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Increased Productivity & Creativity in Coffee Shops: Why This Happens

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The biggest benefit of going to a great coffee shop isn’t the coffee at all — not even that perfectly pulled ristretto shot of espresso. Coffee shops can make you more productive and more creative than you would be at home, caffeinated or not.

Keep reading to learn about the interesting research being done around coffee shops. You may be surprised by the benefits of stopping by your local cafe!

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Coffee Shop Serendipity

When you walk into a busy coffee shop, you’re surrounded by people and conversations. You might bump into your neighbor or friend, or you might strike up a conversation with a stranger. All of that activity is good for stimulating your brain — making you more creative and more productive at the same time!

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Image Credit: Rod Long, Unsplash

This effect has been seen for centuries — think of the Greek Agora, Enlightenment-era English coffee shops, or turn-of-the-century Parisian cafes. These were all public spaces outside the home where a range of interesting people gathered, sharing ideas and coming up with new ones. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach was one of those people, and he even wrote a great coffee song in honor of his beloved coffee houses!

Loud vs Quiet Coffee Shops

According to a recent study, quiet coffee shops are better for your coffee experience. When it is loud, your brain is distracted and can’t taste as well. But when it’s quiet, you enjoy your coffee more and taste all of the complexities in the beans.

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Image Credit: Jonas Jacobsson, Unsplash

So if you’re sampling an extra-special bean or blend, you may want to take that coffee to go. But if you’re looking for a little inspiration, the busier the better!

Working Hard is Contagious

According to an interesting study, being near someone who is working hard can make you work harder. This holds even if you can’t tell what they’re working on — like the person sitting across from you at the coffee shop — suggesting that you’re picking up on subtle cues like body language.

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Image Credit: Wes Hicks, Unsplash

If your goal is to get a lot done, we’d recommend finding a coffee shop full of freelancers or students. The more laptops you see, the more you’ll probably get done.

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Coffee Shop Productivity: Final Thoughts

Heading to your favorite coffee shop can help you get a lot done — or finally solve a problem you’ve been working on for a while. But it’s not just the caffeine that’s helping you focus! Research shows that hanging out at a busy coffee shop can make you more creative, and pulling out your laptop at a coffee shop full of hardworking freelancers can make you more productive. So what are you waiting for? Head over to a great coffee shop and see what happens!


Featured Image Credit: Nafinia Putra, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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