It’s 2pm and I’m sat in a coffee shop, writing about the etiquette of working in a coffee shop. The more I worry, the more I write about the worry, the longer I spend here, the more I worry. The circle of strife.
This wasn’t my original intention. I was going to blog about Foundation Coffee House. This is where I am. This is where I worry (it has to be said, not exclusively). I still will.
Coffee shop etiquette is certainly not a new topic. It’s been been very well documented and advised upon for years. I, myself, have progressed well since I took my first step some years ago onto the bottom rung of my existing for a period of time in a coffee shop career. Very well. I made it through the door, for a start. I don’t drink coffee. Or tea. And I can’t even say the word ‘brew’. For whatever reason some sort of inner snob comes out and the concept of the brew repulses me (I’m just scared I’ll be made to make one). Therefore I thought the coffee shop would have nothing to offer me but most of all, consider that I would have nothing to offer it. But I soon learnt of the chilled cabinet of the chilled drink, the high calibre chilled drink. Fancy in its name and branding, beckoning me over:
I’ll provide you with an alibi to your coffee shop loitering, a friend, a companion, an excuse. I am your passport to here. And I promise that my aroma will not cause you to be even a little bit sick in your mouth.
Yes, I made it through the door of these new-fangled places some time ago. Yet the length of my stay will never not be an issue for me.
Like a good little ball of anxiety, I do my research before going somewhere new. Pleasing reviews and descriptions of Foundation Coffee House.
Particular credit goes to manchesterwire.co.uk for getting me through the door
…(Foundation Coffee House) is massive, minimalist and you can stay all day.
Stay all day. All day. STAY.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate any form of loitering or advantage-taking. And the light bulb moment for me (occasionally, the bulb flickers and blows again) is that the coffee house/shop/palace, whatever, is a living, breathing, ever-evolving extension of your home. Everything’s fluid – we work wherever we are, whenever we want (give or take the availability of a plug socket after so long – I’m with Apple so every god-forsaken 5 minutes).
Again, the above isn’t a revelatory comment, but a reason why the common or garden coffee shop (sorry Starbucks) has little to do with Foundation Coffee House and an increasing number of other outlets predominately in the Northern Quarter, and popping up throughout the rest of the city. They’re spaces to carry on your day – all for the price of a drink.
It’s now 3.20pm and the space has filled up nicely and I’m feeling more at ease. It’s a huge space, situated on Lever Street, in a Grade II listed building. It’s sectioned off nicely into different seating arrangements – tables, benches, booths and the obligatory outward- looking window perch. That’s where I decided to base both myself and my worry. I like people watching, I found a plug socket (I’m sure there are many dotted about) and I can’t be seen from the counter. I’m not hiding, per se, more preserving my anonymity for when the inevitable lurking charges are brought against me.
Indeed, from the off, the innocent…
See you again…
from the pleasant man behind the counter had set me off into a ‘oh god I’m not to stay. It’s assumed I’m off‘ type panic, that sent me straight to the other side of the place.
Fears allayed all round. Various groups and individuals come and go. Talking, working, typing, sipping, and basically just being here.
That’s my summary of Foundation Coffee House. It’s perfectly ok to just be here. Don’t go overboard and not buy your ticket to type – there’s a fantastic choice of hot drinks (if you have to like that sort of thing), smoothies, various soft drinks in the chiller; and light refreshments.
I won’t pretend to understand the nuances of coffee culture, and I’m not going to do the title ingredient justice at all, but the blurb on the back of the drinks menu tells me it’s…
…traceable, sustainable coffee from bean to cup.
There you have it. I’ve been here almost two hours without a hint of judgement or discomfort (not self inflicted) and I reckon I have another hour in me to play with Instagram and work out what the hell im doing with Pinterest, before I move on. I’ll even pay another trip to the counter (although someone guard my plug point…). I’ll definitely be back.
Oh, a quality sipping, talking, meeting, reading, writing soundtrack too. The Who, The Kinks, The Zombies and other various Thes.
So remember, it’s ok to be here at Foundation Coffee House. If you’re like me, there’s no finer praise indeed.
5pm – just finished adding in my photos and I’m still here – without judgement and hassle but with 100% phone battery.
5.05pm – just to add I did buy crisps too, I earned my window seat.