Wednesday, 27 June, 2012
I usually find trying to work in cafes a challenge (too much noise and distraction), but if you’re more interested in being creative, or solving a problem, than being productive, coffee shops, especially busy ones, are the place to be on account of their noise and potential for distraction:
The next time you’re stumped on a creative challenge, head to a bustling coffee shop, not the library. As the researchers write in their paper, “[I]nstead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking out of one’s comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”
cafes, creativity, productivity, work
Thursday, 14 June, 2012
Though long closed, and open for just seven years when it was trading, the Coffee Club cafe in Rogers Park, Chicago sounded like the sort of place I could easily call a second home.
I started going to Don’s in June 1993, a month after he opened. Don was the subject of my first good Reader story and of several stories thereafter. In 1996, I wrote a mediocre play of monologues, and the Don segment was everyone’s favorite. But outside of whatever hay I made out of the place, for many years the Coffee Club was the center of my social life. On a bad day, I could take up a chair at the back of the room and spend a whole night reading, drinking tea and eating chocolate cake, playing cards, and engaging in meaningless conversation with people I loved but rarely saw outside the coffeehouse. I met my first serious girlfriend at Don’s and went to Don’s the night we broke up, three years later. “She never liked it here,” Don said. “She was no good for you.”
cafes, Chicago, coffee
Friday, 2 March, 2012
Now that we can potentially shop, learn, and work online there’ll soon be no need for shopping centres, campuses, and, best of all, offices. Given however that the home may not always – for whatever reason – be the best place to shop, learn, or work, many us may conduct these activities from cafes and the like:
The need for offices grew as the equipment for mental work was developed starting in the late 19th centuries. That need appears to have peaked about 1980. It was a rare person who could afford the computers, printers, fax machines, and mailing/shipping equipment of that time. Now a single person with $500 can duplicate most of those functions with a single laptop computer. So the remaining function of the office is to be that place that clients know to find you… and that kids and the other distractions of home can’t. Going forward the workplace will need the same sort of flexibility that I described for education. Groups for one project will form and then disband and then reform with new members for the next project. What will that workplace look like? Probably closer to Starbucks than Bob Par’s cubicle.
cafes, trends, work, workplaces
Tuesday, 21 June, 2011
I don’t get to too many cafes in Randwick right now, but given not a single Randwick cafe (or The Glass Dome Coffee House here in Budgewoi for that matter), was included in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Cafe Guide for 2011, here’s my – highly subjective – short list of the area’s best coffee houses.
- Cafe Brioso, Library Lawn, UNSW campus (I don’t know what coffee they use but there’s always a queue for it)
- CafeCito, 11a Belmore Road, Grinders coffee
- Dukes Lounge, 153 Avoca Street, Numero Uno coffee
- Fresh Ground, 154 Belmore Road, Campos coffee
I’ll also put down the Ritz Cafe, at the Ritz Cinema for a special mention, they can make a top notch brew depending on whose wearing the barista’s hat on the day.
There’s a few newer places I’m yet to try including One Six Nine, Coffee Crazy, on Belmore Road, and Nook’s Place which was formerly Cafe 105/Stack Cafe, on King Street.
cafes, coffee, Randwick, Sydney
Thursday, 19 May, 2011
Waitstaff stand a better chance of collecting a generous tip should they stand closer to diners, especially those who are alone, when serving them, suggests some recent research.
Five waitresses in three restaurants were asked to stand erect at varying distances from patrons, who were alone at their table, when taking orders. Short interpersonal distance was associated with both a greater frequency in tipping and an increased amount of money given.
This particular study appeared to only observe female waiting staff, so I’m not sure if male waiters would also enjoy the same level of gratuities in similar circumstances.
cafes, gratuities, hospitality, psychology, tips, waitstaff
Thursday, 7 April, 2011
If workers are going to be spending more time in cafes they’ll need a way to keep their coffee at a drinkable temperature… this is where Coffee Joulies – polished stainless steel pellet like objects that resemble coffee beans – could come in:
Coffee Joulies work with your coffee to achieve two goals. First, they absorb extra thermal energy in your coffee when it’s served too hot, cooling it down to a drinkable temperature three times faster than normal. Next, they release that stored energy back into your coffee keeping it in the right temperature range twice as long.
cafes, coffee, coffee beans, drinking temperature
Tuesday, 9 November, 2010
Cafes, as opposed to restaurants, are places where “you can write your own story”.
There’s no formality, no degustation. Cafes are flexible. They are spaces in which you can do what you like, you can write your own story. You go to a restaurant and it’s their story that you have to fit into, their rules you have to abide by. You behave how they want you to behave, eat how they want you to eat, spend what they want you to spend. Even if there aren’t any rules, there is a social pressure to fit in with the crowd or let the side down.
cafes, coffee, dining, eating, restaurants
Monday, 16 August, 2010
The third wave in the Australian coffee consuming experience places an emphasis on the origin, and uniqueness, of a cafe’s coffee beans… a trend that could favour smaller, and more independent, growers and suppliers.
On the consumer side, we’re seeing a more boutique/connoisseur appreciation of subtlety and nuance in flavour, more akin to the expanding palates in wine and microbrewed beer. I guess once you’ve educated folks about lattes and macchiatos, this is a logical next step.
cafes, coffee, coffee beans, coffee producers
Tuesday, 25 May, 2010
Money is just one way to pay for meals at the Panera Bread Company’s non-profit cafe in the US city of Saint Louis.
“Take what you need, leave your fair share,” says a sign at the entrance of the Saint Louis Bread Company Cares Cafe. Patrons who can’t pay are asked to volunteer their time.
barter, cafes, dining, exchange, non-profit, payment
Monday, 10 May, 2010
Possibly a response to situations where property owners, or apartment building managers, forbid the keeping of pets… cat cafes that give cat-less moggy lovers a chance to spend some quality time with felines.
Somehow while searching for restaurants to check out I stumbled upon a list of Tokyo’s ‘cat cafes’. Here 1000 yen will buy an hour’s worth of petting with the cafe’s kitties. Since 2008 more than a dozen of these cat cafes have opened in Tokyo. Some of these cafes have as many as twenty five cats on staff.
cafes, cats, Japan, Tokyo