The Magic of Little Coffee Shops

I’m a city-dweller – you know, rush hour traffic, a major interstate a mile away, tourists, every restaurant chain you could ever dream of, etc. I was blessed enough to find a quiet nook of the city to live in, which is my perfect bubble. Utter peace inside, but lots to do outside.

Still, there’s one thing that I miss while living in the city: local coffee shops.

I don’t think I truly realised the magic of local coffee shops until my dad and I discovered a local tea shop a few cities away years ago (which is sadly closed now – darn COVID!). The atmosphere was like nothing else; the sitting space inside was little bigger than my office, but it was cosy, and there was a cart full of little games you could borrow and play while you were there. The people behind the counter were always so kind and attentive and anything you ordered was delicious.

It opened my eyes to the world of little cafes, and soon I started to see them everywhere and seek them out. On my honeymoon last year in North Carolina and Tennessee, I dragged my husband to five different local coffee shops. Sometimes, we went out of our way just to visit them. Each time, I was astounded at just how different every place was. Totally different atmosphere, different feelings, different people, different menus. Look, I like my Starbucks every now and then, but it’s so much more fun to go to a place and not even know what their menu looks like before you get there!

So, when my husband and I took our anniversary trip a couple of weeks ago to Canada, you can imagine what my first goal was: coffee shops.

Luckily, Canmore and Banff didn’t disappoint. From the very first day, it was apparent that a coffee shop was literally on every corner, and every single one was different! We ended up making it to six different coffee shops, each with its own unique mood. Many times, I took my writing materials with me and sat for a while as I sipped on lattes and munched on baked goods.

You’ve heard me talk about why coffee shops encourage good writing, but I really can’t stress it enough. There is something truly magical about these places; the quiet, the smell of fresh coffee, the comfy chairs, the utter peace of it all. Local coffee shops feel like a different world to me, like I’m in a faraway universe as soon as I step through that door. (Hmm…a story idea, perhaps?)

As I started really digging into reworking Project Pea, no place was better for my creativity than Eclipse Coffee Roasters in Canmore.

While it had a minimalist style (which I usually don’t care for as much as a cosy, homier atmosphere), the layout of the place was perfect for concentration. The counter was actually in a separate room than the sitting area, for one, so the chatter of people giving their orders wasn’t distracting.

In addition, there were lots of wide, clear windows to look out of, and outside I could see the freshly fallen snow and the mountains towering over the town.

Needless to say, I got a lot of great work done there, and I already miss the easy access to places like this!

So, what do I do when I’m at home, then? Well, since two of the local places I used to go to have closed down recently, I usually settle for Starbucks – but the one I frequent has more of a “local coffee shop” vibe than any other Starbucks I’ve been to. The people who work there are awesome (some of them even know me by now) and they have a lovely outdoor patio where I camp out to write.

Otherwise, if I’m really feeling an adventure, I’ll head a city or two over and find a homier place. I have yet to find another like the tea cafe, but I’m still searching!

Are there any local coffee shops you love, or a place where you write your best? Let me know in the comments!

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One thought on “The Magic of Little Coffee Shops

  1. Pingback: Get out of the house. Seriously. | E.J. Robison

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