How Coffee Shop Music Became a Musical Genre

coffee-shop-music-now-musical-genre

The next time you’re enjoying a cup of java at your favorite local coffee purveyor, pay attention to the music emanating from the house sound system. Those soothing yet engaging sounds you’re hearing might be classified as any number of musical genres, and they can come from just about any era. And yet, they all share a certain essence, don’t they?

They’re smooth and melodious enough to sit in the background, with just enough musical tension to make them engaging. That perfect balance between softness and edge makes them the ideal soundscape for a place like a coffeehouse.

Think about it: we all go to our local coffeehouses for different reasons. Sometimes we treat them as an office. Other times, we go there to socialize. Some mornings we’re in and out, just stopping by for our morning fix, and other days we spend hours studying or reading our favorite new book.

As the coffeehouse serves so many purposes simultaneously, it needs music that supports the roles it plays. It needs “coffee shop music.”

Coffee House Music: A Genre Defined

While individual examples of coffee shop music might be classified as jazz or soft rock, and others could be called electronic music or bossa nova, when taken as a whole, coffee shop music can be viewed as an eclectic genre of its own.

It’s a different type of genre than we’re used to. Instead of being defined by stylistic touchstones such as instrumentation or lyrical content, coffee house music can be characterized by an overall vibe. A single artist may even have some songs that fit this genre, and others that do not. Regardless of where it comes from, you know coffee shop music when you hear it.

We’re not the only ones who have come to think of coffee shop music as a distinct entity, by the way. There are satellite radio stations, musical compilations, and even bands devoted to the genre of coffee music.

Selected Musical Works for Quaffing Coffee

Singer-songwriters are popular choices for coffeehouse-friendly music. Artists such as Ray LaMontagne, Norah Jones, Iron and Wine, and Landon Pigg are great examples.

Coffee house music can also come from the alternative rock world. Bands such as Coldplay, R.E.M. and Death Cab for Cutie make an excellent complement to an iced Americano and a stimulating conversation.

Electronic music is another popular choice for coffeehouses. Selected works from artists like Royksopp, Owl City, and Frou Frou are ideal for studying over a cappuccino.

If you’re more into the classics, check out the works of Nick Drake, Loudon Wainwright III, Tim Buckley, Jackson Browne, and Leonard Cohen.

Feeling jazzy? Put Miles Davis’ seminal album Kind of Blue on the turntable. Follow it up with some of Charlie Parker’s iconic Verve Records output. After that, try some Dave Brubeck or Wynton Marsalis.

Perhaps you’d care for some Latin flavor with your Cortado? Stream selected works from João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, or Gal Costa.

Enjoy the Sound of Coffee With Coffee Shop Music

You’ve always loved the aroma, flavor, and boost that coffee gives you, but now you can become a connoisseur of the sound of coffee as well, giving you one more reason to stop by your local coffee shop or hit your favorite record store for rare grooves. Enjoy that selection of coffee house music!

SEE ALSO: Turn Your Break Room into a Coffee Bar

10 Things I Want My Kids To Know This Mother’s Day

10 Things I Want My Kids To Know This Mother’s Day

Source: Flickr user Rudolf Vlček

This article was originally written by Ann Brenoff in the Huffington Post.

Before my kids came along, Mother’s Day was just another Sunday in May for me. In fact, I once went to brunch that day, not even realizing it was Mother’s Day.

“Why are all these kids here?” I asked my boyfriend at the time.

“Shoot, it’s Mother’s Day,” he said with a palm slap to his forehead just before he jumped up from the table. “I need to go call my Mom. What’s the number for FTD?”

Now that I am a Mom — an older Mom at that — there are some things I need to tell my kids (now 17 and 14) this Mother’s Day.

1. I am not perfect.
I’m pretty sure that you knew that already. I mostly want you to know that I know it too. I do, however, remember when you were little and thought I was perfect. There was nothing more that you wanted than to be around me, for me to hug you, hold you, be with you. My touch was curative, my words healing. I made you laugh when you felt bad. I made you feel secure when you were scared. In turn, you made me feel like a goddess. That was pretty heady. Once in awhile, I like to think about the good old days before you figured out that I’m not perfect. I told you: I’m imperfect and that right there is just more proof of it.

2. I have always tried my best.
You are the lights of my life. But mothering didn’t come naturally to me the way it does to some women. I am still the one who doesn’t like to hold newborns. I followed my instincts a lot and sometimes they were wrong. I approached motherhood much the way I approach reporting: I read a lot and talk to a lot of people and then go with my gut. I learned that parenting is indeed the hardest job out there. And screwing it up is far worse than having to run a correction.

