Let me go one step further in this truthful confession.
I love looking up coffee shops, I drive out of my way to go to different ones I find. I love it. Road trips become adventures in between these shops. I find the culture around coffee to be homey and welcoming. Each one has its own unique thing. Something that sets it apart from all the others. I like the very put together ones, the long established, tried-and-true. Yet there is something so spectacular about the one-off’s, the ones that you aren’t sure what to think about.
The truth of it? Each one has faithful followers. It has people that come in and devote time and money into it. They all have their ‘regular’s, the people who’s lives they know about.
And I think that is amazing! I love stepping into each world. For that is the honesty of it-each shop is its own world. That’s what we like so much about it. We love the feeling it gives us. The smell of home that coffee brings to us. You walk in and you feel like you’re a part of something, there is a camaraderie that comes with the coffee culture.
That is what I enjoy.
All this to lead into today’s story.
Today I drove home from Jacksonville. So naturally I looked up a coffee place I could go to before going home. I found one that I was interested in, it was a bit out of the way, I figured, why not go? There was nothing else on today’s agenda.
The Urban Bean Coffeeehouse Café.
It is a marvelous place. Big enough that you feel you have space to move, but not so much that you get lost in it. I walked in and instantly felt a sense of belonging.
They had an extensive menu, all sorts of drinks and treats and food to enjoy.
I got what I normally get when I go out. A black and white mocha. I like to get the same thing, so I can really taste the difference of all the kinds I have.
This cafe also had pastries-I love it when they do. I got a cinnamon roll and I was so excited. I shared with the barista ringing me out that I would get the big size because I was driving home today. She understood and there was a slight moment of bonding.
I go and wait for my drink. There was one barista making drinks on bar, and a couple of people who had ordered ahead of me. I knew that I would be waiting a few minutes. Again, no big deal, I wasn’t in any kind of rush.
So, I stood to the side and watched him make the drinks, I noticed the different interactions of customers, baristas and the rest of the patrons. People watching is at it’s best in coffee shops. There was a customer who I recognized. Not from knowing her personally, but I knew her sort. She walked with an air of entitlement. The baristas seemed to know her, and I got quite a few glares from her. I simply found them humorous. I wasn’t standing in her way and I was not looking to take her spot.
The barista did an excellent job of keeping things going and I was mesmerized watching the different ways he made things. Smaller coffee shops make all their drinks differently-especially from Starbucks.
One by one drinks got handed and called out, I got a chance to look around and take everything in. He got to my drink, I knew it had to be mine. And from watching him I knew what was coming.
He called out my name while looking at me. It was obvious it was mine-I was the only person left. And as I predicted he apologized for my wait. Then it was my turn to be so Brittany.
“It’s all good, I was enjoying watching you.”
Awkward cookie. That’s me. Goodness gracious. Thankfully I have no trouble admitting things.
“I didn’t mean that in a creepy way, just that I’m a barista and I enjoy watching how people make drinks.”
Thank You Jesus. He gave me that response. And wouldn’t you know it-a perfect Segway into a conversation. Listen, it really is the best way to start. Awkwardly. It can only go up from there, it breaks the ice and gives you something to talk about.
He laughed and asked me where I am a barista. I told him Starbucks and that I enjoy going to the non-chain coffee shops and see how they make drinks. I said how I believe it’s more of an art than the recipes of Starbucks. He kindly disagreed, and I went on my way.
I had to laugh the whole way out. What an awkward cookie I can be. But you know what? Welcome to the world of Brittany. I wouldn’t change it for the world.