Through each stage of my life I have protected memories of times I spent with friends and new acquaintances at “the café”. Depending on which stage of my life, the cafe and friends changed; but, within each period of time, everyone always knew which café to meet at, because it was “the café”.
The funny thing about cafes and coffee shops is that we are so much more forgiving of their décor as long as they provide the right mix of atmosphere and comfort. Even upon first experience, they often seem to have an air of familiarity about them.
The history of the coffee shop actually dates back before the 1500’s and they served as the gathering spots for “great and like minds” … They hold an important role in political, cultural and artistic history…
And if walls could talk…well, they also hold secrets of loves lost and loves found...and one can easily imagine the conversations... that evaporate into invisible layers within.
Each of the following is, or was, “someone’s” favorite café of choice…
"What is happening with this elegant couple in this elegant place? Perhaps an early morning tryst? Is she sad - perchance leaving Venice and him behind? Of course, this is what we expect of Venice - even if they are just husband & wife having coffee."
Caffé Florian was established in Venice in 1720: it is the most ancient historic Italian coffee shop
On the fireplace are displayed a considerable number of coffee makers used to make coffee for those busy minds …"
In 1685 in London the Lloyd’s Coffee House was founded which would then become the most well-known insurance company of all times
Procope coffee shop in Paris
Les Deux Moulins
Possibly the most famous coffee house is Café Central which is located in the Innere Stadt district at Herrengasse 14 in the former Bank and Stockmarket Building, today called the Palais Ferstel after its architect Heinrich von Ferstel. The cafe features a classical pianist during the afternoons and can count a sting of great literary, artistic and political figures amongst its past clientel. Nowdays, it offers WiFi internet access, so you can sit there with your laptop and make blog posts. The Viennese coffee house culture is a 320 year old tradition, it is regarded as normal for customers to linger for hours, perhaps engaging in conversation or maybe alone, quietly reading the free newspapers, writing or sketching.
It's is one of the oldest and most famous cafés of Europe operating since the middle of the 19th century .
The interior of the French Maid Coffee House, Wellington, New Zealand 1940s.
The Zanzibar Coffee House Hotel offers a touch of magic and romance in an authentic Arabic house deep in the heart of Stone Town.
Even when depicted and represented in art… the café or coffee shop holds strong meaning:
"Cafè Terrace at night" - Vincent Van Gogh
The waiter dressed in white walks through the tables despite it is late at night.
Under a starry sky the coffee shop shines like sun; it is warm, inviting, a meeting point for all night customers.
"Al caffè" (At the coffee shop) - Alessandro Milesi
In a lovely coffee shop, an elegant and refined, educated and society middle-class lady begins her day with a cup of coffee while reading the news.
But the newpaper is laying open on her lap and her wrist loosely leans on her cheek: maybe she is disappointed by the news ……
"Cocottina" - Antonio Donghi - 1927
The cup stands out at the centre of the painting and attracts our gaze.
The fashionable young lady with her firm and velvety gaze, the multitude of warm colours and of graceful shapes cannot take our mind off the surreal location of this imaginary outdoor coffee shop ...
"Amici al caffè" (Friends at coffee shop) - Amerigo Bartoli
This is the image of the political and literary coffee shop par excellence, a place where thinkers and politicians met and a place so greatly feared by rulers.
In this painting attitudes are pictured with uncommon sensitivity and liveliness.
You can almost hear the polite conversations and the tingling of the coffee cups served by the waiter. This is Rome in the 1930s.
"Automat" - Edward Hopper
Alone, sad, without past nor future.
Clinged to her cup of coffee and a million thoughts in her mind.
Hopefully coffee will bring her back from her thoughts and give her a brief and pleasant moment
And of course, Americans will not be without their coffee...or the places that become so much a part of our lives and our own personal history...
Café du Monde
This 24-hour French Quarter coffee shop has a separate listing in the section Dozen Best Things to do in New Orleans because of the unique pleasure of enjoying beignets and chicory coffee in the early morning.
This is the interior of the Mill City Coffee Shop in Minnesota.
Opened in 1956 by Giovanni Giotta, aka "Papa Gianni," the cafe was one of the first on the West Coast to serve espresso.
In Austin Texas, it exists to make a difference in the world.
Located in the heart of Austin, it is committed to working with non-profit organizations in Austin and around the world
Forza in Tumwater WA
Ini Ani Espresso Bar.......New York City
In the seating area, the predominant material is cardboard, stacked with exposed ends in steel framing of various heights and widths above stained wood bench seats. Along with the lids, the cardboard strips are a visual play on the popularity of coffee and its current means of containment. Openings break up the sound-absorbent, cardboard walls, as do projected boxes used as shelves for plants. Suspended lights, wood tables, chairs, and magazine racks finish out the intimate space.
Historical depictions and information from: http://www.aromacoffeecult.com/