Friday, November 18, 2011

Coffee Shop Month #2: Hava Java

Hava Java
526 N. 19th St.
Allentown, PA 18104

Have you been to the "West End District" of Allentown?  Near the Allentown Farmers' market, there is a strip of 19th Street that is home to the historic Civic theatre, some trendy boutiques and Hava Java Cafe.

Hava Java has become a place I intentionally visit.  Its owner has created a hospitable tone that engages locals of all ages.  I had the privilege of first visiting while attending a Sexual Abuse Survivor Poetry night.  This alone gives you an indication of the observed philosophy of Hava Java--a relational atmosphere that includes coffee, the arts, and a platform for contemporary issues.

With a full menu of espresso drinks, you'll be sure to find your preference. I tend to enjoy the brew of the day, produced by a private roaster who ensures fair trade, organic, kosher and bio friendly-certified beans.  A variety of teas will accompany one of the cookies, muffins or biscotti made by local bakers.  They serve a few lunch items as well including chicken salad sandwiches made-to-order and some DELICIOUS spinach pies, made with love by the owner's mother.

Besides a solid coffee experience, its the subtle assets of Hava Java that provide distinction.  Its ceilings are lined with dozens if not hundreds of assorted coffee mugs, giving it a down-to-earth, at-home feel.  One can sit at a table uniquely painted by various local artists, enjoy a book on a cozy leather couch, or sit outside on the quaint street.  Its a peaceful, relatively quiet atmosphere but yet it promotes conversation. 

Finally, another feature of this coffee shop is its owner. A personal activist for social rights, she cares about the community and its individuals.  For example, I had the privilege of observing her empowering and reassuring an adolescent customer who shared about a bullying experience.  I've named her the "Matriarch of Allentown" as she builds relationships with teenagers, college students and adults, having a pulse on the real issues they face.  She is quick to prompt a discussion on a current issue in the city, the family, politics, or media.  She uses her position of mingling with a variety of customers to take ownership of her city and promote change.  She has been a personal inspiration.

This is what excites me about Hava Java.  Customize your cultural experience: enjoy a quiet cup of coffee alone, bring a friend, join a conversation with other customers, or attend a poetry night (usually every Tuesday).  Save the date:  Thursday January 19, 2012 7-8:30 PM, Hava Java will host a Sex Trafficking Awareness Night sponsored by The Vast Coalition (The Valley against Sex Trafficking).

 hava Java on Urbanspoon


  1. Thank you...beautiful pictures, can I have a copy of them?

  2. I love this article. Hava Java is a great place to relax and hang out especially on Friday nights during open mic nights. It's a place where anyone can go to get away from the drama of the outside world and come together and show off their talents with out being judged. Keep up the great work.

  3. I love the blog. It is beautiful. The hava Java is a great place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. The best part once you enter this establishment, you leave with a new friend, someone who shares similar interests and experiences. A place that doesnt judge different creative expressions or way of life. Once you come you won't stay away.

  4. We've enjoyed coffee here a lot when we go to Civic. Need to go again! It's been awhile!!