“I can’t function till I drink my first cup of coffee at work,” was my friend’s response to her boss’s very pertinent question on why she hasn’t met her early morning deadline. Needless to say, this excuse didn’t sit well with her supervisor. However, it made me wonder about why coffee has become such an important part of our lives and why do we see such a thriving existence of coffee shops around us. While there are possibly a million reasons behind this rising loyalty towards coffee and cafe culture, our readings and observations led us to a few relevant reasons.
- Increase in coffee consumption: We are drinking a lot more of our coffee and we are drinking a lot of varieties of it at that. From our morning shot of espresso to an iced macchiato on our evening out with friends, we have not only increased our intake of the beverage, we have also diversified it. To meet the growing demands of spaces to get better coffee, we see cafes sprouting up around us, each with its unique proposition of the rarest of beans or hand-ground coffee, furthering the growing café culture. The millennials are also more knowledgeable about the coffee they drink – it is no longer just another beverage, it’s a reflection on our lifestyle. The knowledge of good coffee is power and brands and coffee shop owners are striving to live up to this sudden millennial obsession with cafe culture. They are bringing newer blends, more flavors and putting them on offer to satisfy the millennial obsession for the new and exotic!
- Productive work environment: Why work from the confines of a cubicle when you can sit on plush sofas, sip on great coffee – iced or hot – and work on a presentation that might otherwise be boring! Millennials have long strayed from the idea of working in a traditional setup, the fast-multiplying numbers of start-ups bearing witness to the same. A coffee shop works wonderfully well as an alternative workspace away from the hustle of their regular offices and fits into the increasing cafe culture, with the clink of cups on saucers being the
only distraction. Our personal observation shows that we got more work done and with better results in a non-traditional workspace such as a café as opposed to one which is more mainstream.
- Productive space for collaboration: Collaborating with other creators across the board seems like the flavor of this year. Spanning across technology, finance, management, marketing, and the creative space, we are seeing some great work being done and many of them are results of some great minds coming together. At the same time, we see the traditional conference room conversations going out of fashion and meetings moving to coffee shops and restaurants in the largest display of adhering to this growing cafe culture. Walk into any coffee shop around town with their lucrative offer of free Wi-Fi and you will spot tables occupied by millennials sitting on their Macbooks and notepads, brainstorming over ideas and coding the next successful app. Bright walls, great internet and the energizing smell of coffee,
in my opinion, creates a conducive space for better ideas and helps this cafe culture to flourish!
- A New Age Way of Socializing: Gone are the days when bars and pubs would be the go-to space for socializing. Coffee shops are the newer, cooler way of catching up. The beverages are often less expensive than their spirited cousins and are better catalysts for conversations. Additionally, millennials with their innate need to gain more insights and knowing more about people beyond the regular bar-side banter took to the cafe culture faster than ever before.
Dating became asking her out for coffee and meeting old friends no longer needed beer – a Frappuccino was enough. But do we meet new people at a café? Turns out, we do! See a stranger reading a book you have been wanting to read? Go say and hi, we can guarantee that you will be greeted with a smile and the beginning of an engaging conversation.
- The Media’s Unwitting Influence: Come to think of it, pop culture has played a major role in the advent and flourishing of this cafe culture. F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Seinfeld, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Frasier – think of a popular TV show in the last couple of decades and most likely you will immediately remember their favorite hangout spot like a coffee shop with its bright walls and even more colorful crowd! Be it because of Central Perk or Rear Window Brew, every millennial wanted to spend their mornings drinking coffee and talking to their best friends. We hoped we would meet our potential employer, future lover or a new best friend as we sip on our cup of Cappuccino. It remains a dream for most of us, but what are millennials if not dreamers!
Coffee has changed from a morning ritual to a luxury that many of us are invested to indulge in. Our obsession with the brew stands witness to the same and is a testimony for the steady business that cafés boast about!