Starbucks vs Costa? Or are you more of a Caffè Nero person? This debate will last an eternity and we’ll always have our own divided opinion on who serves the best tasting coffee or the yummiest cakes. But one thing that is guaranteed to be the same in each and every coffeehouse is the types of characters you’ll be able to spot there.
Just like when Mean Girls conjured up its famous canteen chart on the different types of high school groups, we’ve put together our very own list on the various personalities you’ll be able to spot in coffee shops. Next time you’re grabbing your caffeine fix, have a look around and see how many of these you can spot.
1. The Book Lover
This person will usually be neatly hidden in a corner, tucked away from the buzz of the shop. They can take any form of a person; a young woman sporting a cute cardigan and skirt combination, her legs curled up in her specially selected armchair, to an older man carefully studying complex history books through tiny spectacles on the end of his nose.
They will pass hours and never notice anyone who walks in, for their eyes will remain glued to the page. Don’t be freaked out if you occasionally feel their eyes on you – they’re not even seeing you, they’re miles into another world pondering the countless chapters of plot and information they’ve just consumed.
2. The Stressed Worker Taking a Much-Needed Atmosphere Change
Smartly dressed – check. Laptop, phone, and tablet spread out over the table – check. Double caffeinated black coffee – check! This is probably the poor guy’s lunch break and yet he’s struggling to schedule sneaky mouthfuls of sandwich in between conversation exchanges with a client over the phone.
You’ll probably end up knowing all about the business this worker is dealing with by the time they’re done – where meetings are scheduled for and what time they’re due to take place. This man is too stressed to even realise he’s talking way too loud, he’s also too stressed to care.
3. Girls Finishing Up Their Shopping Trips
These girls will be found claiming the best possible seating areas in the shop. Their countless brown Primark bags will be cluttering up the floor space around them – not that they’ve noticed, for they’re deeply engrossed in gossip on who kissed who at last night’s party while carefully selecting the most aesthetic Instagram filter for their colourful Iced Frappé bought particularly for that very reason.
4. First Daters
A dinner seemed too formal and a pub seemed too casual so they’ve settled on a fantasised cute and cosy vibe by organising to meet at their local coffee shop. The reality looks more like both parties making multiple attempts to eat their cake in the most flattering way possible (and failing) while wondering whether to maintain eye contact with each other for eternity or switch their gaze to everyone else secretly spying on them (and anticipating their future).
5. The One Who’s Set Their Office Up There
They’ve reserved their own corner in this cafe and you can bet they’re not moving until closing time. Although they’ll hog their place all day long, there’s only ever one (already finished) coffee mug next to their little constructed desk. As they tap away on their laptop throughout the whole time you’re there, it leaves you to wonder what they’re cooking up – the next masterpiece novel maybe? I mean a coffee shop is where J.K Rowling made her slums-to-riches dream happen, maybe it’s a shop of genius as well as great coffee!
You can bet the baristas are hoping so, at least it will make up the money they’ve lost by the person’s stingy one-coffee-a-day through later tourism.
6. The Stressed Third-Year University Student
The parts of their table that aren’t cluttered with a long line of empty coffee mugs will sure be filled with books piled on top of books. In fact, they have so many books it makes you wonder how they managed to transport all of them to the coffee shop without breaking their back!
7. The First-Year Students Attempting To Appear Productive
Usually found in friendship groups, gathered around the central table. Just like the third-year student listed above, these students also have a large pile of books – but that’s mainly where the similarities end. These books, unlike the third year’s, are all firmly closed shut – in fact, they were never actually opened. Glancing over their laptops, sure enough, you’ll find a word document tab (that’s empty or, at a push, may display their assessment title) but it’s hardly visible considering there’re around 10 other open tabs with the likes of Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and about five shopping sites.
8. The Mysterious (Yet Often Sweet) Old Man
He’s always alone, yet he seems content with that. He’ll spend hours on end being utterly engrossed in the novel he’s reading, completing the Sudoku from his trusty pocket puzzle book, or simply staring into space.
Looking over, you start to wonder why he’s always on his own – is he widowed? Divorced? Childless? Friendless? Who knows? It doesn’t really matter, but it doesn’t stop us from forming our own fictional theories about the type of man he was and the life he now leads.