I am sure most Americans know all about coffee and coffeehouses. This posting is directed to my Vietnamese friends and readers.
I have posted previously about cà phê and cafés in Việt Nam here and here and here. Vietnamese cafés usually serve only coffee, sodas, and fruit drinks and no food. There is rarely any take-out service, and Vietnamese view cafés as a place to relax and enjoy coffee and conversation. Vietnamese cafés often exhibit a high sense of design and are quite large.
American coffeehouses are usually small (much smaller than Vietnamese cafés) and serve the majority of food and drink as take-out items. This coffeehouse in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California, is a typical example.
This coffeehouse has a high volume of customers throughout the day,
but most don't stay and relax. In the early morning, there are many customers lined up for coffee, but the seating remains largely unused.
These customers are on their way to work, and buy coffee drinks and pastries to consume during their commute or upon arrival at their workplace. I am sure my Vietnamese friends would say to my American neighbors: "Why not take this opportunity to relax a bit and prepare yourself for work -- better yet, meet your coworkers in the cafe and set the agenda for the day while relaxing over coffee."