Have hipsters killed the humble coffee shop? | Viewsbank

Have hipsters killed the humble coffee shop?

Have Hipsters killed the humble coffee shop?

It seems that these days you can’t walk down your local high street without seeing that yet another new coffee shop has sprung up. Indeed, Britain’s traditional high streets are changing forever, with once familiar names making way for a seemingly ever-increasing number of coffee shops, bookies and charity shops.

Not so long ago, it felt like we all knew where we stood when it came to coffee shops – you had your established chains like Starbucks and Costa, you had your local high street cafes and you those “in store” style coffee shops. Sure, we all moaned a little at how much a latte cost from time to time, and perhaps we occasionally looked bemused at the fact our small coffee was actually known as a “tall” coffee, but at the end of the day though, a coffee was still a coffee and the sun still came up each morning.

Fast forward to today, and it’s a whole new world out there – the Hipster Café appears to be the new norm. No longer content are we with our £1.29 McDonald’s coffee, we now demand that our wonderfully bearded Barristers serve us only the finest freshly ground coffee that has already been pre-digested by cat. All joking aside though (and that cat poop coffee does really exist by the way), no one can argue that we are far more spoilt for choice when it comes to our hot beverages than we were a few years ago.

When the first of these Hipster inspired coffee shops started appearing, I’d almost go as far as saying that they were refreshingly different with their artisan ways, but I think the real question here is – have they over done it?

The problem for this new breed of coffee shops now is that are just so many of them – all claiming to serve some of the finest coffee available. Artisan coffee shops used to have a quirky charm about them and I totally get the appeal, but unfortunately having that quirky charm – think reclaimed wooden tables and Edison bulbs hanging overhead - is no longer good enough to help them stand out from the crowd. This sort of “authentic” venue now seems to be the new norm, with not just coffee shops but also bars, restaurants, shared office spaces and fashion boutiques all jumping on the bandwagon.

In order to help their patrons gain the reassuring approval of their culturally savvy Instagram friends, hipster coffee shops are having to become more and more inventive with their offerings. The current trend for deconstructed food and drink seems fairly popular for example, with customers paying more than average for a fairly small amount of food and/or drink that hasn’t quite been assembled fully – effectively meaning that you need to finish making it yourself. I don’t know about you, but when I go out for something to eat or drink, I’d rather my purchase was fully prepared and ready to eat or drink. If I had to assemble my own breakfast for example, then personally it’d be easier - and not to mention significantly cheaper - to stay at home for a bowl of Coco Pops and some toast.

I feel like McDonald’s hit the nail on the hit with their recent TV ad – depicting various people attempting to buy coffee at a selection of artisan or hipster style coffee shops, only to be faced with high prices, bewildering choices and bizarre presentation. The ad aims to remind us that if we want to keep things simple, we can still pop down to our local McDonald’s for a simple yet reasonably decent cup of coffee at a sensible price – no fuss.

While McDonald’s may not be your – excuse the pun – cup of tea when it comes to hot drinks, I don’t think that’s even the point. The point is that we need to remind ourselves that traditional coffee shops still have a place in our society, and sometimes you just want “normal”. For me, while I can appreciate the appeal of visiting somewhere new and (maybe) different, I really hope that this current trend for all things hipster doesn’t kill off the humble coffee shop – that would be real shame.


What do you think? Are hipster coffee shops killing off traditional coffee shops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments – we look forward to reading them!





No, i dont think they have....my town has plenty of coffee shops wether they be traditional or "trendy" but there are still plenty of people from all walks of life that still go in them...although i cant speak for other towns or cities.

No, if anything coffee culture has been improved.

We have choice of coffee shops now. The city is much better for them

Britain is nothing like the Britain I was born to and grew up with in the 1960's.  I was born in January 1960.  I can't stand Portsmouth any more - where I've lived all my life.  I can't afford to move away either.

I really hate Britain now, it's changed beyond recognition.  We let foreigners take over everything.  We have handed our country over to foreigners on a plate.  I old times, people fought to take your country, now we are so lilly-livered, we just give it to them.

I've just had to go for a measles jab (despite having measles as a child and being vaccinated twice), because - foreigners have brought it inot our country via Spain, and I was told that Chichester (close to Portsmouth) now has an epidemic of measles.  They are not only bringing in their crap food and drinks, but also diseases that we saw the back of in the 70's!!!!

Britain is **** - admit.

God you are such a racist,the question was about coffee shops!!not your biased view of Britain!! 

