Coffee Houses

July 2, 2012

I’m not a coffee drinker. There, I said it. I don’t like coffee, I never have. No lattes, cappuccinos macchiatos , espressos, or any other version of the roasted, brewed, poured bean no matter what list of ingredients it’s whisked, whipped or blended with. Now, I like the smell, but can’t deal with the taste…it’s just not for me. I would eat just about anything covered in See’s Chocolate, but I won’t even eat the mocha flavored See’s Chocolate, that’s how great my aversion to coffee.

So, unlike many writers I know, when I’m looking for a place to write, I don’t head to a coffee house. I generally head to a library…there are several that I frequent. Although they don’t offer a warm beverage, they do have wifi, air conditioning, comfortable seating, and of course the inspiration of thousands of books filled with words on shelves all around.

So anyway, Thursday evening I wanted to write, and my house was a little crazy. I mean, I live with two guys and a big, furry lovable mutt (also male) and it’s loud, and they all need attention…so I left. The library however was closed, and my fall back is the fabulous Carl’s Jr. on Western Blvd. where I can sit and write for hours and nobody bothers me, but it was dinner time, and the parking lot was busy…so I just kept driving.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I ended up down at the beach, at a little coffee house called Coffee Cartel. I really didn’t know what to do when I got there. I mean, I’m just not the kind of girl that hangs out in these places…you know…coffee houses. I mean, they sell …well, coffee, and uh the type of people who hang out there tend to be coffee drinkers. But I was there, with my manuscript, and I’d heard they had what I needed, comfortable seating, cozy quiet corners away from prying eyes, and even plenty of outlets…and wifi…if you go that way. I had my notebook and a stash in my purse…my blue pen stash.

So, I took a deep breath and went inside. It smelled like coffee. It was true what I’d heard, but some of you may know this, it was quiet inside, no rowdy guys cheering at the sports channel, not a television in sight. There were sofas, chairs and tables…and even walls lined with books. People were sitting here and there, scattered all willy nilly, some with headphones working at laptops and ipads, others in pairs having quiet conversations…and even a few reading from *gasp* print books. Yes, I have to admit it, they had me.

But, what would I do? I mean, I saw a great place to sit with my printed manuscript and my stash of blue ink pens, but I still had to order something…I mean, I was there…I had to order SOMETHING. So my feet began to move toward the counter area, almost against my will. My eyes darted here and there to see if anybody was watching…no one was…and then I saw the menu board.

There they were, the café mochas, lattes, espressos…all taunting me, “Go ahead.Try me. You have to order something.” My heart began to pound, my palms were clammy, I almost darted for the exit, but then something caught my eye, another menu board, and on it, a list of lovely soothing teas and even a selection of cool fruity smoothies. I COULD STAY. I could order a drink and hole up in this little den of…well, mostly coffee drinkers, and work.

So, I ordered a strawberry smoothie and headed to a quiet corner where I worked uninterrupted until I’d finished rewrites on another chapter.

Who knew…a coffee house, and I didn’t even have to drink coffee. Well, I suppose that most of you knew. Or did you?

Now this doesn’t mean that I’m giving up the library…or my little Carl’s Jr., but I may occasionally, frequent a little coffee house…just now and then. How many of you write at coffee houses? You can admit it, we’re all friends here. Where do you go to write when you can’t work at home?



6 Responses to “Coffee Houses”

  1. I can relate. I’m not a coffee drinker either, but years ago I discovered the inviting atmosphere of a coffee shop, and realized I could indulge in my love of tea there too. Now I make daily coffee shop stops, unrelated to writing. I have written there, but it’s not my first choice, because it’s only one block away, and I can’t write in peace without people stopping to talk to me. I write best at home, and if they’re too loud, I move outside. 🙂


  2. taristhread Says:

    I definitely prefer to write at home….but it’s often hard to get uninterrupted time, when school starts again, the house should be quieter….(I always think this for some reason)

  3. Dalice Says:

    Now I have a room of my own, I don’t need to escape to coffee houses. But I need my regular fix and my gorgeous blue Pixie makes a mean coffee. Back in Dubai when I didn’t have a dedicated writing space, I would often find myself distracted and I used to head off to my “weekend office” – a coffee shop/restaurant in Dubai Mall where they knew me well … I tried writing at the Globe here in Prague but the music was a little too distracting and the lights too low … problem with home is there are distractions. I don’t have any strawberries, but a blueberry smoothie sounds might good right now 🙂

  4. taristhread Says:

    Hi Dalice!! Ah, distractions…I think that’s why it doesn’t matter of the boys are in school!! I still have bills to pay, cooking to day, chores that need done….all kinds of distractions that throw me off track. If I can close the door on my office and get focused I’m good, but that doesn’t always happen.

    Ooooh, blueberry smoothie, now that does sound good!

  5. I’m really weird — I don’t like to drink coffee, but I absolutely love the smell. So I get a big cup of tea and breathe deep.

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