When I think of coffee, I think of so much more than a cup of it. There is this whole culture that comes with drinking coffee, and it has expanded to include things that aren’t really even about coffee anymore. I was thinking about all of the different associations and products that coffee has created and I thought of the presence of coffee tables and coffee table books one may have in their house. Or coffee mugs or artwork depicting steaming cups of espresso. And then I thought about coffee houses and how that makes one think of music and big comfy chairs and a good book (or a laptop nowadays).
This music and these mugs, tables, and books may literally have nothing to do with coffee, and yet we still call them such. For instance, I really enjoy my collection of light-hearted coffee table books, and I think I have some cute coffee mugs, but as I do not have a brewer at home, none of these things have ever seen coffee, per say.
I also think of the imagery that a “coffee-house” puts in my head. You don’t go for the coffee, really, but the atmosphere: to sit with friends, listen to music, relax and just enjoy.
Who started these trends? When did it occur that one can pick out the type of music (media!) you would hear in a coffee-house? What marketer called the small table in front of your sofa a “coffee table”, or the simple and care-free books “coffee table books”?
What do you think? How about mulling it over by curling up in your apartment with a cup of Lowcountry Blend resting on your coffee table, a fun coffee table book (might I suggest “We Interrupt this Broadcast“), and play some whimsical, light music over your speakers. Let me know if you come to any conclusions!