What do you hear when you go into a coffee shop? This question came to mind earlier today as I sat in my local coffee shop. I have entertained this question before after discussing how the sensory experience of coffee is much greater than just taste. Making coffee involves all of your senses, from touch to sight. Consuming coffee involves sight, hearing, smelling, and of course tasting. There’s even more to the experience of coffee than just the basic senses but I digress.
I decided to make a short list of sounds that I heard in the coffee shop while consuming my brew. Here’s what I noted:
- Conversation between patrons
- Conversation between a barista and a patron
- Conversation between baristas
- Steam wand
- A barista relaying my order to another bariosta
- Espresso machine
- Water in the sink
This is far from a comprehensive list. There is plenty going on in cafes. I found this exercise interesting because these things all happen without much conscious thought on my part. I know the sounds of making coffee but I am not always in tune with them per se: they are already familiar so they blend in the background of my mind as opposed to standing out.
Cafes are about more than just coffee: they are environments. This is a product of all the factors that go into making a cafe what it is, from noises to aesthetics to human interaction. But I don’t always think about this when I am sitting in a cafe. It’s easy to get immersed in thought.
I challenge you to do what I have done today: write down a few noises you hear in the next coffee shop you visit, whether you stay for a seat or take your coffee away. What do you hear? What noises are the loudest?
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