Cafe Culture

I will get to the crazy idea soon, I promise.

But just for now, a quick entry. My diary is filling up. I want to talk with as many friends and people as possible about this idea, so have been booking them in and choosing different locations to meet. Today I have spent the morning in Starbucks (Street Lane) and Caffe Nero (Chapel Allerton). Tomorrow I’m going to a local independent community cafe, Inkwell in Chapel Allerton and next week I’m excited to try a new place on Chapeltown Road that I’ve driven past and not had a chance to visit yet.

There is something unique to each place that makes us choose it; perhaps the location, the type of coffee served, the choice of delicious goods to have with it (or the calorie count), the ambience, the people we may bump into while we are there, the comfort of the chairs, wifi access, what is on the walls, parking, the length of time it is socially acceptable to sit therefore with an empty cup before you receive a certain look from the staff…

What is it that makes the perfect haunt for those encounters, and what is it ultimately that we are looking for?


published by Anna Dyson
Founder and Director of ToastLoveCoffee. CEO of Dyson family, Roundhay (Leeds) branch which involves a huge array of skills impossible to imagine or articulate! Formerly, Jewish educator and community professional.


  1. posted by Minal Supri on Reply

    Oooh Anna you have me craving a “half shot, skinny, soy, salted caramel latte with extra salted caramely bits” or a “skinny, soy, chai tea latte with extra chai” after reading this!!!

    As a Uni student who hangs out in more than my fair share of coffee shops (they sure beat the library!) for me the must haves are:
    – friendly staff (no one likes a grump)
    – wifi & power points (I do try to crack out my laptop to attempt some work every now & then)
    – lots of comfy sofas (I like to settle in)
    – a good selection of sweet & savoury snacks (I’m a student so I’m always hungry!)

    I think most coffee shops don’t mind people staying for as long as they like – provided you’re not taking up a spot with long empty coffee cups whilst there’s a queue of people with hot drinks in hand looking for a seat.

    I went through a phase where I didn’t got to Starbuck’s due to their tax avoidance until a local franchise holder explained to me that he pays his taxes to HMRC (as he should) plus a franchise fee to the Starbucks licence holding company & it is that company which does not pay tax on the franchise fees they receive so when we boycott individual Starbucks we’re not actually boycotting those who don’t pay tax, in effect we’re affecting local businesses who do pay their tax.

    (Plus I really like Starbuck’s drinks!)

    That being said (or in this case typed!) there are some really great independent coffee shops/cafés that have opened up in both Leeds & York of late so I do try to go to them – although I have to admit the lure of Starbucks & all it’s familiarity is ever present, especially when I’m somewhere other than Leeds or York.

    Keep up the great blogging – can’t wait to read about your idea!


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