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Can I get some ceramic with that! A bohemian cafe experience within Florida.

July 13, 2009

First impressions are lasting and there is a lot to be said about the first impression of a cafe. Two words come to mind when describing cafes in the US: paper and plastic. More often than not coffee will come served in a cup made from trees. Don’t expect a ceramic cup I was told by friends, because — “that means washing it”.

In my youth I had often pictured Americans to love all things coffee. I watched the TV programmes and movies where hot black coffee was poured and drunken throughout. Not only did the coffee ‘appear’ strong it came in, dare I say… ‘ceramic’. Plastic was never witnessed, nor styrofoam. And, paper was only seen as a takeout option.

But that was fiction, the reality is very different. Generally speaking the average cafe in the US comes fully equipped with plastic cutlery, plastic plates and paper cups. Virtually little if any silverware or ceramic exist. Spending time in a US cafe is like being at an indoor picnic minus the hamper. For someone unfamiliar to this style of service, it comes across as being overly informal, more particulary – unenvironmentally friendly. But that is generally speaking, not all cafes believe in this service style. Up to now finding the liberal side of US cafes has been if anything an exciting/frustrating challenge.

There are some places around, if you know where to find them, that are prepared to stand aside from the stereotypical plastic loving crowds and boldy ask you: “Do you want a ceramic cup?” Once such place is Cafe Bohemia, a name that in many ways, describes the feel of the place. Cafe Bohemia  lives in St Petersburg, close to Tampa.  It’s a city where youth is rare and age means care. A city of quiet wealth, fine arts and now bohemian cafes.

Where your coffee comes served rightly in a ceramic cup; or glass.

by Cate

by Cate

Bohemia has a lived in feel to it where you can relax into the old sofas, mull over concepts like Facebook and Twitter, and invite your much loved pets in from the heat.

by Cate

by Cate

More importantly it’s a cafe that knows how to be a cafe, makes good coffee, has an extensive selection of teas and tea infusions; and considers that some customers have limited know on the fancy labels coffee is given these days.

by Cate

by Cate

Sweet and savoury dishes are available during the day and evening; and once you have tasted and sampled the fare, there is live music. The cafe offers a place for locals to be local, and visitors to experience.

by Cate

by Cate

Cafe Bohemia is easy to find, just look for large white wooden, not paper, cup above the lime green coloured cafe front: address  937 Central Avenue, St Petersburg Florida.

Caffeinated Traveller

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11 Comments
  1. July 13, 2009 6:38 pm

    Lots of plastic around US cafes because it’s cheaper. Like you found, there are a lot of really cafes with nice selections of unique coffee blends – they’re just harder to find and tucked away.

  2. July 14, 2009 9:24 am

    I love drinking coffee, tea or hot chocolate from ceramic cups. I hope more cafes will stop serving coffee in plastic cups and become more environmentally friendly.

  3. July 14, 2009 3:14 pm

    Anil – kind of ironic really, plastic means cheap but for who? The business yes definitely not the planet. You’re right about the cafes being tucked away, sometimes hard to find but worth it when you uncover one.

    Erica – Agree. What’s it like in Sweden?

  4. July 14, 2009 6:59 pm

    Certainly not better for the planet, but most businesses only care about the money.

    • July 15, 2009 9:20 am

      True, but at least some of the smaller cafes are prepared to forego that cost.

  5. July 15, 2009 9:28 am

    I completely agree, and they should!

  6. July 15, 2009 10:09 am

    Fortunately many cafés have ceramic cups here in Sweden. I can’t even remember the last time I drank something from a plastic cup.

  7. July 15, 2009 10:27 am

    ~Sounds like you’re making time to find the unique features of your new location, Cate. I’ve enjoyed catching up on some of your Florida “finds” this morning!

  8. July 15, 2009 10:53 am

    Nice. I love coffee. They really should just hook me up to an IV with COFFEE! I never really pondered the thought that in the US, we have plastic, or a heavy paper-type cups in most cafes. I usually add mine to a ceramic travel cup for work to keep it hotter, longer.

  9. Cate permalink
    July 15, 2009 4:05 pm

    Erica – I’m looking forward to visiting Sweden…sometime soon!

    Heather – You are very welcome, drop by again when you need some more southern stories.

    Kelly – I guess if you have your own mug, you wouldn’t notice it. Your mug is even more environmentally friendly than a cafe supplying cups. Maybe that’s something we could all think about doing when we need a coffee fix – bring your own mug 🙂

  10. July 16, 2009 9:58 am

    Cate, Let me know whenever you’re planning to visit. Would be great to meet in person some day!

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