Trendy coffee shops. So common now. A must in everyday life. But I remember when coffee first became a thing. I visited friends in Seattle in the early 1990s, and coffee was everywhere. There’d be neon signs touting “Coffee!” blinking everywhere you looked. It was as though we were in another universe, in which coffee was a magic elixir. Of course, coffee is indeed human fuel and fancy, frothy coffee drinks are now as ubiquitous across the country as Coca-Cola. Another early coffee memory comes from the same era, from my first trip to Italy. Those Italian espresso bars, with those shots of espresso in those dollhouse sized espresso cups.
It didn’t take long for coffee culture to infiltrate the East Coast. Trendy coffee shops popped up all over Manhattan, and with them, coffee shops where one could luxuriate over caffeine. I distinctly recall when Big Cup opened in Chelsea. It was 1994, and coffee houses with oversize sofas were still a novelty. It had a beloved ten-year run, before falling victim to rising rents. By then, sofa-strewn cafés were a firmly entrenched part of urban living.
In the quest for a perfect cup of coffee, state-of-the-art espresso makers, in all their shining glory, were fixtures in sleek, preferably loft-like kitchens, where citified folk could craft post-dinner coffee for their sophisticated, art-loving friends. Cappuccinos and lattes too. And with that all the accoutrements, like milk frothers and coffee bean grinders and stainless steel jugs, from upscale coffee gadget companies like Breville, Bodum, Nespresso, Krups, etc.
More recently, the personal one-cup coffee maker has become the must-have coffee gadget. We’ve had a Keurig and a competitive brand (can’t remember which) of single serve coffee maker. Apparently, according a recent press release I got, brewing coffee at home can save $830 a year.
Coffee culture is still going strong (evidenced by the abundance of coffee art images on Pinterest if nothing else), despite the backlash of pricey concoctions from big businesses. If you’re lucky enough to live in a thriving metropolis, or funky college town, or are able to travel, you know that independent trendy coffee shops (excuse me, coffee bars) have become a thing.
Trendy coffee shops have their own design formula too. Painted brick or subway tile. Check. Black accent wall or reclaimed wood accent wall and counter. Check. Perfectly designed bare bulbs or banged up metal pendants hanging down from the ceiling. Check. Industrial style seating. Check. And, the bearded hipster baristas. Check, check, and check. The most au courant design details all come together in today’s coffee bars, be it in Berlin, Melbourne, or Portland.
Here are 32 interiors of trendy coffee shops from around the world. All similar in their coffee culture aesthetic.
Barry Cafe, Melbourne
Designed by Studio Techne • Photo by Ben Hosking
Cielito Cafe, Mexico City
Design by Graphic Ambient • Photo by Jaime Navarro
See-See Motorcycles & Coffee, Portland, Oregon
Living for the City
Cafe Falco, Montreal
Photo by Thibault
Ernst Kafferoaster, Ernst, Germany
Photo by trishates
La Esquina, Copenhagen
Tapped and Packed, London
via Mocha Latte
Feast of Merit, Melbourne
Design by Rustique
No Fire No Glory, Berlin
Photo by Ilenia Martini
Beacon Coffee & Pantry, San Francisco
Photo by Spotted SF
All That Is Solid, Glasgow
Bars & Racoons, Paris
Photo by Mamie Boude
Design/CGI photography by Diego Querol/3dqart
Le Bon, Berlin
What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today
Four Barrel Coffee
Front Coffee, San Francisco
JB Kaffee, Munich
Cosy Coffee Shops
Outerlands, San Francisco
Photo by Sonia Yu
Panther Coffee, Miami
Revolution Coffee, Singapore
Revolver Coffee, Vancouver
Scandic General Hotel Coffee Bar
Photo by Patrik Lindell • Dwell
Tandem Coffee Roasters, Portland
Photo by Patryce Bak
Timberland x Bonanza Coffee Roasters pop up, Berlin
Photo by Stephanie Duval • 70 Percent Pure
Yeite, Buenos Aires
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