Friends enjoy their morning coffee and the newspaper at Peet's Coffee and Tea on Main Street on Thursday.

(photo by Brandon Wise)

MAIN STREET — A woman hops out of a black car as it pulls over outside the Edgemar building on Main Street. It’s 9 a.m., and she’s in a hurry to get to work. One important errand comes first, however.

Inside Peet’s Coffee and Tea, her foot twitches as she waits in line. Finally, she hurries to the counter.

“How are you doing?” asks a man in a black apron. “The usual? Two large iced coffees?”

The woman nods gratefully. Her order is ready in seconds, and she rushes outside to her getaway car.

The door shuts gently behind her, and the beep of the cash register is punctuated by the noise of the drawer sliding open and shut. Most tables inside the cafe are occupied by at least one person reading, using a laptop or chatting with other patrons.

A girl dressed in a bright halter-top murmurs worriedly to herself as she taps away on her laptop. After a few moments, she hands a pair of lost and found sunglasses to the man behind the counter.

“We have the triple threat here,” he remarks as he stirs a drink. He greets and chats with each customer as he takes their orders.

An employee straightens and wipes the station where patrons can add cream and sugar to their drinks. At 9:15, it already looks well-used by harried customers.

“I had to take my son to the pool yesterday,” says a man wearing sunglasses despite the gray morning and the fact that he’s indoors. “Within 10 minutes, a guy with a net comes out. You know what that means — time to scoop the poop!”

A woman in a striped helmet secures her bike outside. Muscles bulging under a layer of tattooed skin, a man waits with his arms crossed. His shirt reads “The F..k-Ups.”

“Your remaining balance is $22.75 on your card,” an employee tells one customer. “That’s not bad!”

A man with curly black hair rises from his seat at the counter to take a call. Paper rustles as his neighbor unwraps a pastry.

“Thinking hard, huh?” a man in green pants asks a girl who chews on her pen as she contemplates what to write next. He has merely gotten up to stretch his legs — he soon returns to his laptop at a table in the corner. Brimming with inspiration, she jots down a few words on her notepad seconds later.

Crumbs gather on tables and counters as the steady parade of customers continues. By 9:30, there’s no room to sit down, so patrons congregate near the front door, awaiting their drinks.

“What kind of pastry should I have?” a woman with a long black braid asks her friend, who is wearing camouflage crop pants.

A man in a wet gray T-shirt bangs the door on his way in. He carries a tan leather messenger bag under his arm.

About 10 people are waiting to order — mostly men dressed business casual. A man and a woman in flowing white shirts share a kiss near the end of the line.

“S..t, I gotta go or I’ll get a ticket,” says a man in gray shorts. He finishes his blueberry muffin and heads for the door.

Two women share a pastry and whisper conspiratorially at the windowsill. Another group of women trades gardening tips. One mother and daughter match plaid shorts and purple toenails.

“I don’t even have irrigation at my house,” one comments. “It takes a lot of money to water plants in this drought.”

A woman enters with two kids in swimsuits. A man wearing a large cross necklace and orange sunglasses chews on a toothpick as he waits to place his order.

“Starbucks?” asks a woman just entering the store. “Considering my level of grogginess, I’m trying to be over-caffeinated.”

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