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The culture of working at coffee places March 24, 2008

Posted by Raul in coffee, Vancouver.

If you live in Vancouver, own a laptop, are a consultant/writer/academic professional or have studied/are studying something, I can almost bet my whole yearly supply of chocolate that you’ve done some work at a coffee shop. This phenomenon is pervasive throughout the Vancouver area. I am working on a couple of abstracts for conferences and some commentary on a friend of mine’s writing, and this place is packed.

My friend LB2 (I have two LBs, both female and both beautiful and smart) is here with me working and there are lots of other people doing the same. I have just walked through the coffee shop and some people are studying for their exams, some are doing homework, some are editing their books or papers, and some (like me) are doing some work AND people-watching.

I think that one of the reasons why we do this is that we feel accompanied but at the same time, we’re all doing our thing. I love doing this with friends… going to a coffee shop and working. Each one of us is doing his/her own thing but at the same time, we have a chance to chat and make small talk.

Some people have asked me which coffee shops I think are the best for each thing. While I don’t have time to do detailed reviews of each coffee shop, I have to say that for night owls, I’d seriously recommend any of the Waves coffee shops. They’re open 24 hours, the wi-fi is fairly reliable, they’re spacious and well-lit and the coffee is fairly decent.

If you are looking for a comfy coffee shop to read a book or just enjoy a nice afternoon, I’d seriously recommend Our Town Coffee, Lugz, Higher Grounds. If you are working during the day, I’d suggest the Blenz chain as it has reliable wi-fi and it’s nice. If you want to edit that pesky paper, book, thesis or simply be off-line, JJ Bean is your choice. Their coffee is amazing and I don’t think they have Wi-Fi.

All of this being said, I am 100% sure you’ve done some work while at a coffee shop, so feel free to drop me a comment and give me your suggestions for good coffee shops to do work.



1. Maktaaq - March 24, 2008

I like Waves Coffee for all the drinks they have: I am not restricted to over-sweetened lattes or tea bags – well, Mighty Leaf brand is a notch above most tea bags. I do find that it is crowded and the awful Kenny G doesn’t really drive anyone out. There’s also a nice places, Trees, I think, on north Granville near Hastings that had nice teas, too. Most of all, I like Steeps. Loose leaf tea!

Hmm, I guess I am the wrong person who should answer a question about coffee shops. Now if anyone can recommend more good tea shops in the Lower Mainland…especially Chinese or Japanese ones.

2. Phaedra - March 24, 2008

You know how much I love Our Town, and it’s right by my school. Waves has also worked well for homework/study dates, and they have yummy organic steamed apple cider. I second the Mighty Leaf tea…it kicks ass, and is a Canadian made product.

3. Raul - March 24, 2008

I’m also into Steeps for tea. When I work at Waves, I usually order rooibos or chamomille tea. Also love Our Town Cafe. I’m all for Canadian products 🙂

4. The Adventure that is Self-Employment » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 - July 10, 2008

[…] reminded me of this post he wrote a few months ago: I think that one of the reasons why we do this is that we feel accompanied but at […]

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