frequently overheard questions

Getting Started

Review Protocol

At Large


Getting Started

how do i become part of this community?
you must only sign up for a free account and acquaint yourself with the machinations of the site. follow this link [register] to activate your account, then watch your email box for a confirmation and welcome letter!

how do i format my entries or include images or basic html therein?
here is a [link] to our basic html tags, formatting guidelines, and image upload manager.

Review Protocol

what if there is already a review about the shop i have a text for?
that is what the ‘comment’ area of each entry is for! once a base entry has been posted for a particular establishment you may feel free to contribute your field reports as a running body of work grows for that shop. this space is intended for stand-alone texts that are just as meticulously crafted and complete as the original entries (see rebuttals). check back on your favorite shops and see differing opinions or write another text if you so fancy!

how many reviews may i post per shop?
once the initial base listing is in place any spy may write any number of subsequent texts. it is perfectly understandable that a regular patron of a shop might be compelled to break diverse experiences and musings on their home shop into a number of entries for purposes of compositional clarity and thematic weight.

may i rebut to another tableauxist’s text about a specific shop?
that depends. we conceived the site as a space for musings about cafe culture through the lens of particular shops. things will be said about places that are purely personal opinion affected by a whole host of nuances that may not be related to the shop itself. the space of reviews is for your personal thoughts on issues and qualities that interest you, not a forum for debate. you could certainly espouse your tastes and distastes vis-a-vis other writers, but be creative! an entry whose sole purpose is to decry the folly of another reviewer is in poor taste.

what if have major concerns about the ‘truth’ within the content of a review?
cafetableaux is a site for reflections and descriptions of the cafe experience. it is not a site to defend the honor of a place or to disparage the feelings of another person. if you take issue with how an author views a cafe, consider this: how are you to know what the author of the review you were condemning was going through at the time of the visit? we prefer contributions that are wholly personal. if you really care about a cafe, more than the perceived kudos you may receive by going to the mat for them by attacking cafetableaux, you may craft a rich and wonderful tableau of your memories, loves, and encounters there, and not march into our world thumping your chest.

what if i spot a mistake in the base entry for a shop?
if there is a mistake with any of the pertinent information related to a shop such as address, website, or services, please contact cafetableaux with details concerning the error.

what if a coffeehouse listed on cafe tableaux has closed down?
we would like to keep the texts composed about that defunct shop alive and as part of the compendium of cafe experiences. please contact cafetableaux and we will make a note in the entry so that future coffeetakers will not venture to imbibe there.

why are some of the reviews not actually about the places they claim to be reviewing?
cafe tableaux is a repository for texts, vignettes, and tableaux in, about, toward, and for coffee focused establishments. the importance of a particular shop to you may be that you were publickly dumped there by your lover, witnessed a police shooting on your way there, or that a barista there looked exactly like you thought you would if you were the opposite sex. each writing is a fragment of what is or was important to that person at that particular time. some days it might have been the coffee, others it might have been catastrophic internal conflict.

what types of establishments are suitable for review on cafe tableaux?
1. shops capable of making all varieties of coffee and espresso beverages.
2. establishments whose main draw is the food are most likely not cafe tableaux fodder, unless that food is not able to be consumed without said coffee, such as doughnuts, pastries, or other baked treats. use your best judgment.
3. the shops must be independently run and be place specific. a shop that has a few locations in a single city is fine, but once they start to grow too large they wear out their welcome on cafe tableaux. see question re: chains below.

why can i not review chain coffee outlets on cafe tableaux? their coffee tastes great!
that may be so, but we have a couple of reasons to keep the site focused on independent establishments:
1. they need more help getting publicity/business. although cafe tableaux is not a superpages or citysearch level operation, we have the benefit of focusing solely on coffee establishments and any publicity on the internet is better than none for most small businesses. we hope that this body of related texts will prove that there is still strength in the independent coffeeshop community and we hope to support it in any way we can!
2. although we don’t believe we can stop it, as travelers, patrons, and observers, we hope to at least take our money and support out of the game of homogenizing the planet through corporate run businesses and predatory capitalism. we believe that the excitement of finding something new, even if it is mediocre or startling, is more fulfilling than roaming through a continuous comfort zone that spans from seattle to moscow and back around.
3. the corporate places all have the same name and have thousands of locations in every city. we don’t know how to construct a database to accommodate this lack of creativity.

how do i know if the coffeeshop i want to review is a chain?
there are usually some telltale signs:
1. is it named starbucks, caribou, san francisco, etc.?
2. do they have franchise information available?
3. do they have establishments in more than one city? (this tends to mean they are hoping to grow into a chain).
4. do they have establishments in more than one state? (this tends to mean they are already a chain, run, get out!)
5. watch out for savvy professional printed graphics, rooms full of new, matching furnishings, and baristas in uniforms.
6. use your best judgment.

At Large

can i tell people about the site or share my thoughts with local shops, or is my identity covert?
you may share the site, its contents, and address as well as your identity with whomever you please! the site is clearly not private and will become more enjoyable for all as it grows in size, scope, and voice. if you feel ‘cooler’ visiting shops and scribbling notes in cryptic shorthand whilst pressing a fake moustache onto your lip with the other hand, feel free!

i own a coffeehouse and would like to have a review on your site, how do i solicit one?
cafe tableaux is not a thorough listing of all coffee shops on the planet. if you are the proprietor of a shop you can feel free to contact us with the specifics about your establishment and we will dispatch a spy to develop a base vignette. we would love for your establishment to be part of the site and we are sure you would like to see the myriad of responses spawned by your efforts. we commend your noble pursuit!

i can’t find an answer to my question!
please contact cafetableaux directly.


CAFE TABLEAUX is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.

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is a compendium of literary, anecdotal musings on coffeeshop and cafe culture.
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K&F Clinton Street K&F Clinton Street
Portland, Oregon
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Black Sheep Black Sheep
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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18th Street Coffeehouse
Santa Monica, California
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Cafe Ambrosia, Savannah, GA Cafe Ambrosia
Savannah, Georgia
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