AuthorYolanda Howell

Coffee Club Checklist

What makes a great coffee shop? Is it the quality of the coffee? Is it the pricing, or the friendliness of the baristas? We are inclined to favor the local shops we frequent (am certainly guilty of that), but what actually makes for a good coffee shop experience? Below, I’ve included a few of my “essentials” in the form of a checklist. Use this to assess your local favorites or make a decision while travelling.  

[  ] Good coffee matters most. Why leave your house for a cup of standard Nescafe? Why pay to drink Nescafe in public? 

[  ] Pricing is also important. Recently, my local shop upped their American prices from $3.25 to $4.25. That is too dang high for a cup of hot bean water. I like to use this rule of thumb (applies to 12oz pours): $2-$3.50 for a drip coffee, $3-$4 for espresso drinks, and $4-$6 for “specialty” brewing, like pour-overs and cold brew. 

[  ] You should be able to sit down. We love our favorite coffee shops for a reason. Odds are, other people are also privy to those reasons. However, some shops may reach a breaking point: they become so popular that you cannot find a seat. If your local shop has hit this precipice, start looking elsewhere; nobody wants to sip coffee while people stand around willing you to get up. 

[  ] It should have the atmosphere you want. Nobody wants to be that pair having a heated political discussion in a shop full of people working on laptops. Similarly, you don’t want to hunker down with a Derrida text when a screaming child is just a few tables over.  

[  ] It should have the proper amenities. Do you go to shops to read? Find a place with big, comfortable couches or armchairs. Do you go to do work? The shop should have free WiFi, ample desk space, and outlets scattered throughout.  

Coffee Club Network

Coffee professionals have few opportunities to network and share resources. Beyond chatting with coworkers and subscribing to industry magazines, most baristas and shop owners are left in the lurch when it comes to expanding their craft and connecting with others.

But here’s the thing with the coffee industry: It’s built on collaboration. This collaboration happens not just between baristas and local businesses, but between roasters and farmers, producers and general managers. Our entire industry relies on a chain of people working together to find new, innovative experiences. There’s a reason why customers might find their baristas too uppity. It’s because our craft demands more than making a pot of coffee and pouring it.

The Coffee Club Network is a space for coffee professionals to share experiences and resources, but also to connect with one another. We foster a global coffee community. Specialty coffee isn’t always an accessible or cheap option for some folks, but we want to make it an equitable, sustainable activity – for both coffee professionals and their regulars.

On this site, you’ll find a variety of ways to connect. From equipment reviews and first-hand experiences to stories of beans sourced from far-off places, this is a one-stop shop for everything your coffee community needs. If you’re interested in writing a guest post or in telling us about your coffee practice, drop us a line. We’re always willing and ready to listen.