Black Coffee in East Fort Worth Offers an Inspiring Space
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A red-winged mural on the broadside of Black Coffee in Fort Worth is reminiscent of a phoenix hovering over an outline of the city skyline. An instruction, “Create Change”, is painted across the bottom. The eye-catching colors and art on the outside are worn in this standalone cafe.
Socially awesome artwork on the walls inside feels right at home and floats above spaciously placed tables and furniture. A painting by the late musician and artist Sun-Ra is by local artist CHoKe. There is a painting by John Lewis hanging near a window and there is another by Nipsy Hussle, both by an artist who does not wish to be named.
Black Coffee opened in November 2019 in the East Fort Worth Polytechnic neighborhood on the southern edge of Texas Wesleyan University. Over the past five years, this area has been redesigned as part of the Rosedale Renaissance, a recently completed $ 6.7 million revitalization project that encompassed the college campus and surrounding neighborhood.
Owner Mia Moss
Black coffee makes an important contribution to this renaissance. Fort Worth-born owner Mia Moss worked at Seattle’s Best Coffee after high school. There she fell in love with coffee and, according to her website, realized “how coffee can fill gaps and create relationships”. She saw the need for a coffee shop and subsequent connections in that neighborhood.
She opened in late 2019 and all parts of her caffeine dream matched well. Then came 2020.
“This year was a roller coaster,” says Moss. “We looked it up one day in March 2020 after only being open a few months and there were no customers. It was surreal, like something out of a movie. We acted quickly and only offered curbs and online ordering on weekends. “
It was difficult to get enough hours for her employees. Losing employees due to the pandemic is a double-edged sword. Restaurants that had to lay off workers a year ago are now struggling to recruit new employees, which in some cases limits their ability to reopen at full capacity. Training new employees or finding the right people for the right job is an industry-wide frustration.
To avoid losing her crew, Moss launched a virtual tip jar last year.
“So many people supported us and donated what they could. We survived the storm and the same staff was able to remain employed. We are now seeing an increase in traffic, ”says Moss.
Shortly after the winter storm in February, gospel singer Kirk Franklin used the room to shoot a video. In the opening scene, Franklin asks Moss why their shop is called “Black Coffee”. She explains that her first experience with coffee was when her grandparents drank their coffee black, then adds, “I’m a black woman in a black neighborhood, so it just fits.”
Moss then suggests that he try her favorite drink, a turmeric and honey latte topping.
Thoughtful art, cozy spaces and great coffee while supporting a local small business.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The menu at Black Coffee has a nice variety of options but isn’t overwhelming. There are 12 coffee beverages including The Black Eye, a coffee with a shot of espresso ($ 3.50 for 12 ounces) brewed daily, macchiatos, an americano, and flavored lattes. They also have matcha latte, chai latte, loose leaf tea, and iced tea – classic black over ice.
Black coffee uses beans from a single source. While not roasting in-house, they choose their own varieties and blends that are packaged exclusively for their store and can either be picked up in store or ordered online. Each bag is provided with tasting notes, indications of origin and a roast date.
A small suitcase on the counter is filled with La Casita baked goods and a few breakfast rolls. Coffee cups, beans, and other items are available online. Coffee purists can buy black shirts with the words “No sugar, no cream” on them. Not so purists have the option for a light shirt, “Lotta Sugar, Lotta Cream”. We wouldn’t mention that there is a middleman, “Little Sugar, Little Cream”. There is something for everyone here.
Black Coffee, 1417 Vaughn Blvd., East Fort Worth, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the food editor for the Dallas Observer. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer, and Kouign-Amanns in 2011. She drove through two filthy devils and is sure that both were some kind of cosmic force.