How I love coffee shops. I love the aroma that overloads my senses when the doors open. I love every step inside that brings me closer to happiness and bliss. I happily pay the price of the coffee knowing it will ensure hours of productivity in isolation while still being around people. Coffee shops have become my happy place. I have been doing some traveling lately and have visited several coffee shops around the country. Some of my favorite shops are the small, locally owned, hole-in-the-wall type of places that have atmosphere and good service. There are times, though, I have been disappointed by lack luster service and the atmosphere of a hospital waiting room. So with all of my coffee shop hopping, I wanted to share several things that I look for when evaluating a coffee shop.
Required coffee shop features:
- Electrical outlets: This is one of the most important things for me. A coffee shop can be beautiful, but if there aren't any outlets I can't get work done. (Technology and all that.) If I am there to read a book it is acceptable, but I still get the urge to bring extension cords.
- Coffee: This should be freshly ground and not bitter.
- Mugs: I appreciate real mugs instead of the paper cups, especially large ones with character and funny sayings, pictures, or quotes.
- Music: The music is typically not much of an issue for me, but it should be background noise, not blaring out of the speakers like an emergency announcement. The only exception is live music. I love live music.
- Atmosphere: The coffee shop must be a coffee shop first and foremost. None of this coffee shop pizzeria business.
To give you an idea of what I look for, I took pictures of one of my favorite coffee shops of all time, the Broad River Coffee Company. I have to apologize up front that these were taken with my phone.
I love the table cubicles on the left and the balcony with three tables in the back. I have spent a lot of time in both places.
This is the view from the balcony. I would sit at one of the three tables while doing homework and people watch.
What do you look for in a coffee shop? Where are you most productive?