Across the startup and tech world, coffee seems to be a standard. Some companies have a full-time barista on staff or have regular coffee-fueled meetings. From business introductions to first dates, it all happens at the café. From large-scale chains to craft coffee shops, there is no shortage of places to meet, drink, and dream up new things. Why is the tech world so obsessed with coffee? Besides the delightful taste and aroma, there are other reasons entrepreneurs drink coffee, and a lot of it.
1. It's a taste of the low-tech world
In a world obsessed with moving faster and multitasking, brewing a good cup of coffee boils down to the basics of transforming water and ground coffee beans. However innovation and new brewing methods reinvent the experience of making coffee, it all ends in the same alchemy that reminds us of the tradition of a simple pleasure brought from a simpler time.
"Technology is the lifeblood of the modern world, but that's all the more reason to slow down and keep some things simple," said Alexander Albanese, founder of It's American Press. "Slow bars, manual brewers that provide a connection to the experience of crafting coffee, and cultural ideas like the Swedish fika all allow us a moment to pause, think, savor, and create a low-tech connection to ourselves that can allow us to thrive in a high-tech world."
2. It's a chance to slow down
Even if you're drinking coffee on the go, each sip is a little break in your day and a little moment of self-care. Just like the Swedish tradition of the fika, we can all make coffee a great way not only to recharge, but to relax, think things through, and take our time. Perhaps you're grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend or co-worker in the afternoon, or you make coffee with your partner in the mornings as a daily ritual; coffee provides a unique opportunity to reflect and create some calm in a busy world. It's a welcome routine and a small way to treat yourself.
"For me, the coffee break has always been my catalyst for creative idea inception," said Tony Dreyfuss, founder of Metropolis Coffee Company. "If I'm stalled on something, I'll head over to grab a coffee and forget about my conundrum for a minute. It's in that quiet break that the river of creativity begins to flow again. We can't always work straight ahead. We need moments between bits of work to forget about work. This is especially true for entrepreneurs who thrive on creativity. Coffee is a great excuse, and better coffee is a better excuse."
3. It's a way to connect and share ideas
How many times have you met a new contact, potential client, or employee for coffee? Perhaps that's how you connect with old friends when traveling or squeeze in a first date on a Saturday afternoon. Making and drinking coffee is a connector of people, and it inspires ideas and conversation. Ideas and networking are the center of any entrepreneur's life, so coffee is a natural favorite.
"Relationships, both personal and professional, are all about quality over quantity," said Crystal Tao, marketing director of Foxtrot. "If it's a choice between hopping on a few quick calls or making time to have the same meeting in person over a coffee, my go-to is always the latter. You can learn so much more about a person or dig deeper into an idea when you're fully present in the conversation--having that face time is key."
It's a way to explore the world. When I travel, I try to find a local coffee shop and try the specialty. It's a taste of the community, the traditions of the culture, and the latest technologies or trends in brewing. Not only can you meet new people, but you can experience a culture and new ideas.
4. It's as unique as every entrepreneur
There are so many ways to enjoy coffee. Drink it black, with milk or cream, hot or cold. Add flavors and sweeteners to your liking. Keep it simple or make it fancy. There are holiday blends, dark roasts, and cold-brew varieties. Coffee can be endlessly reimagined to make something old new again, much the way entrepreneurs continually craft and reinvent themselves and their businesses.
5. The caffeine ...
Coffee is wonderful! It tastes great, it warms you up on cold days, and wakes you up when you need it. Caffeine can get the creative juices flowing when you're stuck in a rut, and it gives you the drive to get a proposal submitted in the wee hours. Coffee allows you to start your day with energy and keep on rolling to make exciting things happen, and isn't that what being an entrepreneur is all about?