With coffee shops around the world temporarily closed—or switching to an entirely take-away model—we’re losing not just places to work while caffeinating but also the nexuses of communal gathering and entertainment. Music, art, poetry, gaming even, all could be both enjoyed and taken part in, often for free, on a nightly basis at the local cafe. In a time where anything that can be moved online has (and we've got many of them listed in our weekly online events calendar), so too has the coffee shop’s proverbial stage.
Using online platforms like Instagram and Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch, coffee companies are broadening their social media scope outside their express coffee missions to include more communal engagement via entertainment. To help keep you from exhausting all your valuable Netflix resources (new content is worth its weight in gold right now), we've rounded up a few different options to check out over the course of the coming week et cetera to stay entertained and connected in a temporarily disconnected world.
Know of more online “coffee shop” performances? Let us know in the comments below.
Coffee People Live!
What does a company that trades in hands-on and analog do in the time of social distancing? If you're everyone's favorite indie coffee zine Coffee People (who are still mailing out print and offering discounts), you take the analog digital. Happening all this week through Saturday, April 11th, Coffee People Live! is an Instagram-based source for arts and entertainment curated by Coffee People founder Kat Melheim. There's a daily community arts hour led by Melheim or the occasional guest instructor as well as a night session, which has included everything from mental health discussions to short story readings to interviews to live musical performances. For a full schedule of events or to take part, head over to @CoffeePeopleZine on Instagram.
If you were to peruse the Revelator Instagram account right now, you'd be hard pressed to get find any clues that it belonged to a coffee company with locations across multiple southern states. Forgoing the typical bag shots and latte art photos, Revelator‘s Insta has transformed into an outpost for live musical performances. Conjunto, delta blues, cajun hill country, creole, honky tonk, bluegrass, the artists taking over on a near-nightly basis run the gamut of Southern-oriented musical genres and include multiple Grammy nominees like Cedric Watson and and Trevor Smith of Wood and Wire.
All curated by Revelator co-founder Emma Chevalier, the musical performances are all very lo-fi and intimate, normally just a person or two and their chosen stringed accompaniment. Beyond music, plans for future transmissions include ceramics, quilting, and even some children's programming. The content is all very pastoral, providing a little taste of some of the more slowed down halcyon days before confinement.
Perhaps the coffee shop best positioned digital content creation, Houston gaming cafe Coral Sword is a multimedia wonderland of endless entertainment through their well-stocked Twitch channel. Want to watch along and chat with co-founder David Buehrer as he grinds his way through a Magic: The Gathering session? They've got that. Or maybe your gaming style is less tabletop and more of the video variety. The Coral Sword Twitch channel is still being regularly updated with Teamfight Tactics, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and the all-consuming Animal Crossing content for your viewing pleasure. There are live recorded podcasts covering a variety of topics as well as Dungeons and Dragons-inspired art sessions. In the digital world as in real life, if the entertainment you seek falls within the gaming sphere, you need to make a bee line to Coral Sword.