| by Kenneth Chase | 61 comments

Is Instagram to blame for why coffee shops everywhere look the same?

All over the world something strange is
happening coffee shops everywhere are starting to look the same. We’re in a coffee shop in Brooklyn and it has a look you probably recognize hanging light bulbs, natural light,
exposed wood, potted plants This look has started to travel. We went to four coffee
shops on four continents to understand why. And there’s a reason that it’s
happening right now. I’m Preeti Varathan, this is Quartz. — And I just started seeing that whether I was in New York or LA or Berlin or Beijing or kind of any city… Kyle Chayka is a reporter who writes about design. and a few years ago he
started noticing this trend. — Each city had its own version of this generic cafe it was this kind of combination of reclaimed wood and Edison bulbs and big
windows. How did this happen? Well, the story starts with something we’re all familiar with Starbucks They created this idea that coffee could be a
classier commodity than it was before. Starbucks taught Americans that coffee
wasn’t just fuel. That coffee shops could be a place where people eat and drink and slow down. Starbucks made coffee a luxury
experience. We will give you a tray. We will give you sparkling water with everything. We want it to be a full experience. And as Starbucks went global it spread that expectation around the world. Meanwhile in the late 2000s in the U.S. a design trend is growing that really
values original materials and authenticity and rawness. — And that kind
of bleeds into the Brooklyn culture that’s starting to emerge around 2006. And then that hits right into the financial crisis which draws everyone’s eye back to these Brooklyn hipster nostalgic look which kind of was super
lo-fi. — As you enter in our cafe you can feel… wood, concrete, steel and light. And while it’s debatable where this look actually originated. it comes to be associated
with one place. Brooklyn, New York. — It’s a very New York, Brooklyn-y vibe. And then something happens that
allows this look to spread around the world. — Silicon Valley suddenly becomes a huge force in cultural life. Visual social media becomes a
major part of our day-to-day lives. — Instagram I think was the first major
social media platform to focus almost solely on images. So it kind of created this
internet culture of taking and sharing photos in real time. — I came here because
the blogger posted some photos when she was in Paris and I really like the vibes
of the coffee shop. — And so it creates this homogenized aspiration. Everyone aspires for the same symbols of luxury at the same time. As that Brooklyn look proliferates across social media it gets refined down to its most
Instagram-able elements; a nostalgic stripped back luxury minimalism. — Those digital spaces are really amenable to the minimalist aesthetic because the web is kind of empty and blank anyway and you want these like super clean images
that only have a few objects in them because they’re more legible on a screen. That’s when you start to see the rise of the luxury minimalists vibe. That’s how coffee shops around the world came to look the same. But if you ask Kyle this is just the beginning. Because it isn’t just coffee shops around the world that are starting to look the same. Social media has changed whole neighborhoods too. — Technology and social media is shaping
the physical world. In places with these kinds of coffee shops, mini “Brooklyns” are popping up. — Bandra is also called the “Brooklyn of Mumbai”. The minimalist Brooklyn coffee
shop look probably won’t be the last global design trend. And places around the world might start to look more and more the same.



Apr 4, 2019, 7:42 pm Reply

If you just have to give a small big idea that really helps to start a cafeteria in such kind of a place where people really don't understand the concepts like minimalism, simplicity, solitude, peace etc.. what that idea or suggestion it will be ?

Any comments will be appreciated.
Thanking you.


Apr 4, 2019, 12:24 am Reply

i used to work near here lol 2:48

Rishon Singh

Apr 4, 2019, 12:34 am Reply

bangalore metro


Apr 4, 2019, 12:50 am Reply

Starbuckification of ‘independent’ shops

B • T

Apr 4, 2019, 1:42 am Reply

I dont really care what the coffee shops look like i just go there to buy coffee and enjoy it!

mubarek Daha

Apr 4, 2019, 2:29 pm Reply

U call this news

Sarah Delfino

Apr 4, 2019, 4:59 pm Reply

One word- Italy

I agree that it isn't ideal to only have the same looking coffee shops around the world. Unique coffee shops are better and good! 

