is wonderful. My favorite place at home is Cocoluxe in Peapack, New Jersey.
    My favorite places while traveling are Giraffe in Stowe, Vermont and in North Conway, New Hampshire it’s The Met. I love finding new coffee places.

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    1. Thanks for reading and sharing the places you love. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to enjoy a coffee in the US, but I’m sure there are so many amazing places. I agree, finding new ones is such fun!


  4. At the current moment, I’m slow sipping coffee in my hotel room with a stunning mountain view. The way you describe the existential nature of coffee shops is moving. The brief history lesson about the ways coffee shops influenced the past made me think differently about the role they serve in society today. I enjoy a good coffee shop, but honestly, my Kuerig at home is my favorite. Thanks for this piece. It’s beautiful.

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  5. That courtyard looks lovely. And I’ll admit to hanging out at various cafes in Paris, trying to soak up the ambience of the writers who once were there… These days, it’s too cold for outdoor seating and too covid-y for indoor coffee shops (at least for me), and I’m realizing that when I think of my favourite coffee shop, it’s not in my current hometown, but rather in Washington DC – and it’s not for coffee, it’s for tea – but whatever: for the next few minutes I’ll hang out there in my mind.

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    1. Thanks for reading again, Amanda, wow, you hung out in Parisian cafes?! I only ever passed through from one train station to another. I hope it warms up enough soon for you to enjoy a coffee somewhere nice. We haven’t really been affected by the pandemic, apart from being totally shut off from the rest of the country (not to mention the world!)

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  6. I credit the long-closed Quackenbush’s on Austin’s Drag for making me the moody reader & chatter-with-strangers that I am. My most recent Dallas spot is Full City Rooster, which has a great vibe and a lovely patio. Drink up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I miss coffee shops so much! I haven’t been going since the pandemic–and we moved during the pandemic, and I’ve just never figured out which is “my” local shop. Something fun to look forward to after the pandemic! Those photos are all so inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An amazing post! It brings so many images to mind, and so many aromas. I love 1828 Coffee Company in Zebulon, Georgia. It’s my hangout for all things literary and coffee! It’s in a restored historic building, and it’s all of what you described – – old brick, plaster, wood floors, the ambiance of warmth and intellect, steeped in classical vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

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