Something that I have come to love about the coffee community is the culture. Yes. If you didn’t already know or realize coffee has a culture, but it isn’t one that is exclusive or cornered by any one demographic. Just as I eluded to in a previous blog post, A Brief, Non-Exhaustive Summary of the History of Coffee (Unnecessary I Know), coffee houses in England during the early 1600s were gathering places where an individual could connect and converse with other like minded citizens. And that is what was and still is unique about coffee shops today.
The coffee culture is not defined by one demographic or populace. Just like in the ole days of the British Empire where politicians would congregate at this coffee house or the theologically astute would fellowship at that coffee house, today we have a very diverse and multi-cultured coffee community behaving in very similar fashion. There are coffee bars in bike repair shops. You can pet cats and sip on a latte in some shops. You can find coffee served in apparel stores. Espresso may be a beverage option in an art studio. There are Ethiopian coffee houses and Turkish coffee bars. Boutiques, health and fitness facilities, barbershops, all sorts of businesses have begun serving specialty coffee to their customers.
The culture of coffee is one of many. It is diverse. It is inclusive. Coffee shops provide a place for everyone. Young, old, male, female, black, white, etc., you get my point, coffee stretches across the multi-demographic spectrum. It allows people with similar affinities in topics, hobbies, and ideologies to cluster together. It is an incubator for visionaries, idealists, and entrepreneurs. Coffee shops are places that soothe the soul, enlighten the mind, and impassion the heart.
Another aspect of culture that I could write a series of blogs about is the culture of coffee in other countries around the world. Though the United States is in the top 25 consumers of coffee in the world (number 25 to be exact), there is only one state in which coffee is grown in the U.S., Hawaii. Coffee, like soccer, is largely grown and greatly revered, internationally. We are talking about cultures that span the globe and are as diverse as the coffees they grow. From Peru to Mexico, Hawaii to Vietnam, Sumatra to Ethiopia, each coffee is unique and each culture that grows coffee are just as distinct.
A coffee shop is a wonderful and beautiful place filled with wonderful and beautiful people. Coffee is almost like the perfect companion. Who wouldn’t like to buy a t-shirt with a pour over of Huehuetenango to-go? I know I would! Blessings!