White, middle-class college students love coffee shops.
This statement is undeniably factual. According to my own research, roughly 37 billion trillion ounces of coffee are consumed every year by students at public universities.
With so many liberal-minded people gathering to talk about such cool things as Africa and the Dave Matthews Band, coffee shops have become outlets catering to cool peoples’ need to be seen by other cool people. And because things that white, middle-class college students love are ultimately adopted by important people as national symbols of coolness (i.e. Obama’s “Change,” environmentalism’s “Green lifestyle,” and Bono’s “Bono”), they can be harnessed to increase your own personal coolness.
That being said, here are a few tips on how to be perceived as “cool” in coffee shops, which, in turn, will ultimately increase your overall coolness exponentially.
Always try to look bored or disinterested.
This is easily the foremost component in maintaining coffee shop coolness. By appearing interested in the book you are reading, the person you are talking to, or any menu item, you are broadcasting to everybody within a 20-meter* radius that you obviously don’t come here often enough (or read enough, or talk enough) to be completely unsurprised by anything that ever happens, ever. This is a general rule that can be applied to virtually all aspects of coffee shop coolness.
Order the biggest cup of the darkest coffee available.
Learn to use the phrase, “Give me a [largest size] of your boldest coffee.” This tells the barista (that’s college student-talk for “employee”) that you are, at minimum, a Level-8 coffee drinker, and a very cool person. It also impresses other college students that you can handle a two-story-tall vat of scalding hot diesel.
Conditioning is the key to this part of coffee shop coolness. Spend time in the weeks preceding your visit steadily increasing your coffee intake and its darkness. Too much too early is a common rookie mistake.
Reference foreign news constantly.
Realistically, you and everybody else care more about the municipal council’s decision to fill in the pothole down the street than they do the election of the new Chilean prime minister. However, by dropping that latter little bit of knowledge into your conversation, you are leading everybody to assume you know so much about local and domestic happenings that they are of little consequence to you.