Coffee Houses And Creativity: What Makes Us Work Better In These Places

coffee and creativity

Coffee bistros have always been places for people to get together with friends and talk about many things. But in recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the effects of coffee shops in relation to productivity. In fact, masterpieces of writers and artists like Bob Dylan, Pablo Picasso, and J.K. Rowling, just to name a few, have been conceptualized while having their favorite cup of coffee inside cafes.

But is there some scientific basis behind these claims? Find out the answers as we tackle today’s topic about of coffee houses and creativity: what makes us work better in these places in today’s post.


It’s More Than Just The Caffeine…

Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has definitely limited our time lingering at cafes packed with coffee-lovers sipping their favorite brew. But experts say that visiting our favorite coffee shops does bring something good to us since it serves as a catalyst to ignite our creativity. And here are the reasons to consider:

  1. Provides A “Sweet Spot” Of Noise – Some of us are into the habit of sticking our earphones the moment we sit down at a coffee table. But scientists have already proven that a certain level of background noise can actually boost our creative thinking.

In a 2012 research conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research, it was determined that low to moderate ambient noise in places like a coffee house could improve a person’s creative output. And the reason behind this is that ambient noise provides enough distraction that stimulates your abstract thinking ability, which will then result in a more productive generation of ideas.

And according to another study in 2019, the zero level of noise, or the kind of background noise you have inside your bedroom is called a “stochastic noise” which is beneficial in some ways since it promotes better concentration. But the so-called “Goldilocks level” of noise, or the kind of noise that we hear inside cafes helps improve our decision-making abilities.

  1. Visual Variety – Working at home and in the office provides a kind of onerous visual environment because we’re staring at the same walls while dealing with school projects or work-related tasks. On the other hand, being in a coffee shop like The Steaming Cup provides a kind of visual stimulation that stimulates a phenomenon called “convergent creative thinking” because there are many things happening around you even if you’re immersed in what you’re doing. And that type of ‘distraction’ is considered healthy.
  2. Has An ‘Air Of Informality’ – And while your usual coffee house might be an ideal place to develop creative thinking, experts also say that the setting of the place is also conducive for groups of friends or officemates who are brainstorming or building camaraderie.

Meeting places inside the office usually come with implied constraints such as being expected to deal with colleagues in a professional manner at all times, which sometimes impede our ability to make creative decisions that will lead to productive results. Alternatively, coffee bistros provide a cozy and casual environment with blended elements where people can promptly gather and collaborate while discussing work-related matters.

Overall, a coffee shop is just one of the few public spaces where you can do these things outside of the confines of your office while producing creative results.

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