3. I’ll always have your back, even when you don’t need me there.
I am your Mama Bear, the bane of a bad teacher’s existence who hollers at unfair soccer refs and is ready to dismember any child who thinks about bullying you. I will protect you long after you need my protection. That probably includes now. I think you will just have to get used to it. Remember: I’m not perfect.

blowing-bubbles

Source: Flickr user Heather West

4. I have every picture you drew me and every handmade gift you ever made me.
Nowhere does Dr. Spock ever say exactly how long a good mother is supposed to hang on to this stuff. I know a mother of six who gives everything a shelf life of one month. Me? I’m not ready to part with any of it. I know one day I will, but just know that the praise I showered you with when you gave me all this stuff was genuine and real. And so will be my tears when it comes time to toss the lot of it away. Until then, I am perfectly happy to park in the driveway and sacrifice the garage to your creative efforts.

5. Letting go is hard.
One of you will be leaving for college in a year and while I am so proud that you got to this place in your life, I simultaneously hate it. Hate, hate, hate it. I will miss having my baby girl around. With your dad, the four of us are a family. I knew the day would come when you would leave the nest, but I just never imagined that time could fly by so quickly. Please forgive me if I cry when The Day comes. This isn’t me being imperfect; it’s me nursing the ache in my heart.

6. Teenagers are hard people to understand.
Hormones are crazy-making, aren’t they? Thank you for not being as wild and crazy as I was when I was a teenager. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you never did half the bad stuff I did. Thank you for believing that maybe your parents know more than you do about some things. Thank you for not testing us too hard, not pushing the boundaries too far, not making us sick with worry. You are both great kids. You know right from wrong and are kind people who forgive those who don’t. Your only crime is your insistence on growing up.

7. I thank you for forgiving me.
I have my Mommy Dearest moments. Sometimes I yell (OK, scream) loud enough for the neighbors to hear. Sometimes I go all cold on you (that’s pure manipulation on my part). And sometimes I over-confide in you, forgetting that you are my children not my adult friends. I shouldn’t put my adult worries on your shoulders. No parent should. I know that. But again, I’m imperfect.

8. Our house is too quiet without you.
My dear daughter: Do you remember how as a toddler you would sing all the time in the car? We’d strap you into your little car seat and just as soon as that seatbelt snapped closed, the orchestra in your head began playing. You sang loud, pure, and from the heart. Yes, you sang off-key and when I hear your song coming from the shower now, I always flash back on those car rides. Your Dad once suggested that we needed a soundproof glass like they have in taxis. When you would fall asleep in the car, we’d joke how the silence felt like a mini-vacation. We didn’t mean it. Really.

My son, you are the quiet one. A man of few words. But what is it about your presence that so fills the room? Without you two around, I swear I hear an echo in the house.

9. I love that you embrace differences, not shun them.
I’ve been so proud of both of you for not letting others define you by your differences. You are both Chinese, being raised in an Anglo society. You are both obviously adopted, unlike the 15 percent of the population who is adopted but you can’t tell by looking at them. You have two old geezer parents and a full-time working mother– both anomalies where we live. And yet you thrive.

10. For Mother’s Day, what I want from you is …
Absolutely nothing but you. OK, maybe a nice handmade card for me to save too.

child-playing-in-fountain

Source: Flickr user swong95765

Mum’s the Word at CoffeeForLess

We loved this list, and hope your Mother’s Day weekend is shaping up nicely. For those of us  in need of last minute Mother’s Day gifts, check out our 7% off storewide sale happening now at CoffeeForLess.com. Just remember to use Coupon Code WELUVMOM at checkout, and make mom’s day extra special with her favorite coffee, K-Cups, and tea beverages!

 

 

Flavia Fresh Packs Make a Single Serving Coffee or Dessert Beverage

Flavia Fresh Packs are similar to such other single serving beverage media as K-Cups or T-Discs in how they brew a single cup of a select beverage on demand, but what sets them apart is the variety of beverage options available in Flavia Fresh Packs.

With branded flavor options like Mars candies, Flavia Fresh Packs provide a true dessert beverage experience with the ease and convenience of single serving brewing. Beyond that, Flavia Fresh Packs offer a solid variety of coffee and tea options. Today, we look at some of the top offerings available in Flavia Fresh Packs.

 

The Top 5 Flavia Fresh Pack Beverage Options

Milkyway Swirl Fresh PackMilkyway Swirl Fresh Pack

Milkyway Swirl Fresh Packs turn hot chocolate into a gourmet treat and make a regular cup of coffee into a high-end café drink; these tasty Fresh Packs may not stand on their own but add to any beverage to which they are added.

Cappuccino Latte Fresh PacksCappuccino Latte Fresh Pack

Cappuccino Latte Fresh Packs produce a delicious gourmet cappuccino drink on demand, making it possible to enjoy a café-quality espresso beverage any time at a fraction of the cost.

