Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Coffee shop culture

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People don’t always go to coffee shops just for a drink, but to spend time with friends or read a book. This “coffee shop culture” is very popular in the UK and it is a fantastic way to spend time with loved ones. It isn’t popular everywhere, though.

There are around 15,000 coffee shops in the UK. On the main street of my home city, Edinburgh, there are at least five quite large coffee shops. Heading away from the main street you are still never more than a five or ten minute walk to the nearest café.

Most coffee shops have a cosy atmosphere. They are places where you can sit for hours as you sip your coffee. People go with friends and family to chat and relax after going shopping, or meet up just for a gossip. Alternatively, many people go alone. Coffee shops are great places to read in peace, or to sit and write (I am writing this blog post in a coffee shop, for example). And with free Wi-Fi in many places, it is not difficult to spend a lot of time in a coffee shop.

In Colombia, however, the coffee shop culture does not really exist, or, at least, is still very new. Famous for its coffee I imagined that even the tiniest Colombian village would have a coffee shop. I mean, they do exist but they are nowhere near as common as I had expected.

The ones that do exist are very different from those in the UK. They are places where you go in, have a quick drink and then leave immediately. Nobody spends the afternoon enjoying a peaceful moment. People never seem to come in for a leisurely drink but for a quick – almost business-like – meeting, even if they are with family or friends. The idea that a person would go to a coffee shop alone is, apparently, ridiculous. Every time I go alone with a book, other customers look at me as if I had horns. I could be painting a wrong picture, of course. This may be the culture only in Pasto, where I live; other Colombian cities perhaps have a more developed coffee shop culture.

It doesn’t much matter to me though. Next month I am heading home and I’ll have plenty of quiet little coffee shops to read, write, and gossip with friends.

Language level: 

Is there a coffee shop culture in your country? Where do you go with friends to relax and have a good chat?


hermione123's picture
hermione123 24 June, 2021 - 06:30

I sometimes go to coffee shop. But i don't buy anything. I don't drink coffee. I just accompany my dad who buys it. I think coffee shop is pretty common here. But in small cities, they usually just a small tend when people drink coffee and chat with other customers.

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Scmmin1993's picture
Scmmin1993 27 October, 2015 - 10:32

Yes, my country in South Korea has a lot of coffee shops and brands.
And I always go to the coffee shop because I love coffee and cheesecake. Furthermore, I just study the English and have report.
Sometime I use the WiFi and I am staying at the coffee shop.
Have you ever been to the VENTI cafe?
I have been to the cafe and I have orders for the cappuccino and pieces of cheesecake. It is so delicious for me, especially the cappuccino so nice.
First, I breathed the aroma of the coffee and I drink the coffee.
It is a taste so nice and melts my mouth and touch my heart.
But the cheesecake is very dry.

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TOPhyun's picture
TOPhyun 17 April, 2020 - 20:33

Hi! That is funny that everyone speaks about Italian coffee and european way of relaxing in a coffee shops, but I believe, your country is the number one place to visit if you are a coffee lover. I adore the pictures from Korean coffee shops and plants. And that is so cool that every coffee place has a unique vibe. My dream is to go to Seoul and experience as many coffee shops as possible. But I guess I need to win a lottery or be a millionaire or cheabol hahahha

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Rockyy's picture
Rockyy 14 September, 2014 - 10:07

In my country, Turkey, big cities have got coffee shops. Because this culture has just been popular these days. So in big cities you can go there alone or with friends, family. But in cities which is not big, you can go tea gardens -the most popular drink is tea in Turkey- or cafes with friends, family. I think you shouldn't go alone in small cities because it seems silly.

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Lejdi's picture
Lejdi 27 March, 2015 - 17:37

Based on turkish TV serials I have seen on tv for example Kuzey Guney, Ask I Memnu, etc. Turkish really love tea. It is the most popular drink they order when they're out. Why is that?

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Dia's picture
Dia 24 June, 2014 - 20:24

In my country is very many coffe shop but is different from the coffe shop of the Romania cannot go alone at coffe shop because is ridiculous...which seems silly because I'd like to have in our country also cafes where you can sit quietly for hours without anyone to tell you something

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Niluh's picture
Niluh 21 June, 2014 - 15:53

I never go to coffee sop, but i always see people spend time in coffee shop when i go shopping to the mall, they're chatting, laughing, having a meeting with people or just sitting on the chair with their smartphone.

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destiny786's picture
destiny786 17 June, 2014 - 14:34

The case looks totally different in my country, where most of the people fight with poverty. In here, the coffee shops have recently been popular among the youths only who are mostly of the gang groups.

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yuumj's picture
yuumj 14 June, 2014 - 15:11

My country have many coffee shops and most of people go to there to relax and chat with their friends. I'm usually spend much time in the coffee shop with my friends to study together or for a gossip.

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