But I don't think Starbucks started this at all. I don't have enough research to say where it started but I know it wasn't Starbucks. 

My point about Italy is that sure there may be a few of these generic coffee shops in the large cities (the touristy ones) but in mid-sized places, there aren't coffee shops like this. Also the sparkling water thing is Italian. Starbucks didn't do this and it's annoying to attribute this to Starbucks!

Moos Mensch

Apr 4, 2019, 7:39 pm Reply

I really like that Instagram aesthetic, especially if it's combined with lots of plants.🌿🌵


Apr 4, 2019, 2:55 am Reply

Visit KFC in Beijing, any branch, it looks exactly like a coffee shop

Jeremy Heartriter

Apr 4, 2019, 11:59 am Reply

But wasn't Starbucks supposed to be for common people??


Apr 4, 2019, 7:18 pm Reply

Poorly informed in terms of history of graphic and interior design, in terms of mobility (people travelling who see the idea and copy it)… Scandinavia, Mexico, Berlin, World traveler's are all major influences in this design.

Paul glandy

Apr 4, 2019, 1:51 am Reply

Do you think this looked travel from Brooklyn. Please, spare me.

Paul glandy

Apr 4, 2019, 1:52 am Reply

Starbucks failed in Australia because they were far too Mc Donalds quality. No class, no quality..

Walter S.

May 5, 2019, 5:29 am Reply

No different from a small town coffee shop I visited in the 90's east coast USA that was non Star Bucks; and 2003 Oakland, California coffee shop. Not sure what's the fuss.


May 5, 2019, 3:00 pm Reply

Thank aint my Brooklyn. That's that hipster yuppie bullshit gentrification Brooklyn.


May 5, 2019, 5:12 am Reply

I believe its caused by globalization. Big cities these days also look all the same. Mc Donald, Starbucks, Uber, etc.


May 5, 2019, 5:12 am Reply

I thought this design was Australian, the capital city of Melbourne


May 5, 2019, 5:44 am Reply

Tunnel vision. Coffee is a whole world not this.

Lyndi Loo

May 5, 2019, 12:01 am Reply

The research on this video is minimalist … to none.


May 5, 2019, 10:00 pm Reply

The guy's vocal fry is getting on my nerves.


May 5, 2019, 11:50 pm Reply

Raw and polished wood is nice.
Good to see that the good things spread faster now !


May 5, 2019, 6:39 pm Reply

All of these channels literally look the same

phumelele makhoba

May 5, 2019, 8:03 am Reply

Quartz, please don't be Buzzfeed with the weak titles and content. Abeg. 💔

Teri G

May 5, 2019, 8:39 am Reply

That guy sounds like he's being strangled to sleep somehow.

Olya Shablykina

May 5, 2019, 4:54 pm Reply

Coffee bo

choo wyng

May 5, 2019, 3:46 pm Reply

I swear to God these coffee shops cost so much in my country, they all look almost generic at this point, and you can barely differentiate between each shop.

Dyon Lemmen | LLN

May 5, 2019, 6:31 am Reply

Not every trend is started in the United States.


May 5, 2019, 2:38 pm Reply

You are now less intelligent after watching this video.


May 5, 2019, 11:44 pm Reply

I've never been to a coffee shop that looks like that


May 5, 2019, 3:08 pm Reply

Is it just me or is there only music?

Jamaican MeCrazy

May 5, 2019, 4:29 am Reply

Seems more like a hipster trend.


May 5, 2019, 3:09 pm Reply

In The Netherlands there’s Coffee Company, a chain that had this look already in 1996. This interior look is more Bauhaus inspired than actually “Brooklyn”. This documentary was so poorly researched… 😳


May 5, 2019, 3:13 pm Reply

What Melbourne coffee? When? I thought it was the European migrants that brought it there. There was already an intense café culture in all main European cities more than 150 years ago…


Jun 6, 2019, 12:17 am Reply

i like this content.


