Saturday, December 17, 2011

Coffee for a Cause

The Loft
4400 US 281
Spring Branch
(half a mile beyond Highway 46, on the northbound side)

It's just a coffee shop. It sits out on the highway in a limestone house (with a loft, yes, and a fireplace) to provide a meeting place for the locals, and a spot to relax, have a cup of coffee and some light refreshment. The need for such a place in that area is matched with the desire of a local church to raise money for causes it supports, a current trend in the coffee-shop trade. On the day we visited, the money raised was going to a project to build a home for victims of human trafficking, and to an anti-poverty project in Africa. It doesn't make the coffee any better, but it makes you feel better about choosing this place over any others. Because most of the work, if not all, is done by volunteers, the shop produces more money for the causes.

The volunteers who staff the shop are uniformly cheerful and friendly. I suspect that if we stopped in more than once in twenty years, we'd begin to develop relationships with these people, finding the points of common interest. But even as strangers passing through, we felt welcomed and cheered by the attitude of the staff. And the place itself is airy and clean and nicely decorated, adding to the pleasure we took in being there.

The food isn't particularly remarkable. Breakfast tacos, made up in advance and wrapped in foil, are in bins on one side of the room. There is a bakery case with various small treats, all home-made for the cause, and all reasonably well done. I selected a sausage kolache that looked more like a biscuit, and a potato-and-egg taco. The kolache had a very nice, slightly sweet flavour in the dough, and was filled with a tasty portion of sausage, nicely seasoned. The taco was, well, a tad bland, but at least the egg wasn't dry, as so often happens when tacos are made and stored in that fashion. Rick also had a sausage kolache, along with a ham-and-cheese kolache which wasn't as good, and could have used a little more ham in it.

The main draw, though, is the coffee. There were four types on offer, one of them decaf. I went with the breakfast blend, a nice medium-strength drink. Rick's choice was the Texas Pecan coffee, which smelled heavenly and made me regret my choice.
Loft Coffee House on Urbanspoon

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