Coffee as a Social Tool

Delighted diverse women drinking coffee

Coffee was originally a drink that people utilized as a social tool. It was a common ground for people to meet up and drink.

Delighted diverse women drinking coffee
Delighted diverse women drinking coffee (Photo via Envato Elements)

After the bean was discovered to have energizing effects in Ethiopia by a goat herder, the knowledge and use of it slowly spread around the world, according to the National Coffee Association. Monks used it to stay awake late into the night for prayers in a nearby monastery. Later, it was served in coffee houses where people met to socialize.

Not only did the patrons drink coffee and engage in conversation, but they also listened to music, watched performers, played chess and kept current on the news. Coffee houses quickly became such an important center for the exchange of information that they were often referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise.’

National Coffee Association


As time went on, the drink as well as its social aspect evolved. Cultures around the the globe began taking the bean and making their own traditions that center around it.

Woman Drinking Coffee in Coffeeshop
Woman Drinking Coffee in Coffeeshop (photo via Envato Elements)

For example, Café de Olla is a traditional Mexican coffee beverage. The drink is prepared in a traditional earthen clay pot, as this gives a special flavor to the the drink.

The social aspect of the drink in certain areas have gone from something to drink and bond over to a casual everyday necessity. People make their coffee at home or get it in a drive through. Socializing is no longer a part of the tradition in Western society. However, this is not the case everywhere.

Two people sitting together drinking coffee.
Two people sitting together drinking coffee. (Image by Pixabay) 


Dutch Bro’s Coffee has a different approach to serving the community caffeine. The company, starting in 1992, still uses the drink as a social tool and a way to bring the community together. Making conversation over the drink is how the company started.

We may sell coffee, but we’re in the relationship business.

Dutch Bro’s Coffee

Dane and Travis Boersma began with a single stand in the middle of their community and got to know their neighbors. By doing this, they took caffeine back to its roots and socialized it again. 

Dutch Bro’s Coffee focuses on the relationships that come from the same people frequenting the same coffee house. They look at what can grow from speaking to the same customers everyday.

In certain areas, you can find Dutch Bro’s Coffee houses where people come in and sit down and listen to music and discuss different topics. Additionally, the drive-throughs also have some echo of the original social aspect of the drink. People come through the line to feel seen and heard in the community. They get this by frequenting the same locations and developing relationships there.

By brining back the original benefit of the social tool that the caffeinated drink can be, Dutch Bro’s strengthens the community they reside in. People come through and can unload the stress of the day to people who care, and truly listen.

The employees here have made my day every day for the last year and a half. They celebrate my successes and mourn my losses with me.

Anonymous Customer

While most Dutch Bro’s locations are still drive-throughs, the cultural aspect is still present. People can still travel to meet up and connect over caffeine.

Barista serves various drinks sold at Dutch Bro's Coffee while demonstrating the inviting atmosphere.
Barista serves various drinks sold at Dutch Bro’s. (Image courtesy Dutch Bro’s Northern Colorado)



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