My title has an accented E appropriate but I won't be making such consistency in the body of this post. I used to be accustomed to the French keyboard but I've lost it.
The cafe is my home, so I'll say cafes are a writer's home. A cafe is an atmostphere made to be an atmosphere. Can you imagine a more magical place to work? There's the beach, of course, but sand would get in my keyboard. Museums have a lovely atmosphere, but they're too quiet and don't have tables. And you can't make a mess in a museum.
Over the past year or so, I have become intimately acquainted with cafes. I have looked far and wide for the ideal cafe, and I have outlined some characteristics which determine its perfection. A cafe must have:
- Food. If I'm staying here all day, I want lunch.
- Great coffee. Duh.
- Quality desserts with good variety. Gluten free options give you bonus points!
- A feeling of being approachable, yet intimate. Literally: furniture must have strong variation. Armchairs and couches for comfort (keep them clean, please), small tables for conversation, large tables for work, at least one private corner and an optional separate room for large parties.
- Reading material and board games for entertainment and relaxation.
- Friendly baristas! Baristas are as essntial as bartenders. They must CARE about your work and your cup of coffee. Supportive, friendly, and charismatic baristas are a must.
- Artwork. It helps if the artwork and furniture change every once in a while.
- Regulars who are working on longer projects, such as myself, typically bring their own music. So while cafe music is a must, not too loud, please. GOT THAT, STARBUCKS?
- Not too commercial. In fact, bizzare music is welcome; but be sure that it is atmostpheric and doesn't have a drastic dynamic range; the songs should have a roughly even volume throughout.
- Outdoor seating for the smokers, please. Those silly boyz think it makes them sexy, after all. Let them have their fun.
- Temperature control! We know you want to save money, but once it hits the nineties, turn on the AC! Also, don't freeze us to death. GOT THAT, STARBUCKS?
- Reasonable prices, please. I understand the the price of coffee goes up sometimes. But if it's more expensive than Starbucks, it's done.
- A cafe does well do solicit local businesses and independent artists. I plan to take full advantage of this because I'm an author, so.
- A cafe does well to associate itself with a charity or cause; it makes the place more marketable.
A note about Starbucks:
I won't include Starbucks in my ranking list, because Starbucks is a natural exception. But it's also damn brilliant; making a franchise out of something that is inherently not a franchise. Good coffee, great marketing, adorable desserts. The designers and copy writers working for Starbucks are brilliant. Clean sophistication with a homey touch--, that's Starbucks for you, and they nailed it. Business students should be studying Starbucks under a magnifying glass.
At last, here is my list of cafes I've visited, roughly categorized by from best to least best:
- Blackdog Coffeehosue
- Public Domain
- Dunn Bros Coffee
- Peet's Coffee and Tea
- The Roasterie
- Homer's Cafe
They're all lovely cafes or I wouldn't include them in my list at all. I am the only regular female at my preferred cafe; who knew cafes were such a guy place, teehee. Or maybe it has something to do with females typically moving in packs. Or with boyfriends. I haven't ever a boyfriend, but I have found surrogates that fulfill most duties of that my hypothetical boyfriend would have. My mirror tells my how pretty I am, his name is Glass. Mace protects me; he's a real character. And my backpack, Avery, carries all my stuff. Maxima takes me places. And as for Pen, well, he's just a slut. Now all I need is muscled pheromones with comforting shoulders! :D Glee!