Jun 6, 2019, 4:08 pm Reply

Coffee shops in Amsterdam look much different trust me


Jun 6, 2019, 4:12 pm Reply

Do they actually think Americans start everything? … This is simple minimalist design.

golden kookie

Jun 6, 2019, 1:00 pm Reply

I’m so sick and tired of Australia being swept under the rug for its “invention”. sorry but Australia and Melbourne specifically started this whole trend but y’all only wanna recognise Melrose Avenue and all that bs??


Jun 6, 2019, 11:59 pm Reply

The financial crisis brought everyone back to nostalgia that started 2 years before in Brooklyn? Wtf!?!

Brooklyn is so lame


Jun 6, 2019, 10:12 pm Reply

europeans and australians won't like this video

Al Chang

Jun 6, 2019, 1:47 am Reply

Had to downvote this video for making me listen to vocal fry-guy.

C Miller

Jun 6, 2019, 2:04 am Reply

damn hipsters…


Jul 7, 2019, 11:09 am Reply

What happened to being unique? 😮

Paul Corona

Jul 7, 2019, 1:56 pm Reply

I wish I wasn't so poor to be noticing things like these around the world. 👌🔥👌

Scat Lacquer

Jul 7, 2019, 4:08 pm Reply

I don't go to these places but this is fascinating. When I first seen this design trend I immediately thought of Scandinavian – Sweden, Norway and Denmark minimalist design for residential and office spaces added with indoor plants from vegetarian and DIY indoor garden-kitchen. What Brooklyn, NY originated was the raw bricks and mural paintings. But I hope local coffee shops find there own identities through their commercial spaces to make them authentic and raw than go for a trend.


Jul 7, 2019, 8:40 pm Reply

terrible video, trash channel. bad bad bad. get outta here ya turban


Jul 7, 2019, 6:07 am Reply

Starbucks got "their inspiration" from the Meditteranean coffee shops, where people don't grab their coffee & doughnuts then leave. Starbucks never started it, only spread it to the previously come-and-go places established in many places.

edward graveline

Jul 7, 2019, 6:54 am Reply

Thank god for trouble coffee in sf


Jul 7, 2019, 8:49 am Reply

So people go to cofee shop to instagral WTF???

Amy Bell

Jul 7, 2019, 8:25 am Reply

This is a really sad thing, that cultures are being lost because of social media

Your Momma

Jul 7, 2019, 4:44 pm Reply

We give you a tray and sparkling water.

We give you the whole experience.

Uh okay…

Celena Liu

Jul 7, 2019, 4:29 am Reply

Blame hipsters and gentrification and globalization of American capitalist franchises

Franz Papai

Jul 7, 2019, 7:28 pm Reply

Budapest's Ruin Pubs


Sep 9, 2019, 11:08 pm Reply

Not just coffee shops, even people's homes

f Forecast

Sep 9, 2019, 9:47 am Reply

Sucks that I like coffee shops but not this look

nick castellanos

Sep 9, 2019, 9:33 pm Reply

La Candelaria, Bogota, Colombia

Eldon Phukuile

Oct 10, 2019, 12:38 pm Reply

Coffee shops in Amsterdam look different and sell a different product

Benjamin Browning

Oct 10, 2019, 4:07 pm Reply

I like the way coffee shops look… Dislike and not finishing this video

Hannad Osman

Oct 10, 2019, 12:34 am Reply

It's called the hipster effect where authenticity gets so diluted that everything starts to look the same. That's why coffee shops, hipster, hypbeasts, neighborhoods etc. looks the same

Annnie A

Oct 10, 2019, 4:16 pm Reply

Korean coffee shops are completely different. 😭

lucky daharwal

Nov 11, 2019, 9:21 am Reply


Wf Dy

Nov 11, 2019, 7:08 am Reply

Social media us the culprit !!

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