Shop the Heartland: Zen Coffee Company

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Good vibes and great coffee. That’s the recipe to the success of a Metro coffee shop.

But it’s the coffee flights at Zen Coffee Company that really has the business taking off.

Coffee is Abby McLeay’s passion.

“I love it. I just drink it all day, it never stops,” McLeay chuckled.

Four months ago, she opened her second coffee shop.

The name? Something she admits she needed more of.

“It was kind of like me and the corporate world. I just needed a moment of zen,” McLeay recalled.

She found it with Zen Coffee Company.

Zen is all over the place from the furniture and fresh flowers to her relaxed customers.

“They’ll all be sitting down drinking coffee, reading the paper, talking about stuff. It’s so cool to just see all the people come together, it’s very Zen,” she said with a smile.

Her coffee is, too.

“If I had to choose something off our menu, it would be the Honey Bee which is the raw honey cinnamon latte. We get our honey from All About Bees. I use the thick raw local honey. It’s amazing,” McLeay said.

There are so many fun and unique flavors to choose from, she wanted to make it easy for her customers.

She started by creating double cups.

“It’s basically two, small, iced drinks in one that’s heart-shaped,” McLeay explained.

Then she introduced the coffee flights.

“It blew up,” she said.

Business hasn’t been the same.

“I definitely knew it was cool. But I didn’t expect that many people. We had lines that wrapped all the way around the store,” she described.

Customers sample four, eight-ounce drinks for 20 dollars.

“Each one comes with one-a-half shots,” she added.

“We have over 30 options on our menu, so you can do anything really,” McLeay stated.

“People are always like I don’t know if I should try a lemonade. Should I do a coffee? I want to try this. It’s perfect for a place like this,” she added.

If you want to try one of the coffee flights, remember everybody else does, too. They are so popular that if you want to get a taste on a weekend, you need to make a reservation.

Zach Terrill did.

“I came in and grabbed some coffee one day and saw them (the coffee flights) on the counter. I was like wow, that looks awesome! So we just came in last Saturday and picked out a couple of flavors,” Terrill shared.

It was so good he’s back for more.

“The Pistachio Mocha was the one I like,” Terrill said.

It’s Erin Vildak’s new favorite, too.

“I just come in every week and get it because I can’t stop thinking about it,” Vildak laughed. “It’s delicious. It’s not overpowering or sweet. It’s refreshing and so I even think about it sometimes on my way home from work, coming and getting it again for dinner.”

McLeay credits her staff for keeping the flavors fresh.

“I just love the enthusiasm and having them kind of be being a part of it,” McLeay said.

A part of the coffee success she never saw brewing.

“It definitely makes me emotional… where I started to now. It’s amazing growth. It’s a pretty big deal to be where I am now,” McLeay said tearfully.

McLeay is now considering opening a third location in the Metro. She has one recommendation if you visit Zen Coffee: try the lemonade. In fact, she’s planning on starting lemonade flights in the very near future.

For now, there are two Zen Coffee Company locations: The original location is downtown near 25th and Farnam. The new location is in Tiffany Plaza near 132nd and Center.

To see the full menu go to their website.

You can also find the phone numbers to call to make your weekend flight reservations.

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