People drink coffee differently in different parts of the world. Traveling though America, almost every shop you visit will make your drink in a cardboard cup. Occasionally, you are lucky if the coffee in your cup came from real beans. It’s not always consistent, but every coffee lover has their favorite shop.
Outside the states it is a little different. Finding good coffee to go in Belgium is difficult, and not only because Starbucks are almost exclusively in airports or train stations. This varies slightly country to country, but for the most part, coffee houses are an experience, not a simple stop.
It’s hard to determine which coffee shop style I like better. I miss the quick stop to get a latte on my way to work, but I enjoy sitting and enjoying the atmosphere as well. During my trip to Edinburgh last summer, I fell in love with their coffee houses. Maybe it was knowing I was sitting in the exact same place where JK Rowling had worked on parts of the Harry Potter series, and the delusion that perhaps I was soaking up left over inspiration. Maybe it simply the relaxation that comes with being on vacation. Either way, I felt a fire lit beneath my creativity, pushing through the pieces of my broken heart, knowing I would likely never be able to visit again.
I wanted to return, or even better get my own local coffee house where I could occasionally work. One month ago, that dream became a reality. A short, five minute walk from my front door is a new neighborhood coffee shop, Brogela.
First off, I have no idea what the name means. I assume it is a play on the name of my tiny town, but Google translate can’t help me.
Six months ago, this lovely little shop didn’t exist. Instead, it was an open room with a variety of vending machines. Looking inside now, you can slightly see the conversion. Cement floors have been left, and imprints where machines used to live are on the floor. However, they added a bakery, windows, and a variety of delicious coffees.
I can admit it, I was a little scared to go on my own the first time. I had so many hopes for a place I could work when I needed to get out of the house. There was a lot of pressure on this little visit. My daughters were more than happy to accompany me to check the place out.
Now, I am not exactly a coffee purist, but I did choose to keep it simple with a chocolate cappuccino. Sure, I could have gone with a plain cappuccino, but when you are in Belgium and they offer to put their amazing chocolate in or on something, you take it.
Big one chose a Mars Latte, delicious coffee with excessive whip cream, caramel, and miniature Mars Bars. Somehow it still wasn’t sweet enough for her. I try not to worry, but I think it’s warranted here.
Little One chose a similar option, the Snickers Latte. It was kind of cool to see the caramel melting down into the drink in little trails.
Between the three of us, we all agreed it was a great place, one we will continue to visit. On my own, I’m almost afraid to try to work there. I want my coffee shop work space, but it is so different from what I already do. Trying something new could be brilliant, or it could be a disaster. Either way, I will only be living near this particular shop for another six months. If I hate it, oh well, it was a failed experiment. If I love it, it doesn’t matter, because it is temporary. Sure, maybe I could write the best works of my life, but then I would leave and always wonder if it was me or the shop. Maybe Dumbo flew without his feather, but we’re not all flying elephants.
In spite of the potential risks, I think I’ll have to try. After all, big risks, big results, right? Time to get me a good cup of coffee.