Nestled inside an elevator shaft in the historic Praetorian building, BRÛ artisan coffee works is a local coffee shop and roasting company that opened July 2016.

BRÛ opened as an espresso bar at the Waco Farmer’s Market and has become a unique addition to the coffee scene in Waco.

Walking in through the small marble lobby of the building, customers are met with metallic finishing, smooth jazz and friendly faces as they approach the counter to order. The coffee bar is completely inside the open elevator and the roastery is downstairs in the basement. Wooden tables and chairs are set up in the lobby area and outside on the sidewalk.

BRÛ also shares a seating area with the interior design store next door which adds to the chic ambiance. Furry blankets and pillows scattered about make the space feel cozy. The store, Interior Glow, showcases local art and has a small stage for live music.

There is a subtle sophistication and elegance about the space, but the atmosphere is light-hearted, friendly and engaging. The combination of glass, wood and metal give it a unique character, but what truly separates BRÛ from other local coffee venues is the emphasis on the personal connection between customer and barista.

Yumi Terrell has become a veteran barista at BRÛ.

“We’re more shrunken down just so that we can have that intimate interaction,” said Terrell. “The difference is the intimacy you get with the one-on-one person in the elevator… They’ll make sure you have this close relationship as well.”

New employee Trevesia Bible enjoys the relational aspect of the job.

“This is the best part of the job,” Bible exclaimed as a building resident walked through with his dog.

BRÛ is right next to a working elevator for the lofts upstairs, so traffic through the shop is frequent. The personable baristas interact with everyone and vice versa. It’s a communal atmosphere, however, the coffee should not be overlooked.

“The beans are all sourced from specific farms,” explains operations manager Carina Yebra. “It’s all ethically sourced, organic, fair trade.”

Owner Peter Ellis is in direct contact with the main sources in Peru, the Congo and Uganda.

The artisan quality of BRÛ is exemplified by their use of the true Italian names and makes of each drink. For the average coffee drinker who isn’t familiar with specialty coffee terminology, there’s a painted diagram hanging that shows the content of each drink. For example, above the name “con panna,” there is a labeled picture of a cup that is part espresso, part whipped cream.

BRÛ also offers its own house-bagged organic tea, house-made biscotti, various iced drinks and pastries from MILO Biscuit Company. The menu features their own “cold BRÛ” and they are hoping to start selling homemade pastries soon.

Photo Credit: Austria Arnold