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Coffee V Conversations

Apologies, I know I’ve been very absent. I’ve been majorly busy. But I promise my next post will be a legitimate, blog post exclusive to WordPress! For now, please enjoy a more published form of my journalistic musings about coffee. Feel free to comment, tell me your favourite drink to get from a coffee shop. Better yet, tell me one of your best or worst experiences in a coffee shop. Enjoy. This article is taken from BananaReel.

How often do we “go for coffee” with people? Why do we go at all when there’s a perfectly good kettle and a jar of Nescafe at home? The coffee shop world is an entirely new place that has a list of specific purposes, with the desire for coffee being near the bottom.

When you look back at the time you’ve spent in Starbucks or Butlers or your local coffee shop, you might be reminded of bad job interviews, dodgy break-ups or girly gossips. As the cappuccino trend has risen, the reasons for “going for coffee” have mutated. We no longer reach for our morning coffee straight from the kettle, we wait for our low-fat grande vanilla cream-based frappaccino with whipped cream to be made for us.

But although we may be getting used to the complexity that is ordering coffee, we have not spared enough thought for why we bother with this routine. Going for coffee has now become a pastime. It is an event that we attend for a reason other than coffee. There have been job interviews, business deals, official meetings, gossiping, bitching, people breaking news and people breaking up. If those Starbucks walls could talk, what stories they could tell…

While walls may not be able to talk,  people can. I spoke to a Starbucks barista who wholeheartedly agrees that a coffee shop is not just for coffee. “I’ve heard of plans for 150 people to be let go from BOI,” she said. “I also listened in when the debt figures were being thrown around. That scared and annoyed me.”

She said people also do job interviews there because it’s quiet enough for no distractions but busy enough to not be overheard. It’s also a popular way for old friends to catch up. “I heard a conversation between two friends who hadn’t seen each other in five years,” she said. “They had both been married and had kids since they last saw each other, and talked as if they’d never been apart.”

She says from working in Starbucks, she knows the largest coffee size can last a long time, but not long enough for some conversations. “People will sit there for hours after they’ve finished, and just talk. It’s almost like coffee is used as an excuse to see someone,” she says.

Eimear Jordan, a frequent Starbucks customer believes the comfort and the atmosphere make it more about meeting up than about the coffee. She says, “it provides a friendly and comfortable atmosphere to talk with friends.” She also believes the comfort and neutrality of the place help at times when conversations are not so cheerful. “I’ve had a number of bad conversations in Starbucks,” she says. “Because I go there on a regular basis, it adds comfort and sometimes a confidence factor. The hot chocolate always helps too.”

It seems that the comfort and familiarity that is provided in most coffee shops make people feel at ease when talking to friends, colleagues and anyone else they meet for coffee. This feeling of comfort will probably keep the trend of “going for coffee” alive for a long time, even for those who prefer a cup of tea.

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