The 20th century Mediterranean tradition of coffee shops being a place for reunions and community is gaining momentum. Maybe it was Starbucks that popularized the craze, but without a doubt it’s been small coffee shops across the nation that have cemented it in our culture. We no longer think of coffee as a fast-paced, productive task, rather it has become an occasion for sitting down and enjoying the moment. Coffee shops are not just places to drink coffee, they are sanctuaries to relax, sip coffee, talk, work and just be. Because of this, there are two essential elements for a coffee shop: the coffee and the ambience.
We can assume that you already have the coffee part covered. You are in charge of preparing the best espressos and baking mind-blowing pastries. So we are here to make sure that your ambience is spot on by getting the most from your coffee shop’s music.
Coffee shop music essentials
There is no one size fits all when we talk about coffeehouse music but there are some basic guidelines to help you choose. Coffee shop music should be entertaining enough to distract those who are not doing anything, but light enough to let those who are doing things concentrate and not be bothered by it.
So, stop for a moment. Think about it. What does your neighborhood look like and who is your audience? At the end of the day, coffee shops are a part of the community and the music should reflect it.
When it comes down to it, it’s not really about trying to stand out, but rather about creating the perfect atmosphere. We don’t become regulars at a café because of its quirks, but rather because it touches that sweet spot we are looking for: the perfect coffee shop makes us feel at home.
With this in mind, there are plenty of SoundMachine stations for all kinds of needs.
The tranquility and good vibes that folk and pop music have are classics of coffeehouse music. With artist like Band of Horses, First Aid Kit or José González we can find the soothing sounds of classics from hipster folk and Americana in Indie Folk. Acoustic Pop is a great choice for those who want to connect with younger audiences while keeping the acoustic element, with artists like Fifth Harmony, Ed Sheeran or Shawn Mendes.
Jazz is one of the favorites when talking about coffee shop music. We have a variety of jazz stations, from 50s/60s Jazz and 50s/60s Vocal Jazz to the somewhat quirky sounds of Jazz A La Gitanes for those who want a unique sound that gives them more personality.
If jazz is not your jam, there are alternatives. The Modern Lounge station is geared towards new sounds. It’s not your typical coffeehouse music but provides a distinctive and real sound.
For those who want to connect with their young-adult customers and create a space where music is an active participant, somewhere for talking and drinking rather than for studying, they can find the perfect station in 90s-10s Adult Contemporary.
Coffee shop music is not limited to a few genres. If your usual customers are more middle-aged you can try 80s Soft Rock to make it a little more accessible to them. 60s Bossa Nova, on the other hand, works perfectly for any type of coffee house, but it’s especially suited to those who want a slightly more sophisticated ambience.
In the Business Premium tier, SoundMachine has a couple of stations that are specifically created for coffee shops. Jazzy Calm Café, for example, is sophisticated, with a heavy bossa acoustic sound, while the tracks are international, both old and new.
Acoustic Café is your definitive station for acoustic café music, with artists like Jack Johnson and Kara Marni. Similarly, we can take a little detour to the past with The Birth of the Singer-Songwriter station, sticking with folk but going to its roots to find the purest lyrics and guitar sounds.
If your coffee shop is a place frequented by young hipsters that tend to come for a chat, you can try the Chill Alternative station, with artists like Slowdive or Iron & Wine. For a slightly older audience, The Softest Rock Ever station delivers a warm feeling that can perfectly accompany a warm cup of coffee.
Nowadays there are acoustic covers of all types of music. We have selected the best of the best: Modern Pop Covers and Acoustic Hip Hop Covers, all transformed into the best coffee shop music.
Ready to try them all out?
Sign up here for a free trial and start playing the best music, mixing the stations and nailing your coffee shop vibe.