1. Find a coffee shop that has dim lighting, no outlets, shitty WiFi, no established store hours, the tiniest succulents you’ve ever seen, and, most importantly, can’t be found on Yelp.
2. Dress the part: wool beanie (no matter the temperature), earth tones, and a disdained, expressionless look.
3. Get over the fact that the baristas aren’t in green aprons. They should all be wearing glasses and should be dressed so casually in band t-shirts and/or all black, that at first you aren’t confident that these people are employees or just hanging out around the counter.
4. If the manager doesn’t have a bird feather tattoo somewhere on their forearm, the place isn’t hip enough.
5. There’s obviously not going to be a public menu of drinks, so approach the counter confidently and ask about the origins of their coffee beans instead.
6. Say you really prefer imported beans from Ecuador, but you can settle for anything from Central Europe if you must.
7. To really cover up the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about, throw in a muttered “fuck Fair Trade though, am I right?”
8. Don’t ask about the music playing. You definitely haven’t heard of them and you definitely aren’t going to be able to buy their CD at the counter.
9. Order an espresso shot. Adding milk—even if it’s soy or coconut—will give you up as an outsider. Also, according to the barista you’re talking to, this place is really more of an espresso bar rather than a “coffee shop” anyway, so good choice.
10. Be prepared to wait. Zander, the guy with the blonde ponytail who is in charge of the grinder, is writing his first coming-of-age novel in his black Moleskin. Once he really nails the symbolism of why his male protagonist drinks whiskey, he’ll get to you.
11. But while you’re waiting, you absolutely cannot go on your phone. Even if it’s a slightly cracked iPhone. Just look as emotionless and bored as the people around you. Blend in. Stare at the wall, don’t make eye contact with Zander—he doesn’t like to feel rushed.
12. As you’re walking to sit down with your mason jar (obviously your drink is in a mason jar), refrain from making eye contact with anyone.
13. Do, however, make sure your face is of pure and utter disgust when you see someone either eating a muffin or publicly scrolling on Facebook. You’re here to either write a screenplay or finish Infinite Jest—why the fuck would you come here to eat or go on social media? What even is the point of the internet?
14. Sit down somewhere where the natural lighting can really accentuate your broodiness.
15. Never leave. Sit in that spot for hours and days until you are silently accepted into their hipster clan. Then, never go back.