Coffee Break

In all my travels, whether it’s just a drive to school or a trip across the ocean, I am always looking for a coffee shop.  I have always wanted to like coffee since I discovered that coffee houses are usually adorable, cozy places.  Now that I have begun to enjoy that bitter, acquired taste, I am even more eager to find these happy little corners of the world.

Paris41

There I am sipping a cappuccino (or “cafe creme” as our server corrected me…despite it being called a cappuccino on the menu) outside a restaurant in Paris near Notre Dame.  Enjoying a beautiful, sunny day while drinking coffee with your best friend is an experience enjoyable anywhere; being in Paris sure didn’t hurt though.  😉

So just what makes a good coffee shop?  Well, according to me, there are three criteria.

1. Cozy Feeling – I know, this is pretty subjective.  But I’m talking couches, armchairs, low lighting.  I want to feel relaxed while I consume copious amounts of caffeine, usually rendering me unable to relax anyway.  It’s a beautiful paradox, really.

2. Individuality – Of course all coffee shops have things in common or I wouldn’t be making this list.  But there should be something that sets each place apart from others.  Sometimes just the fact that it’s not a chain is enough to appeal to me.  I love popular coffee chains, don’t get me wrong.  But when it comes to atmosphere, I want a place that simply cannot be replicated.  Quirky art, local music, specialty drinks…that type of vibe.

3.  Good Coffee – Obviously.  As a newfound coffee lover, I have not yet developed the refined palate that can distinguish good coffee from mediocre coffee.  So as long as I can enjoy it, that’s really all it takes to meet this criteria as far as I’m concerned.

Oh, and bonus points if you have/sell books.

Something about these places inspires me.  Maybe it’s just the way life’s simple pleasures can combine into one glorious place.  In the hurried world we live in, it’s nice to just sit down and enjoy a book and a latte.

So if I could have my own coffee shop, travel, read books, and somehow help people, that would be my dream job.  Currently taking suggestions about how to do all that, preferably with a social work degree.  🙂

Stay caffeinated!

-Ali

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