Jeannie and I have watched many Hallmark movies over the last 1 year or so as it sort of gave us a sense of being closer to our daughter, Laura: who was studying in the U.S.
Most of the cafes depicted in those movies were small, able to accommodate 15 – 20 people at any one time businesses. People usually had coffee to go, on their way to work; or on their way home after work. The baristas, waitresses and waiters usually knew all their customers by name. And so did the customers, they knew each other, too.
Apparently, Decatur, Illinois, is not that small a town as it is made out to be.
Laura and her college mate Pete; were going to grab coffee and do some work there. She asked if Jeannie and I would like to tag along.
Apart from the usual very commercial, run-of-the-mill “Pak HaiLam”, “OldTown”, “NewTown”, “Railway line” and “Setarbak” (1) which we are usually accustom to, we popped in at “Coffee Connection”.
Coffee Connection was not quite as what we (more like I) would have expected, which was a small set-up with some old fashion charm. Old fashion charm includes lots of wood with some leather thrown in here and there for some good measure. The setting / atmosphere was modern, with a sit-in arrangement for about 35 people.
Definitely a place where one could get some serious work done. There was a good age group mix of people when we were there. Some of whom were like us, were there working on their computers and other devices.
There were a couple of others who seem to want to resonate with the original form of writing, no not chisel and stone; but pen and paper.
Aside from work or college assignments; people were there just to chill (pun intended) with outside temperatures at -6deg C. The coffee and beverage menu offering was wide and have met most peoples’ requests. You can order from a nice selection of cakes and cookies to go with the beverages. Laura and Pete ordered their usual as they are regular customers there.
Jeannie and I ordered their house signature coffee. There was a choice of 4 house specials. The barista explained the 4 variants and suggested a couple of choices to us . Jeannie had the more traditional mocha coffee. Tasted as good as it looked.
I had a peppermint coffee variant. Smooth. As you take a sip of this coffee, the peppermint reaches your senses first, relaxing you as you take in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, which then perks you up. Then, you take the next sip…and the next…and the next.
We busied ourselves with our own work and things, sitting inside a comfortable place, nice atmosphere with Christmas songs softly playing through small speakers in the background. The city of Decatur stares at us through the cafe’s wide glass frontal, shivering in its very windy -6deg C temperature.
Coffee Connection is the closest we re going to get to a Hallmarks movie type café. So far. This café is worth visiting again. Now, to zoom into the Christmas festivities here..🎄🎅
1. Mainly popular “kopitiams” (mainly refers to Chinese coffee shops) brands in Malaysia. Setarbak Kopi is based in Kelantan, an eastern state in Peninsular Malaysia.