Coffee Shops

Here's Why This New App Is Being Called The Tinder Of Coffee Shops

I first realized I was no longer a "Colorado girl" when I went to a coffee shop in my hometown after being away for about eight years.

After spending so much time in Massachusetts and then New York City, something was bound to change -- I just didn’t know what, until my father saw the dismayed look on my face when I realized there was only one coffee shop around for miles as the Starbucks near our neighborhood was temporarily closed for renovations.

“You are such a New Yorker now,” he said, and I get it -- if you live in cities like New York or Los Angeles, you likely have a bounty of excellent coffee shops to choose from for your morning brew.

But what about when you’re traveling, or find yourself in a less bustling town?

Worry not, caffeine addicts, because a Dutch team has developed a new app that is being hailed as the Tinder of Coffee: "Coffee Shots."

The free app is meant to help coffee drinkers find both novice and professional baristas alike who are a) nearby and b) willing to make a cup of coffee for a stranger. This means that Coffee Shots users are just as likely to end up enjoying a cappuccino on a stranger’s living room couch as they are to be led to the nearest local hole-in-the-wall.

Basically, users download the app (which is available on phones and tablets using iOS and Android) and then create their personal profile, and link their credit card or PayPal account. Servers specify their location, their machinery, and create a menu; users rely on the app’s geolocator to find servers and request a visit. Once approved, users receive address details.

While servers have the chance to price their own menus, Coffee Shots suggests prices for specific drinks; additionally, Coffee Shots keeps 20 percent of the fee.

“Would we ever be a threat to the coffee business? I don’t think we would, but we are very quality-driven, so we might be a threat to poor-quality coffee,” Arnoud Kruiver, Coffee Shots’ chief roasting officer, told Sprudge.

“Where [coffee’s] the core business, we won’t ever be a threat… But there are a lot of businesses in the Netherlands where the coffee is on the side, and there, yeah, I would skip those to go to a home barista any time.”

In cities like New York and L.A., excellent coffee is rarely more than a few blocks away. But what if you’re stuck on a highway or hiking across the country? Or on vacation in a tourist trap of a town in Europe? Enter the new app Coffee Shots.

Co-founder Arnoud Aalbersberg added: “... Thirty years ago it was very normal for your kitchen door to be unlocked, and your neighbor would walk around your house, open the door, say, ‘Hello. Hey, let’s have a coffee.’”

“[Our hope is to] bring that back by facilitating the [ritual] in a modern way.”