Do you prefer chain/branded coffee shops or independent ones? Where I live, I am spoilt for choice, which means I have reflected upon when and why I choose to visit each ones (and why there are some I never visit).
- Wifi access. If I have my laptop with me, I love going to coffee shops with free wifi. I'm sometimes surprised that some of them have wifi, but don't advertise the fact that they do, as I often won't go to a place if it doesn't say wifi in the window.
- Choice of coffees. Chain coffee shops win on this one. I love a syrup, and a I love a tall latte. I find that most independent coffee shops won't serve me a tall latte, they only have regular coffee cups, and they want to serve coffee 'as it should be served'. This does slightly ignore the fact that I want, and would pay for, a larger drink. I like it milky.
- Dog/Child friendly. Sometimes I want a quieter coffee shop, and some smaller shops are better for this, as they can't fit pushchairs in. the chain coffee shops can get noisy with lots of babies. Sometimes I want dog friendly, and independent shops can be much better for this.
- Busy-ness. Some coffee shops get very busy at certain time of day, and I always want to sit and enjoy my coffee.
- Decoration. The atmopshere of the coffee shop matters. Are the chairs comfortable? Are the tables too low to put a laptop on? Does it feel cosy?
- Choice of food. Some of the chain coffee shops have my favourite coffee, but poor food, and sometimes a girl needs lunch! I particulalry like coffee shops that serve toast.
- Staff. Independent coffee shops should win this one everytime, but sometimes they disappoint. Starbucks did use to impress me, but the new 'writing your name on the cup' thing annoys me.
- Opening Times. I sometimes like an evening coffee, so I appreciate some of the independent coffee shops that open till late (sometimes with a alcohol license too). I do find that some independent ones don't open early enough for me though!
- Price. I rarely chose on price, but sometimes it is a consideration.
- Length of time you can stay comfortably. I find the chain coffee shops better for this one, especially if the independent shop is small in size. If you want to take a table for more than hour, only certain shops feel appropriate!