“Shoes off, slippers on”
Borgerhout, Antwerp. 8pm.
On a cold, partly sunny February morning, we arrive at the door of Jens Oris, owner of Normo Coffee. A gentle hush mixes with the cool breeze flowing through the town. Yet, while the excavator sits quietly on the street corner, Eleonore – Jens’ soon-to-be two year old daughter- is wide awake.
“Since Eleonore has come into our lives, I’ve become more of an early bird than a night owl. I watch her in the morning, while my wife takes care of her in the evening. Running my own business gives me a bit more time to wake up, which is fantastic. But what I really enjoy is washing, feeding and playing with Eleonore. This is a once in a lifetime thing, right? I mean, until our second child comes into the picture (laughs). ”
“In the past, I never ate breakfast, but things are different with Eleonore. We eat together every morning, and keep our meals varied, choosing either Cornflakes, oatmeal or bread. I don’t really need coffee to wake up in the morning; it doesn’t have a functional purpose to me. It’s more of a passion. I prefer water, tea or a glass of milk. Coffee comes a bit later in the day, and every cup has to be perfect. Same goes for the coffee we prepare for our clients. If they keep coming back for a cup of Normo Coffee, then my mission is accomplished. I aim to create life changing moments, an unforgettable coffee experience much like falling in love for the first time.”
“Not only is what you eat or drink important, but also how it looks and feels. We eat with our tongue, nose, eyes and ears. That’s really why we want the Normo coffee bar to have that “house feel”: shoes off, slippers on. Come in and take a load off. Enjoy yourself. Get a hot cup of freshly filtered coffee in a relaxed, casual setting. By taking our time to prepare our coffee, we give our customers time to enjoy it. An espresso takes a few seconds to prepare, and it’s gone just as quickly; filtered coffee calls for 3 to 4 minutes. More time, more aromas.”
“Lately I’ve been spending less and less time at Normo, but that doesn’t mean that coffee hasn’t kept me busy. On the contrary, I still cook and pack my own coffee beans in my garage, and we’ll be launching an online site soon. Deeply analyzing the coffee beans is something I really enjoy, especially since it helps me get the perfect flavor. I experiment with several different aromas: fresh, sour, bitter, sweet and so on. I would rather drink a powerful, aromatic cup of coffee than one overpowered by milk and sugar. The flavors deserve to be appreciated, especially after all of the hard work the farmers have invested in their crop to make such a fantastic product. And then, of I go! I get on my bike and drop Eleonor off at the daycare.”
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