1. The guy who runs his own business from home and is sick of the sight of his bedroom
If he spends one more night working on his Mac until he falls asleep on top of it, he might just give up on his dream of building the next Facebook and go back to sales, so he leaves the house in his pyjamas, and finds a nearby coffee shop instead.
Most likely to say: “What’s the wifi password?”
Most likely to order: scrambled eggs with chorizo and field mushrooms, and four flat whites
2. The bilingual family
This group can be found at any independent coffee shop that’s a short stroll from the educational toy-covered complex they call home.
Most likely to say: “Mama, heisse Schokolade bitte!”
Most likely to order: coconut bircher with chia seeds and sourdough toast with house preserves
3. The shocked couple who can’t believe the prices
They’re attracted by the wooden tables and chairs outside, friendlier-than-Starbucks vibe, and the fact that it’s not a chicken shop or McDonalds, but still close to home.
Most likely to say: “I’m not paying £8.50 for that?!?!”
Most likely to order: Nothing at all, they leave in a huff after inspecting the menu
4. The women who kept saying “we must catch up soon” and so finally had to do it
After 6 months of saying they’d meet up, Holly and Annabel finally had to make good on the promise, so they get together somewhere that’s halfway between their houses, and where they won’t have to stay too long.
Most likely to say: “And how’s your boyfriend, is he still working at the same place?”
Most likely to order: Prosecco, no matter what the time of day, and poached eggs with avocado
5. The “I know a lovely little place in Streatham” guy
He thinks of himself as a little bit of a coffee aficionado and likes to impress people with his extensive knowledge of independent eateries in London.
He can always suggest the best dish on the menu and acts as though he was the one who discovered each new place that pops up on the high street, the other customers only came after they saw his tweet about it, obviously. #pioneer
Most likely to say: “You have to have the salmon, it’s not on the menu today, but let me see if they’ll make it for you”
Most likely to order: Scottish smoked salmon scrambled eggs (from the menu)
6. The employee working from the shop floor
She’s bored of being holed up in the office (if they even have one) and much prefers the buzz of front of house, where she can sit at the biggest table in the place, surround herself with a laptop and books, and take pictures of the customers for Instagram.
Most likely to say: “Jethro, did you ever receive that pomegranate order?”
Most likely to order: Cappuccinos and Rooibos tea
7. The bank detail screamers
One of them had a whole bunch of work to do at the weekend, but had promised the other one they’d spent the weekend with them. And so they end up out of the house with the laptop and a whole bunch of paperwork, completing ‘one last task’ before the weekend can truly begin.
Most likely to say: “Babe can you read the card number back to me again, it’s not going through”
Most likely to order: Bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwiches
8. The 9-year-old patron
This home dude walks in so far ahead of his mother and younger siblings that it looks like he’s there all by himself. He surveys the countertop and other customer’s meals before finding the perfect seat. And even when the rest of his family arrives, he doesn’t pay them much mind.
Most likely to say: “Mother, they don’t have much cake here, Brooks always has freshly-made cake”
Most likely to order: soft rye bread toast with homemade marmalade and freshly squeezed orange juice
9. The hungover couple
This pair didn’t manage to stock the fridge before a wild night out, they thought they were only going out (not out-out) and by the time they had left the club, the chicken shop was closed.
So they arrive, weary and dry mouthed at the entrance to the coffee shop.
Most likely to say: “Did you see Josie? At least I wasn’t THAT bad.”
Most likely to order: All menu items with eggs involved, and lots and lots of tap water
Further reading: London’s best cafés and coffee shops
With thanks to Brooks and Gao, the genuinely lovely Streatham coffee shop that inspired this article.
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“For he satisfies the thirsty, and fills the hungry with good things.” – Psalm 107:9