There is no red shirted man making deals on the phone as he paces back and forth. There is no group of large voiced church people being all holier than thou. And loud. Eight out of ten customers in this coffee shop are writers. I can tell because they come in and sit down and write, either on a laptop or on paper. The other two out of ten are artists or book binders.
The other clue to the livelihood of the clientèle is that this is a coffee shop in a writer’s workshop, where writers go to teach and take classes and stuff, attached to an art gallery and a book binding shop. I’m here because my daughter is taking a class and it is a lot easier to hang here and work in the coffee shop than to drive home and back.
But none of that is important. The reason I bring this up at all is the following: The espresso/cappuccino machine is NOT an automatic machine. The milk is foamed with a foamer. The espresso is made through one of those standard espresso thingies that needs to be banged to clean out. And so on. So, even though one can explain the relative quietness of coffee shops in general using the technology (automatic = not as good espresso but much quieter process) it is possible to be non-automatic and quiet.
Why quiet here? This is a writer’s loft. The place is full of people like me. They probably all have blogs. If the guy working here, who incidentally has a pretty good Elvis imitation going, bangs the espresso thingie or shshhhes the milk too loudly, then a dozen blog posts complaining about it go out over the intertubes that second.
They have a folded towel set next to a tiny sink into which the spent grounds are placed. If you hold the espresso holder in your palm (instead of by the handle) and whack it smartly against the towel at the edge of the sink … once …. most of the grounds go into the sink. Quietly. Then you rinse it out. I know this because I positioned myself in a place where I could watch the process.
The entire latte making process is quiet.
The muffins. They are silent.
The brownies. They are made of hemp.
The only loud noises we are likely to hear in this place would be the ulululations of writers getting paid large sums of money by publishers.
So the place is pretty quiet.