I love going to the Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the Temescal district of Oakland. It’s tucked into a busy-but-unassuming strip mall right off Telegraph, and it’s conveniently located between a great Italian deli and a well-stocked cheese store (just across the street). That makes it the perfect stop during specialty food shopping trips.
The Temescal Peet’s also features one of the most diverse groups of regular customers of any cafe in the area. In addition to African American, white, Asian American, Native American, and Latino customers, there are a critical mass of regulars who represent those parts of the African diaspora that do not have their roots in the Middle Passage.
The Temescal Peet’s has become a gathering place for folks from Ethiopia and Eritrea, and whenever I’m there I get a little bit of a kick out of being in a place where so many ways of being Black are on display.