I like Nutrigrain as much as the next person but this idea is leaving me cold: Haven’t we reached peak hipster cafe bullshit yet?
Because this cafe is in painfully-hip Shoreditch in London’s East End. But pretty soon you just know that there is going to be a cereal cafe here. Next to the cat cafe. And the secret coffee shop up that is so cool it doesn’t have a sign on the door. And the converted shipping container/tram stop/car boot cafe. And the paperless news stand cafe. And the water-only restaurant.
I love breakfast. I love to eat it on my own, I like to meet other people to eat it, I like to eat it all day long (it turns out that I like it so much, I sound like Dr Seuss when I talk about it).
But I just wonder whether we need our bacon and eggs to come with this bottomless cup of over-hyped gimmicky nonsense.
My needs aren’t great. I want breakfast. And I don’t want cat hair in it.
I’m not immune to marketing (or cat hair). But if you are going to open a new and interesting cafe, I’d like you to take a few things on board.
Firstly, I am not interested in waiting for a coffee made from a single origin bean with its own passport that was shat out by a discerning skunk and then ground between the butt-cheeks of Bono. And I don’t want to pay like you’ve flown every bean in on its own Business Class seat.
I also want to sit on an actual seat. Not a milk crate. Not a cardboard box (or something styled to look like a cardboard box because that is as ridiculous as it sounds). Not on a Tibetan prayer stool or on the floor. Something with a bit of lumbar support would be great.
I want some space between tables. I know that you’re a popular operation and you want to fit as many lucky patrons in, but if I accidentally drop a sugar cube into my neighbour’s scrambled eggs, that is on you.
I don’t really care that for every coffee sold, you send a cold-pressed flat white to a child in Africa, or some shit like that. I also don’t care if your smoothies are churned by someone on a bike rather than using coal-burning power (this is a thing). You may think that you are being indie and alternative, but really, you have simply embraced a marketing ploy that plays on the public desire for easy activism, and there is nothing more mainstream than that.
I’d like to drink my coffee out of a cup or a mug. Not a bowl. Not a glass tube. And not out of a meditative zen fountain.
And, yes, I agree fair trade is important, but it would be great if you could find a fair trade blend that doesn’t taste like dirt. My tastebuds are not particularly socially conscious.
It would also be great if the staff in your cafe were nice. In a lot of these new coffee shops, I feel like I’m being judged for my food choices (yes, I heard your specials, I just don’t feel like eating the wild-caught trout sperm smoked over softly smouldering pencil shavings); for my coffee order (yes, I ordered decaf – don’t put it on your menu if it is going to upset you when I order it) and for my outfit (I choose not to be judged by a dude who has styled himself as a short-sighted smack addict who robbed an old man. I know that your tatt cost more than my last paycheck). Listen, pal: you might be a caffeine master craftsman, but only in the way that the Subway guy is a sandwich artist.
Actually, I suspect I would put up with a multitude of sins if the staff were actually friendly. So, if you’re interested in churning some cash into a new enterprise, please consider The Friendly Comfortable Cafe That Serves Bacon (No Cats). That would be something to line up around the block for.
Have you reached full capacity on hipster cafes?
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