A painting on the left wood-panelled wall reads, "A cultural tradition of brotherhood steeping in your cup." I sit underneath it on the pieced-together leather booth with my laptop and my iced Vanilla Hazelnut latte.
Owned by followers of the Twelve Tribes religion, Maté Factor, yet another corner coffee stop, sits on the corners of Habersham and E Hall streets. With its exposed wood and wicker baskets, stepping into Maté feels like opening a fairytale book and stepping in. Imagine "Hansel and Gretel" without the creepy, cannibalistic witch.
And as cliché as a fairytale coffee shop may sound, it's totally accurate. The place has rod iron railings, a cute, cozy loft, the lamps are made from wooden baskets and the counter looks like a little hut. Take a look.
I mean, when do I sprout my fairy wings and have endless supplies of glitter, am I right? Okay, it might help that there are plants everywhere, but I'm obsessed with the aesthetic either way. If I thought The Foundery felt like a woodworking shop, Maté feels like the fairy's equivalent.
Maté falls in line when it comes to the usual customers--women and men, ranging from 20 to about 50 years old--and the barista behind the hut is a young girl--maybe eighteen--with big brown eyes and a friendly disposition. She asks me if I've ever been to the shop before and what I ordered last time as I drool over the giant cookies on display.
The Vanilla Hazelnut latte is not for the faint of heart. Vanilla for the baristas at Maté includes a number of spices I didn't know vanilla could include. Don't ask me to name them, I could have a latte every day and still would have no clue what they are. Maybe that's my ignorance, but this drink doesn't even need to be caffeinated, the spices are shocking enough to wake me up.
And at $4.50, ringing up at $4.81 with tax, my latte was a priced little higher than the average coffee in Savannah, but I'd attest that the coffee and the experience are both worth the extra 30 cents. But go see for yourself.
Closed Saturday for religious reservations