6 Types of Patrons You’ll Encounter at a Coffee Shop in Lebanon

You haven’t really adult-ed if you haven’t flocked to a coffee shop at least once in the past week, am I right? Admittedly, I was a little late to the game. I started sipping on caffeinated brew when my eldest was born, about six years ago. I’d place him in his stroller and lap around the mall for an hour or two, and when he drifted off to sleep, I’d slide into an armchair at Dunkin’ and order a donut, croissant-wich and coffee combo (yep, that was the ultimate trifecta.). 

Fresh-brewed dark roast coffee, served piping hot with the steam blanketing my visage to deliver facial-like effects. Those few moments of uninterrupted peace formed my golden hour. I’d sit back, sip on my cup of joe, and quietly take in the scenes surrounding me. To this day, I love hanging out aimlessly at a coffee shop, merely to study the behavior of other patrons and try to deduce their craft.

Here are the most common profiles I’ve encountered.

My favorite indulgence at a coffee shop: donut and a cup of brew.

1. The procrastinating college kid: I never understood young adults in this category. Coffee shops are notoriously noisy. So how could they possibly be conducive to the kind of concentration required for studying? And yet there they are, these college-age students camped out on large conference-style tables with their stationery and books sprawled about in disarray. Their hair looks nappy; their eyes, bloodshot; and it’s immediately evident they’re running on low fuel as they plow through an all-nighter. They’re surviving on caffeine in the form of coffee, soft drinks, and energy quenchers. You might even find some of their toiletries encroaching on the shop’s bathroom sink.

2. The parent seeking a hideout: These folks have slipped silently out of the house and are seeking sanctuary inside the walls of the coffee shop. They’re visibly spent and trying to derive maximum value from their stinted getaway. If their significant other calls to inquire about their whereabouts, they claim they’re making a grocery run, pumping fuel, withdrawing cash from the ATM…anything to affirm their productivity, when in fact they’re just trying to catch some respite. Can’t say I blame them!

3. The parent placating their sugar-loving kiddos: On the other end of the parent spectrum are those who make companions of their children at coffee shops. They allow them to indulge in sugary pastries and caffeinated drinks. Should their conscience gnaw at them? Well, they consider the activity an exercise in bonding and justified by the cost-benefit analysis. Good luck to them at bedtime, when their kids can’t be coaxed to hit the sack.

4. The bored retiree/self-employed: This is the most mysterious breed of patrons. How is it they can afford to lounge around the coffee shop, day in and day out, for a lengthy window of time, and still draw an income? Perhaps they don't need to. And uncannily enough, they don’t fly solo. They congregate in packs of three or more, sitting café-trottoir style as though along Paris’ famous Saint-Germain boulevard. They watch customers come and go with hungry interest. If you happen to strike up a conversation with one of these folks, be prepared for a verbose affair.

5. The laser-focus freelancer: Everyone knows the most affordable real estate for a struggling freelancer is a coffee shop. The cost of rent is a cup of coffee and some refreshments in return for limitless squatting rights. But sometimes these patrons cross the line, barking over the phone with their clients, or making cacophonous sounds with every attention-seeking movement (e.g., slamming their phone on the table, exhaling loudly, etc.). Occasionally, they’ve got a snobbish air, self-smug in the fact that they’ve shed their boxy corporate roles of bygone days and are now masters of their own time.

6. The single guy (or gal) looking to reel in the catch of the day: They don’t even care for coffee or anything remotely related to the bean. They’re just there to prey on other patrons in the hopes of securing a phone number (or more popularly these days, an Instagram friend request). Their eyes dart back and forth from one unsuspecting customer to the next. If they see something they like, they aren’t abashed to reseat themselves in close proximity to their target and get cracking!


Who have I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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