Whipped milk. Dripping expresso. “Flora, I have your small Hazel nut latte,” calls the barista. Paper crackles as she hands over a packaged scone. “Lids are on the left”. Flora rips a sugar package and the grains quickly topple into the coffee before she stirs and pops on the lid. She has no time to sit and enjoy her sweet treat as she heads for the door.
For a Tuesday morning, nearing the lunch hour, Seattle’s Best Coffee Cafe in the Borders Bookstore is a popular place. People are scattered about the coffee area, leafing through newspapers, reading magazines, or perusing books they just purchased.
Over the conversations a faint stream of music can be heard. It helps to set the tone for the noise level. Compared to a Starbucks it is quiet enough to be able to think, but comfortable enough to have a conversation without whispering.
Within the hour the level of people fluctuates. Some have come to chat. A group of four middle-aged women have pushed two tables together and are sipping on their drinks, chattering away about what has gone on since last Tuesdays coffee date. Close by, two retired gentlemen talk about a variety of topics from wills to remodeling. Their coffees have been finished for quite some time, but they choose to stay and enjoy each others company, and even make plans to meet up again tomorrow.
Others are here strictly on business. Three woman introduce themselves to each other as they take a seat. They have little time for coffee or tea, but focus instead on discussing appropriate time periods for a 30 second spot commercials about home improvement and women’s issues to appear on the local FOX and KEVU stations. The Comcast representative has targeted times of day for specific view audiences. The morning new hour for the home improvement commercial, for working folks to catch before they head out the door. And for issues targeted toward women she suggests the afternoon, high lighting programming such as Dr. Phil and Oprah.
Some wish to simply not be disturbed. The only time you can see this mans face is as he ruffles the edges of the New York Times, to get the pages to stand up straight. Having sat in the leather chairs the whole hour his coffee has gone cold, which his wife has thrown out. He rolls up the sleeves of his collared shirt before he dives into the next section of the paper. Surveying the room he realizes that his wife has disappeared. Hopefully just wandering in the aisles of book shelves.