What exactly is coffee culture?
‘Coffee Culture’ essentially describes a social atmosphere or a set of behaviours and settings that are heavily dependent on coffee as a social lubricant. If that sounds too technical, it basically means that our society as a whole has embraced coffee as the necessary grease for all sorts of social situations. The term ‘Coffee Culture’ is also often used to reflect the widespread adoption of coffee across cultures. This stimulating beverage, that has corporate empires selling it in gallons every single day, has particularly been taking over most Western and urbanised centres all over the globe.
The earliest recorded evidence of the culture of coffee houses and cafes comes from 14th century Turkey. Coffee houses scattered across the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe were not only places to grab a caffeine fix, but notable intellectual and artistic centres as well. Consider the Parisian Les Deux Magots for example. Now a popular tourist attraction in the city, this coffee shop was once the favourite haunt of intellectuals like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. All through the late 17th and 18th centuries, cafes became the favoured rendezvous for writers, socialites, artists and centres for commercial and political activity. The now classic elements of tasteful decor and a slow-paced exclusive service originated in these early coffee houses and continue to shape coffee culture today. Cafes are also prime locations for all kinds of social activities such as comedy or poetry nights.
The Modern Ethos
In most urbanised centres around the world today, coffee culture often refers to the ubiquitous presence of coffee shops and espresso stands. The spread of franchises such as Starbucks has also lead to the term ‘Coffee Culture’ describing the deep impact coffee-serving establishments have had on market penetration. Another major aspect of the coffee culture today is access to free wireless internet. Customers of these coffeehouse franchises can regularly be seen spending hours on personal or professional work. Whilst decor is an important part of the customer experience, minimalistic decor of most cafes leaves the presence of any atmosphere very much open for interpretation.
When was the last time you went to a coffee shop other than a corporate-run franchise? Was it this morning? This month? Or this year? Do you think there needs to be a change in the way our society worships caffeine as a form of crowd-pleasing beverage?
Let us know what you think in the comments section and be sure to watch out for more curious content from My Mum Said.