Wednesday, October 21, 2015

El Taller -- Lawrence, MA

 A Coffee Maven Review
One of the great things about Project EarthView is that it gets our team into many of the nooks and crannies of the many communities we visit as we take our giant globe to 10,000 participants each year. Most recently, we were at a favorite, familiar school -- with several familiar coffee shops -- near the home of one of our team members. This allowed us to get out of our North Andover routine (not that there is anything wrong with that!) and explore neighboring Lawrence.

One of our EarthView Wranglers (as our student workers are rightly known) suggested a shop where she had been employed -- El Taller (tah-YAIR) -- The Workshop. In operation for just three years so far, it has clearly established itself as an intellectual and artistic hub of this city that is clearly awakening and figuring out how to reinvent itself after many decades of industrialization and many more of deindustrialization.

It is a family business in which some family members are focused on the arts and others on the food. It is a winning combination. The selection of books for sale is carefully curated to include such works as  Comparative Indigeneities of the Américas: Toward a Hemispheric Approach. and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed -- the latter in a tall stack suggesting frequent sales and discussion. The cafe's Facebook page regularly features new books and events related to the books they carry. It is truly a learning community.
Clearly, the EarthView team was pleased with the experience. We were fortunate to have time for a leisurely lunch -- the food was exquisitely prepared, pleasingly plated, and in perfect proportions for lunch. Oddly enough, I did not learn much about the coffee itself -- the focus seems to be on espresso, and brewed coffee was not fresh enough to discern much about it.

Still, this shop is a winner, and I will be returning.

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