I was recently asked what’s important to me when I go to a coffee shop. Obviously, great coffee is #1, but what else do I regularly note, observe, or look for?
Here are some things I note on my visits:
- location (what is it close to, what can you do before or after your cup)
- customer service
- seating arrangement/options
- food/food choices
- milk options (not all of us can handle dairy)
- plug situation (so many of us go with devices, or go to work, so plugs are important)
- clean restrooms (we are drinking coffee, we may need to use the bathroom)
- parking situation (I’m originally from southern California, parking is important)
This is not everything, but these are the most direct and most common range of things I think about when writing and reviewing a place.
As I started this process, I realized that finding a small business, a local gem, meant sticking to a predetermined set of criteria as well as noting the peculiarities of a single place–what makes them particularly interesting or unique–like the abundance of seasonal drinks, the option to exchange books, or the chance to play board games. I’m sure as I continue researching and writing, as I grow as a coffee drinker and writer, I will expand and change my considerations, but for now this is it.