As an Italian, I’ve always had an affinity for drinking coffee the correct way; slowly and surrounded by friends and family. To Italians coffee isn’t so much a beverage as it is an agent of socialization. You go to the bar, get a coffee and catch up on the happenings of the day. It’s a wonderful excuse to get out of the house and go chat with people but for some reason America never really got the memo.
Walk into any of the thousands of chain coffee shops and you’ll find a line of grumpy commuters glued to their phones, waiting to order a myriad of espresso-based drinks. It seems that while the affinity for espresso made its way to America, the culture that surrounds it has not.
No one interacts. No one talks to each other.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a small Wylie coffee shop that plans on changing all of that. Conversations Coffee Bar, located in the heart of Wylie’s small downtown, is a modern little coffee shop nestled inside a beautiful 80 year old home that was once, believe it or not, a cramped hair salon. (If you don’t believe me, check out the renovation picture below!)
As the name implies, this gem is centered around the idea of conversation and creates a unique space for people to hang out and reconnect. From the serene outdoor patio complete with lounging chairs and lawn games to the ice breaker videos streaming on the TVs inside the shop, everything about Conversations coffee is designed to get people chatting.
I spent just a few hours hanging out at Conversations over the weekend and the difference between it and your local coffee chain is night and day. An elderly couple strolled in and they were immediately greeted by name, their usual order already being made as they walked in. A group of friends chatting in a corner, no cellphone in sight. It was like I had been transported to a time when people actually asked each other what they had been up to rather than finding out in 140 characters or less.
I struck up a conversation with Chris Funk, Managing Partner of Conversations Coffee who had been masterfully concocting coffee creations behind the counter and after even just a few minutes of speaking with him I could tell he was the real deal when it came to coffee.
He explained that it all starts with the roast and in the case of Conversations, all their coffee comes from award-winning master roaster, Crimson Cup who toasts all of their roasts in single lots. From there some will be brewed into their nitro coffee, a shot of espresso infused with nitrogen, their cold brew, an out-of-this-world coffee that takes a full 24 hours to make, or one of their many other fabulous drinks.
Everything on the menu is spectacular and crafted with so much love and dedication that you won’t ever want to leave. I brought my fiancé along with me to my visit and he enjoyed himself so much we ended up staying over an hour just chatting. He hates chatting, but something about how warm and welcoming Conversations was (as well as the fact that it’s a Pokemon Gym) enough to make him want to stay!
It’s not one thing that makes this place great.
It’s not the coffee (which is quite fantastic).
It’s not the staff (who treat you like family as soon as you come through the door).
And it’s not the atmosphere (which is modern but inviting).
It’s everything combined that helps create an extremely unique place that you just have to visit.
So take a break from your usual coffee place and go check out this little gem. Make friends with some strangers and take a break from your cellphone. Trust me, it’s worth it.
This Thursday, July 28, Conversations Coffee Bar is going to be celebrating their Grand Opening. They’ll be serving 1/2 priced drinks all day so make sure to check them out!