Coffee Culture

Alex Piasecki

I first started writing about coffee culture just 7 months ago… a lot has changed since I began this thought-train! 7 months ago in a coffee shops around Chico, I recall some invigorating conversations and laughter shared among friends and strangers alike. Sitting inside at a cafe seems like a different lifetime to me now. 

Sprudge wrote a fun, short blog several years ago cataloguing coffee culture of coffee houses throughout the centuries. For several hundred years coffee shops have been houses of work and play, art and culture, conversations spanning from politics to sports; the close sister to the pubs of the world. 

Coffee has been a different libation. And during a pandemic and climate change, I think some good cultural change will come, but I hope that some of the good nuggets of connectedness and shared energy that vibes in and around coffee sticks around for the long haul. 

I’ve been thinking about the question, what makes coffee culture? 

Is it just coffee itself? A distinct chemical makeup made manifest in a delicious elixir of yum? 

Coffee’s main chemical makeup changes our brain physiology through its caffeine content. There are other chemical structures that exist but this seems the most important. Caffeine blocks adenosine which helps with drowsiness and sleep, making us more alert. Caffeine can also affect other neurotransmitters which may improve mood, reaction time, vigilance, attention, and general mental function. Are we just a bunch of addicts? 

Caffeine’s addictive properties certainly help to create the literal buzz found around the coffee shops and the culture that emits from coffee communities and shops around the world, but I think there’s more to the story. The chemical energy in your cup is transmitted through connective relational energy found in neighborliness and the people next to you. None of this is from a scientific journal (except the quick bit about the caffeine in the brain), it’s just me wondering, is there more fun and mystery to culture-making around coffee? I think there could be. It makes me hopeful. At Stoble our hope is not to only be a place where people can produce, create, work hard and get things done, but to be a place of connection. I hope that Stoble’s coffee can create community through not only its chemical makeup and flavor perception, but also through connections made from people behind the espresso bar to the people at the sidewalk.

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