The start of the 21st century has seen changes in our social behaviours.

People used to go to their “local” for a pint, a game of snooker and darts.

Nowadays, pubs are more about a meeting place to watch football and rugby…and of course, getting a few drinks.

But that social activity is less personal than before. When the public house is run by a random brewery and the staff is constantly changing, the banter is gone. People still go for a Friday evening beer to unwind after a long week, but the essence and experience is so different.

There are a few family owned pubs. However, the price of a pint is also becoming more and more expensive. In the late 1990s, a pint was around £1.50. In 2014, it is more like £3.25.

With the recessionwhich is still affecting us – pubs are being deserted. There is now a new breed of drinkers – coffee culture has changed our daily habits. Some workers push the door at 8am for a quick cappuccino & croissant – or flat white take-away – others spend their lunch break around a crafted latte with either a slice of cake/and or a light bite.

Coffee shops are truly becoming the space to meet socially and even for professional meetings with laptops and tablets…thanks to the eventual free WiFi, which allows online access and discussions from the viral video of day to graphic design projects for a future new development.

Being connected 24/7/365 is the norm whether at home, work or on the move. Social media has also changed the way we communicate and interact.

internet desktop and mobile infographic

Source infographic

The average price for a coffee is around £2.5o and the same rule applies for a cake. So, a fiver and you have comforting drink and food. In the pub this would well go over the five pound note.

It is certain that there are no fruit machines, but the atmosphere is usually welcoming, warm and friendly.

Some towns and cities have had a real buzz with the growth and expansion of the coffee culture.

A lot of these businesses are independent too. It is a community of passionate craftsmen from the roasters to the baristas. Of course, we can notice a handful of corporations on the High Streets but café connoisseurs are starting to realise that the actual bean quality is way inferior from the local and cosy café around the corner. There is also a direct contact with the owners and the team behind them, and in most cases the barista remembers customers’ names and their daily coffee preferences too…no need to write the client’s name on the take-away cup and yell it when the drink is ready.

Take-away coffee cup with name on it

Drinking coffee – with or without milk – is a constant discovery; it is about flavour and aroma.

The origin of the beans and the way they are roasted will bring something rather new to your taste buds and palate.

There are regular classes called “cupping” – in other words it is like wine tasting session. The aim is to observe and get from the coffee the following key descriptors:

  • body,
  • acidity,
  • sweetness.

Remember when stepping into a coffee shop…there is a skill and knowledge in your cup from the farm where the beans have been picked to the way it is extracted and presented to you.

Going for a coffee” is more than just a hot drink…it is a full experience, which can be compared with that fresh/clean glass of cider/ale/beer brewed with care.