Taza = Love
As a loyalist of the long-closed The Buzz Coffee Shop, I admit I had my doubts when I first saw the signs for Taza, which replaced the long vacant building at 2900 Jefferson Ave. in Clifton. Like so many others, The Buzz was my home away from home, a welcome respite throughout my undergraduate years, offering sagging but comfortable couches and a relaxed, Bohemian atmosphere with enough caffeine to make look Richard Simmons look lethargic. Could another coffee house there ever compare?
There is no comparison - Taza is not only much nicer than The Buzz, it's hands-down the best local coffeehouse I've been to. And this is coming from an avid local coffee house connoisseur. Taza holds the same appeal of the Buzz - a casual, welcoming atmsosphere and great brew - but is immensely more sophisticated. College kids will no doubt flock through its double doors, but unlike its predecessor, they won't dominate the demographic.
A group of Clifton locals opened Taza in January as a "comfortable 'third place' to meet up with old friends and make new ones." The not-for-profit group showcases local creative and performing talents and plans to offer a monthly "Friends on a Mission" mini-grant to community service groups in need of funding. For a calendar of events, check out its website or MySpace page.
The food menu is limited now to fruits, soup and muffins, but the chalkboard sign promises a light lunch menu soon. Hopefully extended evening hours are in the works, too. Current hours are 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
(Barista Shane Strouse pictured in first photo)