"Compared to a relatively quiet environment (50 decibels), a moderate level of ambient noise (70 dB) enhanced subjects’ performance on the creativity tasks, while a high level of noise (85 dB) hurt it. Modest background noise, the scientists explain, creates enough of a distraction to encourage people to think more imaginatively."
Study to be taken with a grain of salt suggests crowded coffee shops might boost creativity
. For a much more historically validated role of coffee houses in innovation, see Steven Johnson on where good ideas come from
and how English cafés sparked the exchange of essential Renaissance ideas. (via explore-blog