The results of what counts as a coffee shop fit for working may surprise you. Because, to many people’s shock, one of the best coffee shops to get a consistent, productive experience with solid internet, drinkable coffee, and (most of the time) available bathrooms is……
I know! I know! I shouldn’t endorse “Big Coffee”, but the truth is, every Starbucks is basically the same, they are everywhere, and you know what you’re getting. This allows me to focus on work, instead of my tireless quest of reviewing every new coffee shop I enter. I also know what you’re thinking: a cup of black coffee at Starbucks isn’t great, and you’re right. My solution: Always order Blonde Roast or a Cold Brew (Both are surprisingly smooth and full of tons of caffeine)
But there’s a tier on my rating system that I have not revealed yet, and Starbucks fails at this key point abysmally.
You see, my ideal coffee shop window is 7am-12pm. And unfortunately, the way Starbucks is laid out, those who sit peacefully at their tables are the ones to pay the price for “coffee rush hour”. People wait in a long line for their coffee, brush past you, bump your computer, and make clear the terrible acoustics that Starbucks is usually accompanied with.
The ideal coffee shop takes into account the 4 staples of my rating system, but also the fifth. How can a coffee shop overcome this issue? By separating those who are ordering “to-go” and those who are “dining-in”. In other words, the layout of the store should separate me from knowledge of how long the line is, because I’m in a peaceful cocoon of high productivity and low foot traffic, insulated from those who have real jobs and somewhere to be. I don’t want my table anywhere near the cash register, because that would make me aware that a world exists outside my work bubble.
You’re probably thinking that I’m insane, and you’re probably right. But I can tell you, such coffee shops that fulfill my requirements do exist, and there’s usually at least one in every city that I’ve found. There’s also a new phenomenon happening in the coffee shop world: a bar that can act as a standing desk of sorts equipped with outlets. This has been life-changing for my productivity and posture.
If you’re wanting to get work done in various cities, here’s are a few of the best that I’ve found: