Sunday, January 19, 2014
COFFEE, TEA OR EUCHARIST ...?
It was time to turn over a new tea leaf today at 7th and Montana. In addition to my usual early morning stop at Our Favorite Starbucks, I paid an afternoon visit to the newest cafe in Santa Monica, the "Holy Grounds" at Saint Monica's Church. Granted, I'm Jewish, but the whole concept of a cafe in a church was so intriguing I had to give it a try. "Hmmm," I marveled as I crossed the threshold, "I wasn't hit by a lightning bolt. That's a good sign." The staff, all volunteers, couldn't have been more attentive. Perhaps that's because I was the only customer. I ordered an "Ave Maria" tea, a blend of God-Knows-What, but with a name like that, who can resist? "What do you do, make it with Holy Water?," I asked. The volunteer chuckled and replied, "If that's what you want, I can certainly say a prayer over it." And that's exactly what he did. I almost paid him in Hong Kong Dollars, just to see if he would convert them. "Tell me," I asked, "What's the plan for this place, does the money go to charity?" "It does," he replied, "We support a group of incarcerated young men. Eventually, some of them will be working here, too." If that's not putting the Bar in Barista, I don't know what is. My mind raced ahead to my next visit:
Barista: Here you go, sir ... one cappuccino, hold the Hallowed Grounds.
Me: Thanks. What are you in for?
Barista: A minor offense, really. I laced my father's coffee with cyanide. But don't worry, that's all in the past. I'm turning the other cheek, now. Sugar ...?
Seriously, Holy Grounds is worth a try. Their coffee and tea is all organic, from Urth Caffe. I think the only reason they're not more crowded is because they're not promoting the place enough. They could try to call their coffee 'heavenly,' but that slogan was taken years ago by 'Chock Full 'O Nuts.' And besides, we all know where to go for 'Chock Full 'O Nuts' ...