The soothing cordial environment, pleasant dimmed lights, and inviting smell of caffeine flavors present around the room—you’ve just entered a coffee shop. On these days, who haven’t gone to that coffee shop just across your neighborhood, workplace, or school? With a proliferating number of international branches, we see coffee shops in almost every nook of the city, whether it be, to name the more popular, Starbucks Coffee, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or Seattle’s Best Coffee.
In coffee shops, there are tons of stuff to engage with. Whatever may be the reasons of you stepping over the place, be aware of your purpose of going there, just like a famous rule: know your purpose!
As for my usual coffee shop encounters, I’ve had several subconscious observations, which also applied to my own self. With this scenario, I proclaim the 10 activities most people engage with in a coffee shop:
1. Taking advantage of free Internet connection
Let’s be frank—we usually go to coffee shops in hope of getting free internet. Subliminally concerned, it’s what consumes most of our duration of stay! But, unfortunately, some coffee shops don’t offer a good-o’l free service of internet, because, as a prescription of etiquette, you need to make a purchase before getting any of their “free” services. Now that’s what you call being courteous. Oh, the irony.
2. Meeting our study buddies
One distinctive feature of coffee shops is their swanky, semi-minimalist, home-like ambiance. And the feng shui is considerably relaxing. These factors make it a good habitat for studying. Often, we correlate with people who study their notes, read their dictionaries, or do their researches in their laptops.
Another plus is getting to ogle at drop-dead gorgeous collegialas making their fashion statement.
3. Brainstorming our way
With a relevance to meeting our study buddies, creating plans or goals and scrutinizing ideas are great opportunities to attain within the coffee shop corners. We often have an empty paper as a blank canvas. What is it that makes our mind soothed? It must be the relaxing music, or simply the impregnable aura our senses feel throughout our stay. The figurative art, background images, or sentimental ornaments may stimulate our inner thoughts and imaginations. Whatever may be the reason, we never fail to boost our conceptions when we’re at the suitable environment.
4. Doing our work
One of the major reasons why we go to a coffee shop is to do our stuff, because we basically see the environment being suitable for the kind of work we do. We might be consistently writing our notes, listening to music, drawing an art, or even having a conversation with a business partner in the setting.
5. Bonding with friends
We’ve all noticed about this one. Who would go to a coffee shop alone? Well, me. But, reality-speaking, most of us would barely communicate with the people sitting beside us who we, in most cases, consider strangers. We use the room with our fellow peers like our living room, or, at certain times, like a high-tech movie house. The random conversations, gentle mutters, and loud chuckles associated with joyful interpersonal scenarios we often notice and observe are all signs of a pack—or even a jam-pack—of friends. When you get irritated by these encounters, it’s about time to move to another table… far, far away.
6. Taking photographs
Who would you barely see someone without a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera or simply a camera inside? We think that the environment coffee shops offer is a good setting for taking photography, with good perspectives, lighting, displays, and backdrops. That coffee mug displayed on top of the counter can be a good center-object, or that crowd of people reading their newspapers as a brilliant representation of a certain point of view in photography. Honestly, there are tons of prospected themes to be harnessed. At often times, we just want to capture ‘the moment’ with our friends, or simply our surroundings.
7. Drinking our favorite beverage(s)
Inside Starbucks Coffee, I’ve asked two of my friends—one being Korean and the other being Canadian—with, “What coffee will you drink for today?” My Korean friend told me, “A Tazo Green Tea Crème Frappuccino,” while my Canadian friend responded with, “Just an Iced Caramel Macchiato.” The next time we went there, I asked the same question wherein they responded with the same answer. Then again, another time, to my surprise, they gave me the same answer! So could this mean that we tend to stick to one beverage whenever we order? It might be. Whenever we look at a coffee shop’s menu, the list tends to be long, and a variety of beverages, and even foods, come in abundance. Nevertheless, we tend to be stuck in a moment of perplexity within the concerns of ordering. For us, we will never know if coffee A is too bitter, or coffee B is too sweet; so, as a solution, what I usually do is to try out everything in their menu in a certain span until I get to have a taste of what every item has to offer, afterwards I choose my favorite(s) which I will order for my next visits.
8. Playing board/card games
Monopoly Deal, anyone?
More often than not, we see tables composing of groups of friends indulging with their gaming pursuits. We seldom see people playing games in their gadgets, rather in a more traditional, outmoded approach—board or card games. One time in Hollys Coffee, I saw two guys, whom I guessed, basing from their appearance, were in their thirties, playing a seemingly ‘geeky’ board game. The so-called board game has a resemblance with Dungeons and Dragons, which I never had the chance to play with. From my observation, I initially thought, “Aren’t they too old to play such game?” Then, I realized that they were simply just having fun with it. It was a moment of sudden elation from knowing that, in coffee shops, anyone has the freedom to do the activities that he loves, regardless of style, method, or stereotypes towards it.
Of course, wouldn’t it be an obvious ploy for lazy sleepyheads to turn coffee shops into their bedrooms? You just finished your class; you’re tired; you’re looking for a place to rest; the school is crowded with people in all of its lobby; and then you realized that there’s a coffee shop nearby your school, so you hastily went there and grabbed a sit. The area you’re sitting at seemed relaxing and quiet, therefore you decided to take a nap. After all, coffee shops are well-manned with their efficient security personnel. This is the usual instance we experience. I personally don’t sleep in coffee shops though. I just think that there are so many productive things to do besides sleeping.
10. Sitting back and relaxing
I have to admit: sometimes, if not most of the time, we just feel like chilling around whenever we don’t have a clear plan of actions to be taken. In coffee shops, the structural layout, malacissant music, and calming views bring about an ambiance which makes it a casual getaway for anyone. We often, though, get annoyed by people who just literally sit there, drink a coffee, and spend a hefty amount of time doing nothing, when other people can actually sit there and be productive. But what’s more annoying is to know that a certain person didn’t purchase anything at all inside the coffee shop, while engaging in such frivolous behavior.