My Mia Coffee experience began in late summer. I happened upon this shop one afternoon, checked to see if there was wifi, and vowed to return to study soon. I went back a week later and was delightfully surprised to discover such a cozy, welcoming space steps away my apartment.
While my lifestyle choices may look good in photos and occasional blog posts, it’s often hard behind the scenes. I’m really missing my family and friends. I’m studying a lot, and freelancing can be lonely work. I clearly look foreign, and sometimes the locals aren’t so patient with me and my Spanish. I’ve really been feeling out of place and often misunderstood. When I began my travels without expectation of the future, I was exhilarated. Life was uncertain yet exciting. The difference between then and now is that my life “abroad” has become normal. If you know me at all, you know I’m not a fan of normal. While I need and desire objectives, I don’t like routines. Many people say, “Well that’s life.” But I refuse to accept that. If it doesn’t work for you, why force it? As my Mamaw says, “It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.” And I’m one of those “kinds.” Just because my needs are different and sometimes even looked down upon does not discount them or what works for me.
Enough rambling. So how does Mia Coffee Shop come into play? I went there with my tablet and study materials in tow, expecting to hang out for a couple hours studying by myself. I left almost three hours after I arrived, having not studied at all. The coffee was so delicious, but the irony is that it wasn’t even the best part. The Mia crowd was friendly and also foreign and just what I needed. There was a Dutch man who shared his bread with me anyone else who came in the shop. I’m certain I consumed half. (Thanks, Tibor!) I became fast friends with an Australian woman who shares the same views as me about European women in sports.
For once I felt accepted. I felt like I belonged.
I can just tell that the type of people who are drawn to Mia Coffee are my kind of people. Not to mention that the shop owner Leo is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. He treated me to a juice mixture when I had a sore throat, a homemade concoction of honey, lemon and ginger. That’s the type of nourishing environment I’ve been missing in my life.
Leo’s wife Mia, the namesake of the shop and the “shop boss,” visited with their infant son, and I felt the cozy family vibe that I haven’t for a long time. With total strangers. It was a godsend. Leo says his favorite part of the day is when he get baby hugs from his son who was born in August. When I asked him what inspired him to open Mia Coffee, he said the opening a coffee shop has always been a personal goal of his.
Mia Coffee serves more than just caffeinated (and decaf) deliciousness. Leo can hook you up with fresh smoothies, juices, and tea. There is always a wide array of goodies available, like cranberry scones, croissants, and gluten free cupcakes. This week I requested an iced coffee, which is a novelty in Spain despite the heat. It was the best cold coffee I’ve ever had! I would say Mia Coffee’s specialty is indeed TLC (an English expression to say “tender loving care”), which is sometimes what a foreigner like me needs. Plus Leo and Mia’s English makes the tourists and non-native speakers feel more comfortable.
In short, it just feels really good to support a business that is run with pure loving intentions.
You can follow Mia Coffee Shop on Instagram at miacoffeeshop or like their page on Facebook!
Photos courtesy 0f the magic of Jasmine Vandenberg and miacoffeeshop Instagram.