I too was born in the late 50’s I love diversity,different foods,blaming everything on foreigners is a cop out,we have changed Britain’s high street,by looking for price not quality,


Poor wikkle racist.  Wheat, bread, beer, apples, grapes, onions, leeks, oats, peas, turnips, carrots, tea, coffee, chocolate, pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, rhubarb, fish and chips, all brought here by foreigners, as are many other foodstuffs.

Portsmouth itself was founded by the Romans, you almost certainly have 'foreign genes' in your dna, your laughable notion that Portsmouth was a paradise in the 60s is not bourne out by the fact that 10s of thousands of people abandoned the town during that decade with the collapse of the shilpbuilding industry.

Still, you carry on being bitter for a time that never existed, eating the foreign food and drink that you profess to hate.

I’ll go anywhere I can get it cheapest and can find that with some discount your own cup its

 cheaper than McDonald’s at

I would say no. In my town we have a big choice from small independents to larger chains and those in depertment stores.  There is plenty of choice for everyone and you see people of all ages and from all walks of life in the different places.

I see it as a personal choice and I use a mixture depending on whom I am with and where I am.

I don't often drink coffee but these places are often the only place available to visit for a drink while out shopping, unfortunately they have no idea how to make tea or how to treat a customer.  Do they really have to spend four or five minutes making each cup of coffee?  Have they even noticed the queue that builds up waiting to be served?  It would be vaguely acceptable if they offered a waiter service, but no you have to stand at the counter wait on the 'barrista' performance and then find your own sugar, spoon, napkin from a bench and carry it to your table.  I have wailed on this site several times about the lack of tea making skills in any kind of cafe (a cup of warm water and a tea bag and carton of milk handed separately will never be good enough) but a big problem is that they seem indifferent to the needs of the customer.  


Yes they have, in a space of 100 yards about every other place is a coffee shop.  I do not frequent them as the coffee is too strong and expensive.  If I have coffee it is somewhere like KFC or mcdonalds.

I only use local indepents I feel they offer more and not mass produced things

Yes they have , i only use local independent coffee shops , where they value your custom , i would rather help someones dream than pay for a CEO s expenses 

 I try to use the independent coffee shops as much as possible where you can be treated as a valued customer.

I like to be served not having to queue whilst balancing my shopping. 

I understand why there are so many coffee shops in our high streets when I see what they charge for a cup of average coffee. I cannot afford this luxury and continue to make my own coffee at home.

Bring back our old shops, woolworths, BHS, Timothy Whites and Maplins?

I don't know what hipsters are (except for  low slung trousers)I see the word everywhere and am at a complete loss to know what they are.

Actually Norman Mailer wrote a good definitiion in the 1950s, but I know longer remember it precisely. I always hear "hipster" and get a beatnik image... people in rollnecks smoking dope, reading Jack Kerouac and listening to Charlie Parker and Ewan MacColl. They were the real hep cats daddy-o...

Most of the high streets near where I live is full of pound stores, bookies and loan/pawn shops. Some coffee chains around here would be a massive improvement if we could get them.

I've never been inside a coffee shop, hipster or otherwise, and because I don't really go to towns much anymore I don't even pass them to see what they look like.

Wouldnt have a clue, never stepped inside an overpriced coffee shop 

I rarely visit coffee shops.Too expensive &  coffee is left too long  in machines or made so strong it's bitter. So I never drink coffee outside anymore.,I order hot chocolate 

I agree, that the pricing of the Hipster Caffee's extends the old fashioned simple coffees, but the selections they offer for people having allergies and intolerances is significant. Organic Coffee and diverse milk varieties (such as Almond, Oat, Coconut), Glutenfree options for lunch and pastries make the price, first seen unreasonable, reasonable.

For me personally, makes it my life much easier as a gluten sensitive and lactose intolerant person.

Our local, independent coffee shops (well cafés) serve excellent coffee, cakes, sandwiches, soups etc. Doesn't take them ages to prepare them and they're lots cheaper than the chains.

No idea. I don’t buy expensive coffee. I can make my own for about 2p a cup.

Why do these so-called trained waiters / baristas make scalding hot coffee when it’s supposed to be drunk warm?

Peole love to go out for a coffee and socialise. They are here to stay.

Coffee is coffee


What's a hipster ?  I never go in coffee shops

I drink tea. I’m British.

My local high street has a few coffee shops and about 20 phone shops that fix, unblock and do god knows what else to a smartphone. Its just boring now. 

Definitely not. The more popular the coffee shops becomes, the more choice we as the public has to choose from. The trendier or more hipster coffee places only seek to add more comfort and familiarity. More often than not, they mix a lot of the retro with the modern. It’s nice to have a mixture of both traditional and contemporary.