A recent New York Times article cited the rising number of coffee bars throughout the country. Many shops across the nation, like SCAA members Stumptown Coffee Roasters, are embracing the new coffee bar trend. The coffee bars, modeled after traditional get in-get out Italian espresso bars, are meant to encourage patrons to engage in the coffee shop atmosphere around them rather than settling in and withdrawing into the niche of a cushy armchair. By installing raised counters and bar stools coffee shop owners are taking a step away from the traditional idea of the American café and giving rise to a new coffee bar culture, the coffee professional’s answer to the insularity of the digital age.
The Los Angeles Times recently ran a story on the elimination of free wi-fi in many California cafés. The move, while a sore spot for some in the consumer community, has already garnered several coffee shops great praise from other shop owners. By eliminating the distraction of e-mail or Facebook coffee shop owners have ensured that their businesses are known and respected for the quality of their product, not the speed of their wi-fi connection.
Just because it’s possible to have a conversation from opposite sides of the globe, it does not diminish the value of taking a few minutes every day to unplug and really enjoy a good cup of coffee, served by a hardworking barista. It seems coffee shop owners are leading the pack when it comes to taking time out to appreciate the simple yet important pleasures in life.
So, are you a coffee shop owner contemplating the pros and cons of adding a bar or going analog? What are your experiences with the matter? We’d like to know. Leave us your responses and let’s get a lively discussion going.