Owned and operated by Laredo native Judith Gonzalez Hanley, La Taza Coffee House is located in the all too bland Brook Hollow Shopping Center off of 281 North. Modestly hidden in the corner of the strip center, the cozy coffee-house ambiance today’s caffeine drinkers have become accustomed to is noticeably absent.
Bright red cushy chairs greet visitors with an invitation to sit and chat in a communal circle. A piano and drum-set sit lonely in the corner waiting for the weekend to roll around. Images of the Virgin Mary and the popular bingo-like game Lotería adorning the walls are charming, but fail to create a distinct atmosphere.
La Taza’s menu matches the competition, offering assorted flavored lattés, plenty of cold coffee treats, and creatively flavored teas. Several flavors of the Italian delight biscotti are available, along with other sweet pastries and cakes.
My hazelnut latté was tasty but super-sweet; perfect for people who like a little coffee with their cream. Lemon biscotto was my treat of choice, and was nicely complemented by a long dunk in my latté. Coffee and treats were tasty overall, but fell short of distinguishing themselves from competitors’ products. With a regular coffee costing around $3.50, prices are easy to swallow. I spent less than $9 on my latté, biscotti, and coffee for a friend.
Perks worth trying out are nightly activities unique to La Taza. Monday nights welcome poets for a weekly reading. Wednesday nights feature La Taza’s Book Club. Friday and Saturday nights attract live music lovers (Friday is open-mic night). La Taza offers free Wi-Fi and TVs so patrons can keep up with news and sports. Various trinkets are for sale including greeting cards, specialty coffee, and coffee cups.
Yes, La Taza is independently owned, but if what you’re looking for is quality coffee, or that familiar Starbucks environment that makes a cool place to study or chat with friends, definitely look elsewhere.
15060 San Pedro
This Lotería-themed, locally owned coffee house offers the usual fare plus community events
6:30am-9pm Mon-Thu; 6:30am-11pm Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; 9am-4pm Sun
$3.50 avg. coffee drink