The only thing that New Awakenings has in common with the prior tenant of their location—Starbucks—is the physical address and the fact that they both brew a liquid that we have collectively all become infatuated with, love or sometimes are even addicted to. That liquid is coffee, but comparing New Awakenings coffee to Starbucks is a mismatched gun fight—like sending the Girl Scouts to a paintball fight with the best Marines sharpshooters at Camp Pendleton.
I can speak personally about the new coffee shop/ restaurant, the coffee and the owner, since I have known Wossene Bowler and her husband Dennis, for several years and have been an avid fan of their coffee for just as long. In my efforts to become educated about coffee, I can draw a line in the sand between knowing very little and knowing quite a bit; like the division in time between BC and AD.
Before I tried New Awakenings coffee I drank coffee and had done so for decades, but I never had an appreciation for it. I had to dilute my high octane Starbucks (not my favorite brand) with sweetener and Hazelnut flavoring or any one of other distractions to take away the bitterness that can be inherent in coffee. I had never tried coffee from Ethiopia, which I later found out is the birthplace of coffee many thousands of years ago and the mythical Garden of Eden from biblical reference. When I found out Wossene opened a retail location I was thrilled and that is why this is but Part I of a two part story. The food is one thing, but her story is yet another.
The New Awakenings location is ideal and whether you want a full meal, a light snack, or just some java to go, it’s an easy fit. They offer four types of Ethiopian coffee, which is the birthplace of Wossene, the owner. They are designed to accommodate the time of day you drink them; the more potent brews for the morning, Morning Kiss, when you need that jolt, till the “Goodnight Kiss” which is a bit more mellow and ideally will not keep you awake. In between you have Life Force (my favorite) which combines good coffee with a bit of chocolate and Secret Silhouette, which fills in the foursome.
If you’d like to get an education on high quality coffee and understand the history and the heritage, you’ve come to the right place. With unusual names like “Arabica Sidamo” and “Arabica Yirgachaffe” you can become an armchair expert in no time!
This retail location has been open just a few months and they offer a great selection of take-home coffee in small packets for trying them, to the larger packs in the $15 range. Whether you brew in a Press or a coffee maker, these coffees work terrific using both methods.
New Awakenings will be having their Grand Opening event for a week with the official ribbon cutting by Mayor Ming on Thursday, August 29, from 11:00-1:00. Other activities include International Pancakes Day, and on Saturday the 31st, Victorian Night dinner!
The location is at 30242 Crown Valley in the Von’s Shopping Center across from City Hall. Web site is: http://www.newawakeningscoffee.com or call 481-8025 for more information.
Part II will go into the “Back Story,” my favorite part, to share Wossene’s story of cancer recovery and negotiating a deal with God to give back if she survived. The coffee story starts there and ties in her nonprofit organization, efforts to build a hospital in Ethiopia and to also support military troops as well. Stay tuned…