Commonality Through Coffee

Do you change with your environment? Does your location sway your trust with the people near you? Really, it’s a simple question with an obvious answer that we may not feel driven to admit.

It all started with a smell. There is alluring enjoyment in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. There was nothing special about it. Nothing I wanted to ingest or even become dependent on. My curiosity grew alongside the amount of people who declared that it was something to be had.

Eventually, I dove in with the other 83% of caffeinated Americans already swimming in their cappuccinos and espresso. Here’s the thing: I grew up with the smell of hot coffee steaming from a pot every day but it wasn’t the same. What was different about being in a coffee shop? The scents I sensed were the same no matter what machine the sludge came from. So, what gives?

Unspoken micro-cultures evolve in the simplest of places by the most minimal means and we revel in what we’ve created. Places we have been are stored as memories in us and referenced as friendly and inviting if deemed so.

Others may be viewed as somewhere we weren’t treated fairly or perhaps we were looked at a way we disapproved of. Thoughts and actions presume a location to be permissible by the common collective and in this particular setting, everyone seems to trust each other. There is a floating aura of happiness and brevity in most conversations.

coffee shop

Commonality Through Coffee

Starbucks. The shaped culture of Starbucks isn’t happenstance. This atmosphere was created and upheld by the patrons and staff alike.

I feel comforted by my surroundings and take pride in knowing that the smiling barista waiting at the counter knows that my face is associated with a “tall pike with room”. I then, in turn, remain unsurprised when my total is $1.89 because that specific number is more than a price tag. That number is comfort because it’s what I expect when I walk in and you can bet I’ll know something is twisted if it’s a penny over.

A splash of 2% and two sugars are all it takes to fix the fix. Sugar In The Raw; I don't want none of that Splenda shit. I then seek a seat on the long padded bench with six aligned tables because it gives a view of the entire establishment and an added sense of comfort because I can see what is happening all around me. Though, the sense of security is already high as a result of being in Starbucks where people trust people.

This is a place of laughter, meaningless conversations, and business proposals where people put trust in the guy in a hoodie to watch $1500 worth of electronics for 10 minutes while they’re away. Further, a lady to leave her phone charging on an occupied table only to disappear for the next 30 minutes. Grins greet the faces of staff and passersby when gift cards leave the hands of a certain thankful patron. Guaranteed, those same exchanges wouldn’t happen 20 feet outside the store. This is more than a coffee shop. It’s a place of community and commonality.

Again, there is a sculpted culture of trust and well-being.

So, do you change when you step out of the store? Does the guy in the hoodie sitting in Starbucks or walking down the street change your standards of trust in him?

This isn’t meant to cause distrust when approaching people. It’s just a thought. Let me know what you took away from this.