It’s difficult to describe exactly what I mean by ‘café vibe’, but I’m sure that you already know what I mean by it already. It’s the combination of clinking cups, the tempting proximity of cookies and cake, and the steady stream of background noise. The scent of coffee beans and the comfy chairs; the warmth of holding a steaming mug in your hands and the endless grains of sugar spread over the table.
Let’s not get confused: what I’m trying to pick out is a general vibe, rather than an aesthetic. Aesthetic generally means the appearance of a place, and in this case, every café is different in its own way. One step through the door and you can tell if the café specialises in vegan food or a type of coffee specifically from one part of Africa. From size to furniture layout to colour scheme, they all look unique in their own way. Even every Starbucks has its own (although admittedly very similar) aesthetic. However, the vibe of each café is almost always the same. Its something you can always feel no matter where it is. Usually, its the main reason why so many people feel comofrtable within them.
Cafés are somewhere where it is deemed acceptable to be both antisocial and social at the time. It’s somewhere you can sit and happily buzz and twitch with your coffee in hand and not have someone tell you that you need medical attention (although let’s face it, you probably do at this rate. Drink some water). They are a place to focus as well as hang out with your friends. Cafés are also one of, if not the best place to do some intimate people watching. Steal glances at the people sitting on the table across from you and be inspired by their conversations.
I mainly go to cafés to study rather than socialise. I find the atmosphere engaging and inspiring. In a way, it’s almost like going to a library- but you pay an entrance fee in the form of a cup of tea and slice of cake. Some of my favourite café vibes include Café Artum, or Faculty, two amazing little cafés in Birmingham. Artum is an urban, artisan retreat, the perfect place to sip some tea and watch the world go by through the window. On the other hand, Faculty has that authentic, home-made feel to it. It’s home to hipsters and beautiful rustic design. If you’re visiting Birmingham, I would definitely recommend both of them to get your fill of this strange, ineffable vibe.
Do you have a favourite place to find your café vibe? Let me know in the comments below 🙂