Sometimes it seems as if Starbucks is taking over the world. Wherever we travel, apart from in North Korea of course, we come across branches of this ubiquitous chain. But we don’t go in. Even at home it’s a place we choose to avoid, preferring to support our local independent coffee shops.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, those local businesses need and deserve our support. Secondly, they tend to have more character, and by their very nature, each one is different. And lastly, and importantly, they usually make much better coffee!
When we travel the same rule applies. Even in Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks, we refused to visit the first ever branch in Pike Place. Instead we always seek out independent coffee shops in preference to chains. And as for North Korea? Amazingly, we managed to visit a cosy (-ish) coffee shop there too!
So below is a selection of favourite cosy coffee shops at home and abroad for this week’s Sunday Stills ‘getting cosy’ theme. I’ve given them all the Color Efex Pro ‘vintage’ look to add to the sense of cosiness, and (to be honest) to compensate for the fact that many are rather old phone shots!
A cosy corner in the Moon and Maybe, our favourite local coffee shop in South Ealing (London).
The image featured above was taken in our other local favourite, Artisan Coffee in Ealing Broadway.
A friendly welcome at a independent coffee shop in Pioneer Square, Seattle – much better than Starbuck’s!
Inside a coffee shop in Takayama, Japan, with one of the baristas creating cappuccino art and the result of his handiwork!
Talking of cappuccino art, here’s a nice example of chocolate dusting in a cat café in Newcastle upon Tyne.
In the industrial-styled, but very warm and welcoming, Reykjavik Roasters in Iceland – great espresso here!
Talking of espresso, here’s a super example from Café Pasqual’s in Santa Fe, NM, with shreds of orange rind to drop in for an interesting flavour tweak.
In a branch of the small local Hoi An Roastery chain in Vietnam – it wasn’t always this empty!
Traditional Omani coffee service in Muscat, with a small dish of dates to accompany the drink.
A warming glass of Irish-style coffee in chilly Riga, Latvia, made with the local spirit, Black Balsam.
And to finish, the North Korean coffee I promised you – a melange in the ‘Viennese’ Coffee Shop in Pyongyang.