Flavia French Vanilla Coffee Fresh PacksFrench Vanilla Coffee Fresh Pack

Delicious flavored coffee in a matter of minutes, brewed perfectly and always smooth and tasty; these French Vanilla Coffee Fresh Packs make for a fantastic singe cup of coffee any time.

Flavia Chai Spice Tea Fresh PacksBright Tea Co. Chai Spice Tea Fresh Pack

Bright Tea Co. Chai Spice Tea Fresh Packs brew a cup of chai spice tea in a moment, allowing you to enjoy Chai tea without the extensive labor traditionally associated with producing chai spice tea.

Flavia White Tea with Orange Fresh PacksBright Tea Co. White With Orange Tea Fresh Pack

White tea is  elegant and subtle with a delicate flavor that pairs well with citrus, and Bright Tea Co. White With Orange Tea Fresh Packs capture this lovely  taste pairing perfectly, making it possible to enjoy light and delicious white tea from your Fresh Pack brewer.

 

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker: Keurig, Senseo, or Tassimo

 

Proprietary single serve coffee makers are flooding the market, and while each may have its own character or advantages, the sheer number of them may confuse the cBest Single Serve Coffee Maker For Youonsumer. This often leads to the question: which is the best single serve coffee maker? It is not an easily answered question, as it is a bit like asking someone the best coffee. Everyone has a different answer because coffee is such a personal experience, such a subjective preference, that we all consider our intimate perspective on it to be the correct one.

So, when looking for the best single serve coffee maker, we decided to compare three of the most popular single serve coffee makers available at CoffeeForLess. Each uses proprietary single cup coffee refills, putting them on equal fitting when it comes to that common criticism of single serve coffee makers. By comparing what each type of single serve coffee maker offers, each coffee drinker will be able to compare features and seek the best single serve coffee maker for her or his coffee preferences.

 

The Best Single Serve Coffee Maker Features

Keurig, Senseo, and Tassimo single serve coffee makers all offer you the ability to produce a single cup of coffee on demand, and all of their style single serve coffee makers are popular with our coffee community. So, we surveyed the reviews and decided to focus on the type of coffee drinker most satisfied by each coffee maker, allowing the character that comes through in the reviews to speak for the brewers themselves.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker By BrandTwo types of coffee drinker will find the Keurig coffee makers to be the best single serve coffee maker: the “Adventurer” and the “Sharer.” The “Adventurer” and the “Sharer” can sometimes be found within a single coffee drinker, often not far from a Keurig coffee maker. The “Adventurer” coffee drinker enjoys trying new coffee often while the “Sharer” enjoys sharing beloved coffees with friends, family, and coworkers. Whether you are one, the other, or both, you will love the vast array of coffee offered in Keurig K-Cups.

If your coffee drinker type is the “Old Spirit,” you will find that Senseo coffee makers are the best single serve coffee maker for you. The “Old Spirit” already loves coffee, knows good coffee from bad, even prefers classic Old World coffee flavor, but is new to this whole single cup coffee maker thing. Senseo single serve coffee makers have a low entry cost and a good variety, making them perfect for someone who wants good coffee but is just now trying out single cup coffee-making.

The best single serve coffee maker for the classic “Coffee Shop” style coffee drinker is certainly any of those offered by Tassimo. The “Coffee Shop” coffee drinker does not mind spending a little extra money to get exactly the double skinny soy latte or the full cream cappuccino with flecks of shaved chocolate that they want. For this sort of discerning coffee drinker who is used to boutique style coffee drinks, Tassimo coffees makers are certainly the best single serve coffee maker.

Whichever type of coffee drinker you are, one or another single cup coffee maker available today is sure to be the best single serve coffee maker for you.

All About Me

I am a writer and a serious coffee fanatic. Without coffee’s glorious contribution to my life, I could never get all of these words in the right order. Now, that’s not to say that I turn my nose up at coffee’s xanthine-bearing cousins, no sir. I have been known to dabble in the teas and tonics realm in my quest for a stimulating existance.

I’ll be your caffeinated guide to the wild and wonderfully delicious world of coffee, tea, and the other concoctions the beverage industry is serving up these days. We might find ourselves wandering through the jungles of Indonesia together or in the labs of the latest energy drink manufacturer, but in any case, we’ll get the details and the deals, all Over A Single Cup of brew.

I get my coffee, energy drinks, and tea from CoffeeForLess because I like the convenience and variety. My insatiable desire for caffeinated beverages cannot be quenched but with the vast array of energizing beverages that they provide me.

So, enjoy my coffee addiction and its joyous celebration of all things java, latte, and camelia sinensis, and until next we meet, make mine strong and dark like my prose, or else a maté, mate.
-Mark