Coffee Shop Etiquette (and Grace)


Because I am both working on my doctorate and a writer, and due to the fact that I don’t have a personal study at home, I spend quite a bit of time in coffee shops. I imagine that I would do well if I bought stock in coffee shops, though very few are publicly trading.

With so much time spent in the Baristaville world, I imagine I could craft some kind of book on coffee shop etiquette. It’s a needed work for the human race, right?

Let me backtrack for a moment.

I actually enjoy sitting in coffee shops. Of course, it’s a place of “work” for me, work I enjoy. But also because I enjoy observing others. Not in some creepy sense. Rather, there’s the reality that you can learn a lot by just observing people. Observation is one of the tried and true methods for any setting of learning.

Still, many activities in coffee shops can stress a person out, can stress me out.

The awkward – does one person really need to do so much to draw attention to himself or herself?

The loud – why do others not realize that the whole coffee shop doesn’t want to be involved in another person’s phone conversation?

The PDA – why do two people have to be publicly all over each other?

The temperature – why does it have to be so cold, even in winter?

The dangerous – do we really need to enter a coffee shop packing heat?

And more.

Coffee shops are something like the Cheers of today. Sure, the bar retains its own Cheers-like setting. However, the coffee shop dominates western world of today.

Thus, it provides a time for relationship, friendship, and conversation. And sometimes that opens the door to the messy. Really, it does. Life is messy and the mess arrives at times when we don’t expect it. And at times we don’t want it to.

So there is a sense in which we need to learn coffee shop grace as much as coffee shop etiquette.

Still, at times, coffee shops are stressful places. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t enter a coffee shop and experience something that is beyond the bounds of normal social expectations, causing some kind of stress in the midst of the flow of life.

But I’m not going to let that steer me away.

And, from my own observations, it’s not keep Americans away from coffee shops as a whole. We will drive to our local shop of java, order our coffee or latte or double venti whatever, plop down at a table, and start sipping our warm beverage of choice. Will do it with friends or to get some work accomplished.

Nevertheless, I recommend that we need some kind of book entitled, Coffee Shop Etiquette. And perhaps it needs to be hosted at the counter of every coffee shop. Actually, we’ll need an edited title of Coffee Shop Etiquette (and Grace).

Perhaps I can find the time to pen the book one day.


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