A Day in a Coffee Shop and What I Saw There

I have coffee to thank for a large portion of my success. I don’t survive my days well without it. In fact, I spend a considerable amount of my time making coffee, or deciding what coffee I’m going to drink, or fueling my body and soul with coffee.

My roommate and I even have a coffee and travel-themed living room. Within it, there’s a small glass case containing coffee beans that says “Break in case of emergency.”

Yes, I could say that I live for a good cup, but I’m not being revolutionary in saying that. Most of the population drinks coffee. It’s a universal staple, but what is not, however, is a good coffee shop.

I’m not talking about grabbing a frappé from a McDonald’s drive-thru window or even purchasing a medium grande something from your local Starbucks. I’m talking a real coffee shop.

Coffee shops go beyond the regular morning-brew people who make a pot of Folgers before heading to work. Coffee shops are a subculture.

Within them, you have your students cranking out term papers and class discussion board posts. You have creative minds hashing away at keyboards as they write the next great American novel. You have businessmen and businesswomen stopping by for their regulars on the way to their jobs.

You also have people there for the conversations that just seem to flow more naturally in coffee shops. Old friends are catching up while one is in town. A couple is spending their third date getting to know each other better over lattes. Acquaintances are striking up a conversation because they’re sitting at neighboring tables.

There’s something about the atmosphere. In fact, I’m writing this blog post while sitting in a coffee shop. I’m next to the counter, listening to people order and watching the barista happily use his craft to make everyone’s day a little more caffeinated.

As I sit here and observe, I’m starting to notice the people. I’ve never thought about it until now, but people are much like the coffee of which they drink. Have you noticed? Let me point out a few for you.

The cappuccinos. These are the girls in Gucci belts who prance in, grab their drink to go, and carry around their plastic cup with their name on it all day. They must have foam, and if there’s not cinnamon on top, then why even bother?

The plain, straight, black coffees. No cream. No sugar. No nonsense. They are the people who are probably on their ways to being CEO’s. Or serial killers. One of the two.

The hot chocolates. These are the people who want to be loved. Why would you go to a coffee shop and order hot chocolate? Because you don’t like coffee. Why would you go to a coffee shop if you don’t like coffee? Because your friends, or an attractive person, or acquaintances are there and you’re dying to see them.

The mochas. There’s something about that chocolate syrup that makes them nuts. They’re over-the-top and excited about everything. They’re even crazier if they’re a white chocolate mocha.

The iced coffees. They are the ones who live for good conversations and light-hearted smiles. They are always down to chill. Pun absolutely intended.

The seasonal favorites. Everyone seems to like them because they try to adapt to the people they’re around. Similarly, they change their orders to pumpkin spice and peppermint lattes as the advertisements fade in and out. But they have no real consistency.

The Americanos. Some people are just bitter to the taste, but it works for them. They can’t speak without sarcasm or wit, which is why coffee shops are their stomping grounds.

The Irish coffees. You simply don’t see them unless they’re a little buzzed.

The macchiatos. I admire these people because they are strong. Very strong. They don’t have time for weak minds or weak coffee. They are always doing something important.

And then there’s me. My coffee shop drink of choice is a dirty chai tea latte. I’ll let you use your own imagination for what that drink says about me.

As I sit here and take in this meeting place, I’m fascinated by the people. They sip their personalities and work or discuss or create. Coffee shops are where people go to inspire or be inspired. No one is simply decaf.

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