Coffee Shop Culture

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In the late '80s I consulted with a small regional coffee roaster in Southwestern Colorado. Coffee as a global obsession hadn 't yet begun. The most useful fact to put this time in perspective is that Starbucks only owned 55 stores. The term coffee shop was then still synonymous with diner. Fast forward to 2009: Starbucks now owns more than 14,000 stores and coffee shop culture has been redefined numerous times. Generally a good coffee shop features coffee and espresso as the centerpiece of its offerings with bakery items and snacks available. Some expand services to include breakfast and lunch fare and most recently; free wireless internet access has become the norm. What separates these coffee shops from restaurants? The culture within …show more content…
Starbucks defines this as the "Third Place": somewhere that is not home, and not work, but rather that other place one consistently spends time. Using these criteria, I 've compiled a short list of Milwaukee 's favorite coffee shops. Bella Caffe 189 N. Milwaukee Street Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-727-2160 Monday - Thursday 6:30 am - 9 pm; Friday - Saturday 6:30 am - 11 pm; Sunday 8 am - 6 pm Bella Caffe has appeared on any good list since opening five years ago. Located in Milwaukee 's Historic Third Ward, Bella 's serves bakery as well as 6 daily made-from-scratch soups from its sister company, The Soup Market. With ample windows for people watching, and overstuffed chairs and couches for internet browsing, Bella 's is a warm, cozy spot that never …show more content…
Once you get out of that inner urban ring, the world becomes a culture of cars and coffee is only served in cups baring mermaids. I longed to sip my latte while glancing at a revolving art exhibit positioned on exposed brick walls while listening in on a conversation between two people I actually wished I knew. Alas, the Wyman Historic District has to-die-for Liks ice cream and a fun pub or two but no coffee houses steps from my front stoop. That does not mean I can 't get what I 'm looking for, I just have to expand my vision of "neighborhood" much like the folks with Capitol Hill United Neighborhood (CHUN) have done. Stretching from Broadway to Colorado Boulevard and 1st Avenue to 22nd, there are over 15 independent coffee and tea houses listed in the CHUN on Mile High Buzz (denvercoffee.blogspot.com) blog. Some are 24-hour joints (Leela European Cafe) and others are as healthy as coffee can get (Caffe Sanora). Some appeal to laptop lugging writers and others to young mothers (Under the Umbrella). It all depends on your taste. I prefer a coffee house where I feel an urban vibe without being unduly funky. I appreciate strong coffee, flaky croissants, and a lingering clientele. Free Wi-Fi and a dog-friendly patio are a must. Based on these requirements, I have narrowed down

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