The Travel Phenomena You Can’t Get Enough Of…

The phenomena is café culture.

Coffee Commissionary Los Angeles espresso machine
PHOTO Coffee Commissionary Los Angeles

On my day off from school, I decided to walk down a major street in my LA neighborhood. As I admired the different apartments, boutiques, and restaurants, it occurred to me that there is not a street in Los Angeles that you could walk down without seeing a coffee shop. There’s probably not a street in any major city in the U.S. that you could walk down without seeing a coffee shop for that matter. And I’m not just talking about a Starbucks or a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. As a beverage that used to be consumed only at breakfast or at times after dinner, coffee has now become a commodity that is consumed at all hours of the day and night. But the brewed beverage is not the only thing that has gained popularity; cafés and coffeehouses have become worldwide phenomena as well.

The first coffeehouses in recorded history began in the Ottoman Empire and quickly sprung up in Italy, England, France, and all over Europe. It then, of course, made its way to America, where we are still enjoying our Caramel Macchiato. In the past, cafés were associated with brooding artists, writers, and philosophers that would congregate to create masterpieces or discuss political and philosophical theories. I always imagine the coffeehouse in Funny Face, where Audrey Hepburn’s character visits to discuss the theory of “empathicalism” with French locals. (P.S. if you haven’t seen Funny Face and are an Audrey fan, I definitely recommend it!) audrey hepburn coffee

Fast-forward a few decades, and now there’s a Starbucks on every corner with Frappuccinos and free WiFi. Starbucks changed the game by providing you with an experience on top of your coffee. I’m always fascinated by those people who can come to Starbucks and sit for hours doing work and drinking their coffee. In America, where everything is always go-go-go, it’s nice to just take the time to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee on a comfy couch. And don’t think you just have to go to Starbucks to unwind, there are tons of other independent coffeehouses you can visit.


I recently spent some time at Coffee Commissary, a cool little coffee shop down on Fairfax Avenue. They’ve got an awesome drip bar with beakers! Every café is unique, whether it’s a different vibe or the coffee beans that they use to brew their drinks, so you should definitely explore your neighborhood for new places.

Café culture has definitely changed over the years; a hub to discuss philosophical thoughts has become a place where people write papers on their MacBooks or iPads. Overall, cafés continue to be a social gathering point for people young and old, students or businessmen, American or Italian. And by the looks of it, the culture of coffee and the cafés that brew this liquid gold will continue on for many years to come.. Whether you go to a coffee shop to meet a friend, write your blog, or just to pass the time, it’s not the free WiFi that keeps people coming back (although that is an added bonus), it’s the relaxing and delightful atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home.

Coffee Commissionary Los Angeles
PHOTO Coffee Commissary

Dawn Fleming

Dawn's travel style is relaxed with a special love for museums and cafés. A major history buff, Dawn is drawn to ancient cities full of secrets to uncover. She can't travel without a trench coat, it's stylish and keeps you warm.

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