Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Coffee Talk

Twenty years ago, if you'd told me that coffee shops would spring up and be on every street corner....I would have said "never".

I've come to travel through dozens of US airports, walk through different US cities, and literally hundreds of European towns.....mostly amazed at the growth of the coffee shop industry.

Sometimes, it's the name that matters (Starbucks or Java Hut).  Sometimes, it's just plain good coffee.  Sometimes....like in the case of this coffee house in Nuremberg....it's the chairs and atmosphere on the street.

I probably sit at forty shops throughout a normal year.  I'm fairly particular.....swearing allegiance to strong black coffee or green tea.

The business growth of coffee shops is what amazes me.  Rarely do you see a coffee shop failing.  I suspect they aren't big-money makers....but the majority are making some kind of profit.

It's almost like a bar atmosphere now.  You notice two people meeting.....two guys or two gals.....they sit and talk over a cup of coffee, and then leave.  It's like the old days in a bar or pub, except now....no alcohol is consumed in this effort.

After a while, I've come to believe that there is an addiction of sorts going on....with the caffeine and the brief ten-minute pause.  Guys used to stop at a bar on the way home....to discuss the Packers, or the Yankees.....or to run through manly gossip that they'd heard through the day.  I suspect the coffee discussions run the same way.

In another twenty years?  I suspect that you will have a card where you prepaid for a hundred coffee cups throughout a year.  You got the discount deal with this.  You have a fancy card that you just swipe, and place a cup under a ultra-fancy coffee brewer device.  Less people, less cost, less hassle.  More individualized coffee mixes?  Yes, somewhere down the line.....we each will have a mythical formula of the perfect coffee (ten percent hardy stuff, ten percent oddball Costa Rican mild, and forty percent of some Honduran root tea mixture that has a sweet element).  The card will help deliver that wonderful blend of personalized coffee/drink.

Life will never be the same.

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