Michiana's Menu: Zen Cafe's warm coffee soothes the hearts of many
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Coffee. The drink that keeps the world turning. The delicious and addictive beans have been dated back to the 15th Century. So, to take a closer look at this worldwide phenomenon, we arrived here at Zen Café.
“My idea was to create a complex tasting espresso from one farm. How can you do that? Different coffees,” says Shaun Maeyens, Owner of Zen Café.
Established in 2010, Zen Café has been warming the hearts and soothing the souls of many in the South Bend community with its quality coffee - roasted in house. But it is not just the roasting process that makes this coffee unique, rather the transparent ingredients.
Everything at Zen Café is either sourced locally or imported from farms across the globe that owner Shaun Maeyenes has visited himself. The café goes through around 20,000 pounds of coffee beans each year. They offer everything from espresso, to specialty lattes, americanos, cold brew, and drip coffee. Just to name a few! Every product can be traced all of the way back to the plant, itself, where Maeyenes has seen firsthand.
“It is so humbling to be able to pass a beverage to somebody here in town from a farm that I helped dry coffee with and stay at their house, it’s the best thing,” says Maeyens.
Roasting and selling their products first in 2010, Zen Café then expanded in 2015, now offering the community a gathering space to enjoy the freshest of beverages. After all, it is the environment that makes coffee, coffee. But this concept is nothing new. In fact, the first coffee shops date all of the way back to the 1700’s, known in Europe as penny universities.
“You could go into a café, buy a cup of coffee for a penny and strike a conversation with anybody and anyone and learn from them right because people of all walks of life come into a café,” says Maeyens.
And even now in 2021, Zen Café does just that. The warm, cozy environment attracts the wanderers and workers, alike.
“We want it to be a beacon for everybody, people to have meetings here, to meet old friends, or people visiting town, we want gatherings to take place, we want people to feel at home,” says Maeyens. “We want it to feel like your living room, like you are sitting at home, and you want to sit at home and comfortable to enjoy that cup of coffee.”
Check out Zen Café here.