I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this shop. It took me all of ten second to decide that no matter how good or bad the coffee was, that this was a place I would frequent. A 2nd Cup is located in the Heights area across from Hogg Middle School. Don’t let it’s location or outward appearance fool you, there is much to be discovered inside. Whitewashed walls and small window are what you encounter on the outside of this shop, but inside red is the color of choice.
Before I go on to describe the inside of A 2nd Cup, you need to know about the shop’s purpose and its history. A 2nd Cup exists because of an amazing woman by the name of, Erica Raggett. I had the privilege of speaking with her while I was at the shop, and was blown away by her story. Erica told me that she had always joked about having a coffee shop or working in one, but at the time she was a teacher and had not started her pursuit of opening a shop. In 2010 she learned, for the first time, about human trafficking and its prominence not just in our world, but Houston itself. She was struck by the knowledge and like anything that shakes you to your core, she couldn’t ignore it. So in 2012 Erica made the decision to open up A 2nd Cup as a non-profit coffee shop dedicated to fight human trafficking in Houston.
She decided to name her shop A 2nd Cup for multiple reasons, the major being that she wanted her shop to be that second chance, to show that these modern day slaves, can have a second chance at life. She also named it such, after a continuous joke she had with her friend. Her friend, when talking about the idea of opening a coffee shop, would say, “Well I have my first cup at home”. To which Erica replied, “Then come for a second cup”. A 2nd Cup isn’t just a coffee shop or cafe, it’s a place that brings awareness and is fighting the good fight. They have a cause and they are determined to do whatever it takes to work towards freeing these slaves.
Erica has worked hard to make A 2nd Cup special, and she has succeeded. They work alongside anti-trafficking organizations and movements and even host events at the shop in order to raise awareness. These events are a way to call the people of Houston to do something. Slavery still exists today, and there are still so many people who have no clue.
Now that you know the shops background, let’s talk about the inside. A 2nd Cup brings awareness to human trafficking, not only by their mission, but also their decorations. When you walk in you will see that red is the color of choice, and rightly so. It draws the eye and make you curious. One full wall is painted red with the words #TilEveryoneIsFree written in white. On the opposite wall there is a large diagram that gives the reader some statistics and facts about human trafficking and what modern-day slavery looks like. Education is one of the top priorities of A 2nd Cup and the building itself is decorated with that in mind. In the middle of the shop there is a large pallet bulletin board with information about who A 2nd Cup partners with, as well as a calendar of events for the month. I did not get a picture of the calendar, but managed to snap a shot of the partners.
Onto the beverages! First of all, A 2nd Cup gets their coffee beans locally from Boomtown Coffee, which to me is very important. It is almost like staying within the family, the HTX family that is. There were so many fun coffee choices to choose from. A 2nd Cup also offers breakfast, lunch and brunch, however, Daniel and I had just come from church and were not hungry. Daniel ordered a Red Baron. The Red Baron is a raspberry mocha, that to Daniel was perfect. There are times when you order a mocha that the mocha taste is overwhelming and you cannot taste any of the other flavors. However, the raspberry gave just enough of a fruity touch to balance the mocha and the flavor.
I ordered a Chai Fritz. Yes, I know… I struggle to come out of my chai latte box sometimes, but! The Chai Fritz was chai and espresso. Managed to sneak out of my box a little bit. I need a little bit of sugar to balance out the espresso, but loved my drink. I took my first sip and told Daniel that I would need an IV drip for this coffee.
The atmosphere of the shop was very welcoming. Our barista was very kind and even put up with me asking him questions about the shop. There are plenty of places to sit, between the couches, lounge chairs, as well as large tables to work at. Loungers rejoice! The couches are large enough to stretch out on and have plenty of places to set your coffee down whilest you relax. For those who need stability and an actual table, there are plenty of places for you as well. The shop is the perfect combination and allows for everyone to be comfortable. The shop is also relatively quiet with just a hint of background noise from everyone talking and the kitchen.
I love coffee, but what I love even more is knowing that my money is going towards a cause. Yes, I can spend $6 on a Starbucks drink, but I would rather it be something more. A 2nd Cup allows for that. It is coffee with a cause, with a purpose, with a passion. Each cup goes towards the abolition of slavery in this city. Human trafficking is very real and is even more prominent than we want to admit, but the truth of the matter is IT EXISTS. Don’t sit back and ignore it, let’s educate ourselves and do something about it. Start with even something as small as a cup of coffee, because you never know, one cup can make all the difference. If you have the time or even if you do not, please try to make the time to visit A 2nd Cup and become involved.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and if you could, visit A 2nd Cup’s Website linked here.
May you coffee be strong, and you faith stronger.