vrijdag 21 januari 2011

Things I love Thursday - Cozy Coffee Edition

This week Starbucks shocked the world, or at least me, with the introduction of their new cup size. It's bigger than most people's stomachs and it reminds me of those Big Gulps that I could wear as a hat when I visited Chicago.
Now, of course Starbucks is still very exotic for us Dutchies (there are only 5 in the whole country!) and we still love to go there and feel like worldly citizens, but there are more coffee bars, that are arguably even more awesome.

Picture by Blushybubu

A coffeehouse or coffee shop is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. It shares some of the characteristics of a bar, and some of the characteristics of a restaurant, but it is different from a cafeteria. As the name suggests, coffeehouses focus on providing coffee and tea as well as light snacks. Many coffee houses in the Middle East, and in West Asian immigrant districts in the Western world, offer shisha (nargile in Turkish and Greek), flavored tobacco smoked through a hookah.
From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups of 2 or 3.
Says Wikipedia 

In The Netherlands there is no word for it yet. A Dutch coffee shop is a place to buy weed and a café is a place to go to get drunk.

Coffee houses are the perfect places to just do absolutely nothing. I always felt a bit awkward going out for a drink on my own, especially when I'd just moved here and had no friends yet. Rotterdam was a new city, a totally new life. I am a small town girl and was so excited about all the new possibilities in the city. I just wanted to get out of the house to take pictures, people-watch and have a damn good cup of coffee.

What makes a coffee place a good cafe? In my opinion, this is the ultimate combination:
* It should be dark with dimmed yellow lights
* Not too noisy - make those ice coffees in the back please!
* The people who work there should be friendly and preferably good friends to each other - the people who visit must be nice too and preferably creative and silent
* There should be good coffee music; something jazzy or laid back folky
* There should be cozy clean chairs; faux leather preferably or maybe vintage soft real leather

This picture was taken by Rayan M.

* The coffee should be amazing; there must be great espressos and ristrettos but also yerba maté and mint tea and funky weird coffee with all kinds of flavours
* There should also be a variety of milk to choose from - they should at least have soy milk.
* The coffee should be sustainably farmed. It makes the coffee good for the soul too.
* The coffees and teas must have epic made up names like: Carolina Honey Breeze (Argo Tea) or Campfire Mocha (Caribou Coffee).

And it should have a nice view, like this (the photographer didn't make his photo's available for sharing, but it's definitely worth clicking)
These people agree :)

This picture was taken by Valerie
You can find Descartes at 327 N Michigan Ave in The Loop

I have travelled on my own to Toronto and to Chicago. In Chicago I had an amazing couchsurf host who showed me this awesome coffee bar. Coffee bars are safe havens for me when I travel. I spend my days outside, just walking around and getting lost, try to meet nice people and take loads of pictures - my tourist senses on full alert. After a few hours I get incredibly tired and drag my weary feet to a coffee bar to photoshop and send messages to the home front.

This was another favourite in Chicago:

The Noble Tree is my most favourite cafe to date. It's like several stories of an apartment. It's a library, living room, cafe, lookout and pastry paradise in one building - really awesome.

These pictures of the Noble Tree Coffee House were taken by Gingerbydesign
You can visit the Noble Tree at 2444 N Clark in Lincoln Park

You can visit the Coffee Company in Rotterdam at Eendrachtsplein

And this is my most favourite coffee bar in The Netherlands. It's actually the first cafe that really made me appreciate coffee. The atmosphere is cozy and there's lots of interesting people to look at. The baristas are really kind and the coffee is great.

The big boss is called Dick de Kock (which is an amazing name if you want to be succesful abroad) or coffeedick on Twitter. And the icing on the cake is the huge statue of a gnome with a buttplug standing right in front of the building.

I wouldn't want to end this post with a dirty gnome, so for more coffee inspiration you should visit this Flickr Pool - The Coffee Bar

1 opmerking:

  1. I love coffee shops. I used to spend at least 2 hours a day in there and I miss this habit so much since I moved to UK (there are not such a thing as coffee shop here).