What is Cafe Graffiti?
The idea of Cafe Graffiti was founded on a lazy, lazy, lazy workday by Nadine, Niveen and Hanna. “Let’s start a cafe,” mused Nadine during one of their sacred cigarette breaks. The three wondered how different life would be if they had spent half the time they do analyzing Pampers sales on a project of their own.
The fourth co-owner, Smaah, would later join the team, and those four muskiteers would give life to the idea of a cafe in Jordan where every visitor can have an impact, no matter how small. “People write whatever comes to their mind on our walls. It happens so often that there was once a serious heated debate between two guys on our wall. It was hilarious!” tells us Nadine.
The four business graduates fit together perfectly. Nadine is a cupcake baking fanatic, Hanna is the best cook they know and Niveen and Smaah were the best at devouring whatever Nadine and Hanna came up wth in their kitchen. The four had a perfect system when it came to what is accepted and what goes out when it came to the cafe’s design, menu and overall feel.
When we asked Nadine about how they transformed it from an idea to a reality, this is what she had to say:
“The Cafe project started at first at the coffee break room in a market research agency. And in those day dreaming/brain storming sessions, the concept was putting Central Perk from Friends into life, where the place has a comfortable seating, snacks and real coffee. Its a place where people considered it their public sitting room.
Graffiti Cafe was a solution for those who want to work, those who want a space to be creative, and those who are out because of boredom. A place for ordinary people to feel special.”
Nadine tells us that the four had trouble finding the perfect location. They wanted something in Jabal Amman. It’s where Amman was ‘happening’ at the time. Unfortunately, rents were absurdly high, and the Jabal Amman idea was shelved. The small team turned their faces towards the emerging area of Al-Lweibdeh to find a more suitable host for their project. The moment they laid their eyes at what was then an office, they knew it’s exactly where Cafe Graffiti should be.
<The above picture was painted in Cafe Graffiti by Suhaib Attar. We covered him here.>
“Cafe Graffiti is a name that fits a living room,” tells us Nadine. It’s no ordinary living room, though, as this sleek cafe “represents the area that this living room is at, and yet represents the city at the same time”.
With the unstable political situation in the neighboring countries, and people starting to leave stenciled works of expressions around the citym, the four found the name Graffiti is perfect for the time and place.
Nadine tells us more about Graffiti;
“Graffiti, as a form of art is rebel art is used to express what is suppressed, and it usually takes the identity of the location that it is presented in. its is available everywhere, and anywhere. It takes all sizes and shapes and colors. It either fits its location or it crowds it depending on what it has to say!”
Nadine tells us how Graffiti also very much takes the identity of the artist. The artists are rebels that want things to be better, and thus express themselves differently in different situations. Nadine explains that Graffiti artists are not the anarchists everyone thinks they are. They just chose a different way to say things … and that it self is very much like the four of us!
Not surprisingly, Nadine, Niveen, Smaah and Hanna wanted to rebel against the system in their own way. They wanted to rise against the expectations of having a day job, working for scavengers who boss them around all for a day’s wage.
“We wanted to nourish our ambitions… And definitely wanted to climb Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and not only reach self actualization but be able to give backto society,” adds Nadine. Graffiti as a name would make everything customizable, from furniture to the way people are served. Its a matter of perspective and through time this customization is key to creativity.
THINGS YOU MUST TRY
Graffiti Overdose: This drink is a cup of American coffee (filter coffee) that is tailored with the aroma of roasted hazelnuts topped with a shot of espresso to bring this coffee to life!
Graffiti Espresso: This espresso has a twist to it, condensed milk is added to it to break its bitterness and leave behind a taste of rich sweet coffee that will water a coffee lovers mouth for the whole day.
The Young & the Restless: one of Graffiti Cafe’s specialty drinks, where the regular latte is dressed to perfection with white chocolate and roasted hazelnut flavor.
Pink Late: Its not really pink! But whats better than strawberries and cream in your coffee?! And guess what? White chocolate too!
Iced Tea: Graffiti Cafe’s iced tea is definitely a specialty, with its chilled tea flavored with real fruit puree.