The coffee shop revolution

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Young Blood Coffee Co., Downtown Fargo

If you are someone in need a caffeine fix to get you going in the morning, you likely have a favorite coffee shop. Starbucks continues to be a choice for convenience; however, a new breed of coffee establishment is popping up around the country.  Ambiance, modernity and artistic details envelope these spots that don’t just market coffee but a feeling, a lifestyle.  In an all too complicated world, coffee houses are pairing things down and adhering to simplified business plans.  Rather than offering extensive variety, they are favoring minimalistic marketing and decor, abbreviated menus, and environmentally concious business practices.

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Public Kitchen, Sugarhouse

Decisions concerning brand identity have significantly evolved and improved.   Latte art, packaging and typography now add to the personality of a coffee shop.  It is these details that unearth the very essence of a coffeehouse and what makes it unique.  Young Blood, in Downtown Fargo, adds a special touch to their drinks by hand-stamping cup sleeves. This act alone exhibits a philosophy of quality over quantity and that mentality is really taking hold in the coffee scene.

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Innovative interior design and coffee shops appear to go hand-in-hand.  Creators are embracing the mixing of the old with the new to come up with unique and fresh takes on current trends.  They are gravitating towards geometric, mid-century and modern elements and using tremendous creative forethought in their designs.

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The Rose Establishment, Downtown Salt Lake City

Menu options might be few in these cafés but what is offered is perfected.  Publik Coffee Roasters in Salt Lake City specializes in toast.  They do not offer bagels or muffins with their coffee but you can order one of several of the most deliciously fashioned toasts you’ve ever sunk your teeth into.

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Publik Avenues, Downtown Salt Lake City

The attention to detail in the modern coffeehouse isn’t limited to layout and menu considerations.  Business processes in these cafés are demonstrating greater environmental awareness as well.  Trash is minimized through the use of reusable cutlery and recycling is more convenient, often encouraged.  It is also commonplace for patrons to bus their own tables now.

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Young Blood Coffee Co., Downtown Fargo

One of the most distinct differences at local cafés is the pace.  At Starbucks and the like, everyone is in a rush, the baristas and the patrons.  The sheer volume of people going in and out of these types of establishments creates a hectic environment, especially during peak hours.  On the flip side,  local spots attract a more relaxed type of customer.  People who want to take their time sipping their drinks, gather at these places for inspiration and conversation. They go for the scenery just as much as they go for the caffeine.  You sense greater human connection occuring because the owners and workers are passionate about what they do and it is reflected in the vibe and the environment they create.

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Oasis Cafe, Downtown Salt Lake City

It is a dream of mine to open up a coffeehouse one day.  I am stirred by the idea of creating a unique and aesthetic spot for creatives to do their work and for people to have meaningful interaction while enjoying a good cup of coffee.  Over the course of the last year, I have visited over 20 different cafés and am amazed by the work of their creators. Oh to be in the business of waking people up (both literally and figuratively)!

What are some of your favorite coffee shops?

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