When in a coffee shop, free smells of rich espresso float around the room. Concentrated eyes are glued to screens or books. Smooth jazz fills the air to mute the sounds of typing fingers and the odd tick of the refrigerated coolers. Soft laughter is exchanged between groups of friends. When in a coffee shop, I feel at home.
When I was little, my mother always had a cup of coffee in her hands. She always raved about her morning coffee and would quibble with her best friend over what coffee chain was superior. Eventually, I adopted her views on the beloved novelty. When I reached high school, I found myself spending more time in local Jupiter and West Palm coffee shops: whether it was to meet up with friends or to study.
When I moved to Gainesville, my love for coffee shops followed me. I still find myself spending quite a bit of time in local shops like Wyatt’s. Places like Wyatt’s and Subculture have always been a place where I can go to pound out some work or do some relaxing reading. I have also engaged in so many different conversations with local customers that have widened my view of my two different homes: Jupiter and Gainesville.
In my opinion, these cozy shops have brought coffee-lovers and workaholics together more than the typical Starbucks or Dunkin’. There is something unique that local shops offer that the large chains lack—a sense of community. Not only can you get your ‘morning joe,’ you can also engage with the local community.
Next time you go out to get coffee, consider trading in your Venti Caramel Macchiato and cake pops for a simple latte from a local shop. Hopefully, when you are there, you can feel some of the very things that I feel as I sit in my local shop. You can also feel good about supporting local coffee suppliers and the local economy.