Magpie Moments: The Power of the Magic Black Brew

Granita frozen coffee drink from PJs in New OrleansMy blog schedule is a bit off right now while I’m traveling, but I’m bringing you a Magpie Moments post with the hopes of having something more visually interesting for you later in the week. Maybe a little caffeine would help me accomplish that goal. Which is, of course, my not-so-subtle transition to the subject of my post.

I am a fan of the various shades of Black Brew, and of the places where you purchase it, i.e. coffee and coffee shops. Our “company” hot coffee is our favorite locally grown Kaū coffee. Cold-drip Louisiana coffee with chicory lives in our refrigerator, waiting to be iced and diluted/enriched with milk. (Ours looks like raw crude oil and will curdle milk substitutes, but once you go cold-drip, you’ll never go back.) We’ve had granitas at PJ’s thrice so far on our mainland visit, and I’m sure we’ll have them again tomorrow. When visiting with friends, we reminisced about the old days when we held court for hours in our old neighborhood PJ’s uptown, powered by the caffeine and sugar-laden beverages. Sigh…And, of course, coffee houses are great places to write. (If you can find a decent chair.)

Exterior of All Saints Cafe, from Tallahassee DowntownMy feet led me around the corner to my favorite coffee shop for some afternoon sustenance—carbs and caffeine. Most of the people sitting out front in the shade were familiar to me.

[Back to Lazarus, Chapter 3]

I was living in Tallahassee when I wrote the first draft of Back to Lazarus. I was working part-time for an attorney downtown, and I’d often retire to a coffee shop nearby to crank out a couple of pages before meeting my husband after work. That coffee shop, All Saints Safe, is the one I had in mind above. I don’t know about now, but at the time, they did their own coffee roasting on the premises. I think they used an old peanut roaster, but I wouldn’t swear to it, and sometimes you could feel the heat and see the smoke inside hovering near the ceiling. Or at least that’s how I remember it.

Exterior of Black Dog Cafe in Tallahassee by Judy K. WalkerMike and Richard were meeting me for coffee when they got in town Friday evening. The coffee house I’d chosen is sort of hippie/suburban bucolic, hippie because a lot of the alternative types hang out there, and suburban bucolic because it adjoins a park frequented by yuppie families feeding the ducks.

[Back to Lazarus, Chapter 22]

I had another coffee shop in mind above: The Black Dog Cafe. I also wrote some of Back to Lazarus there, but it was more often a weekend destination. Settled next to Lake Ella, BDC really wasn’t a great place for writing on a computer (it was impossible to sit inside with such loveliness outside, except during rainstorms) but it was a great place for dog walking and people watching. In other words, gathering inspiration…

[Exterior of All Saints Cafe, from Tallahassee Downtown, exterior of Black Dog Cafe by Judy K. Walker]