I gave up coffee back in May, but occasionally I make a visit to a coffee house to buy some type of tea drink. Lately, I've gone for the iced chai tea and Julia's Coffee on N. Wendover Road in Charlotte has one of the best chai drinks I’ve ever had. (I've never been to India, but I almost felt like I was there for a second after tasting the iced chai tea at Julia's.)
Julia's is just a couple of miles from where I live, so this could actually be dangerous for my coffee-free lifestyle. The place has provocative artwork on display throughout the shop, used books for sale, comfortable seating where you can sit, drink, read, and/or talk. Also, from what I understand, musicians perform in the place every now and then.
Another intriguing aspect to this coffee house is its connection to Habitat for Humanity. Julia's Coffee is physically attached to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. All proceeds from Julia's Coffee go toward helping Habitat for Humanity families build their homes. The shop is named after Julia Maulden, the first volunteer executive director for Habitat for Humanity.
One of Julia's well-known comments shows how committed she was to her spiritual beliefs. She said, "You can't just sit around loving your neighbor abstractly; you have to get out and do something for him."
As a member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg school board from 1966-74, Julia was a pioneer in the efforts to desegregate the school system here. When she retired from the school board at the age of 60, she spent the next eighteen months teaching children in Zaire as a Peace Corps worker. She brought some of those students to the U.S. and paid their way through such schools as Columbia University and Davidson College.
In 1991 Julia told The Charlotte Observer that to ask yourself, "Am I better off? is the wrong question. Are we better off? is the question."
Click here to read about the farm in El Salvador where the coffee beans used in Julia's Coffee are grown.