Blog Post # 5

 

Welcome!

In post #4 (https://coffeetalkshop.wordpress.com/) we discovered some guidelines for reviewing coffee shop environments and beverage quality.  With that in mind, we had the opportunity to use those guidelines to review a local café, The Bad Owl.  Also, we observed how criteria encourages an attachment to a certain coffee shop resulting in a positive benefit.

Today, I want extend the aspect of community a bit further and examine why I feel a coffee shop is the perfect setting to make friends, or organize meet ups.  At the end of this post I will be able to answer the following questions:

Why do so many people meet up at coffee shops?

Why do we find it easier to talk in coffee shops?

My Personal Reasons /Pros of the Coffee Shop Meet Up

1. Convenience of Multiple Locations

The last time that I counted, I found 5 coffee shops within one mile from where I live.  Not surprisingly, the Las Vegas area holds hundreds of choices (without including Starbucks).

Some of my friends live in Henderson (which is far for me) and others are in the surrounding area.  Since we are scattered throughout North, South and West Las Vegas, it is easier for us to pick a coffee shop and schedule a meet up night or morning.  We prefer take turns and pick a coffee shop that is in our area.  This rotating process is fair and keeps everyone happy.  No one is obligated to drive 45 minutes every week because we switch it up.  Also, another advantage of the rotating schedule is that we can visit more coffee shops, mixing it up.

2.  No Need To Cook Or Clean

The best part about visiting in a coffee shop as opposed to having friends over is that I don’t have to stress about cleaning the house or preparing snacks.  With a full course load at school (6 classes), an internship and a teenager, I can’t guarantee that my house is in perfect order all of the time.  Having a coffee shop as my back-up meeting place is definitely a life-saver for me.

3.  Free Entertainment

A few of my favorite coffee shops also have free entertainment on a weekly or monthly basis.  Some cafés have poetry readings or guests/artists.  Also, some local coffee shops host musical events and this only adds to my list of bonuses for scheduling a meet-up with friends.

4.  Win-Win If Someone Cancels

In my circle of friends, no one has retired yet and we all live busy lives.  Life happens and every so often one person from the group ends up cancelling or not showing up.  When this occurs, it isn’t a big disappointment because you can still enjoy your coffee and your outing.

A Scientific Perspective

Now we will explore another expert’s reasons for selecting a coffee shop as a social setting.  For this we will refer to Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, who is also a licensed social and personality psychologist who has done extensive research on influence, persuasion, and interpersonal relationships.  His article “5 Ways Coffee Can Help You Fall In Love” breaks down his 5 reasons why a coffee shop is ideal (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201108/5-ways-coffee-can-help-you-fall-in-love ).

1.  Safe and Convenient

Since coffee shops are numerous, they can be a safe, convenient and eas y choice for meeting.  In addition, it is a public, non-threatening environment.  As a bonus, wonderful beverages (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) also help to make the coffee shop a winner for a first date or meet up.

2.  Easy On the Wallet

The café voids the pressure of going way over budget for a date.

Dr. Nicholson’s article noted:

“Also, from a persuasion standpoint, expensive activities early on actually make you LESS attractive to a partner. This is due to something called the ‘overjustification effect’ (Lepper, Green, & Nisbett, 1973). Usually, when someone has a good time with you, they will be likely to attribute their feelings to you (and become attracted). However, when expensive and fancy things are involved, the person often pays attention to them and attributes his/her good feelings to the food, gifts, or activity – and not to you. Even if you’re awesome, the lobster might get the credit. Coffee, in contrast, is subtle and doesn’t take the focus off of you.”

3.  Can We Talk?

Studies have shown us that Caffeine makes people more alert and attentive. When people are focused, they are prone to persuasion if you have a well-supported argument. Also, undivided attention helps build rapport and intimacy as noted in “5 Ways Coffee Can Help You Fall in Love.”

4.  Feeling Good

Interestingly, Dr. Nicholson also noted that coffee (and food in general) “often has positive feelings and experiences associated with it.” This effect is often referred to as the “luncheon effect” (first observed by Razran study in 1938).  So if you share a sweet moment along with a pastry and coffee, chances are that person will remember you the next time he/she returns to the same café.

5.   L-O-V-E

We know that caffeine is a stimulant.  As such, it is only normal that our heart pumps faster and we feel a boost of energy.  Similarly, this is the same way our body reacts when we are in love.  Caffeine gets the heart pumping, the blood racing, and the body energized. These are the same feelings that one experiences when flushed and excited with love. People can sometimes confuse the two (in the favor of the suitor).  Dr. Nicholson referred to is as “misattribution of arousal.”  Think of it like this “when coffee makes your date’s heart beat even faster – he/she might just think it’s because of you instead!”

My Take Away

After reading Dr. Nicholson’s article, I agree with 4 out of 5 reasons why a coffee shop is an ideal meet up location.  As outlined at the start of my post, I do find that a coffee shop is:

  • Convenient
  • Economical
  • Relaxing (which encourages easy conversation)
  • Creates positive memories (which we will later associate with the location)

Thus, clearing up my two initial questions:

Why do so many people meet up at coffee shops?

Why do we find it easier to talk in coffee shops?

In closing, I find it comforting that a local coffee shop can contribute to strengthening relationships as well as creating new ones.  Another interesting aspect of frequenting coffee shops in groups is that it also contributes to supporting local businesses and artists.  So you can feel good about yourself as a supporting member of the arts (when you attend an event hosted at a café).

Overall, Dr. Nicholson’s research made me smile. I found it nice to know that meeting a special person is not always so random and love could strike over a cup of coffee.  Still, for his 5th point of finding love in a coffee shop – I can’t attest to that (yet).

Next Week

Next week we will explore a health benefit from drinking coffee and how it is linked to weight loss.

 

In parting, please watch the film clip from “You’ve Got Mail” below (a café scene with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks).  Enjoy!

 

 

Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201108/5-ways-coffee-can-help-you-fall-in-love

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