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Something about coffee


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Common Grounds Coffee Shop~Greensboro NC

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Common Grounds (CG) is an eclectic coffee house and wine lounge situated in the heart of Lindley Park.  CG is also a Performing Arts Venue housed in the Chronicles video production studio. So, you can drink your coffee and produce a video all in one spot. Pretty cool! Right? Well it doesn’t end there. CG is a great place to study, meet up with friends, play a little air hockey or read a book.

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K.C. was my Barista and she was so cool. With a professional and personable flair, K.C. whipped up some amazing drinks for my husband and me. All of their drinks are named after an actor:) We had the Charlie Chaplin and the Robert Downing Jr. The Charlie Chaplin is a white and dark mocha with steamed milk and espresso. The Robert Downey Jr. is a salted caramel mocha with steamed milk and espresso. They were both made to perfection. My husband’s personal favorite was the Robert Downey Jr. The next time I will try the Robin Williams. This is a latte made with banana and chocolate syrup, steamed milk and espresso. They also have their own coffee blend called the Lindley Park. It is available by the pound so that you can brew it at home. For the non-coffee drinkers, you can choose from a variety of teas, hot chocolate and locally made baked goods.

If you are ever in the Greensboro area, treat yourself to Common Grounds (commongrounds.coffee/). Tell K.C. I sent you:)

Yours in Coffee,

Alicia


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The Drunken Monkey~Orlando Florida

 

The Drunken Monkey is located in the “Milk District” on Bumby Avenue in Orlando Florida. It has to be one of the most unique coffee houses I have visited.  Some people describe it as hipster but I call it “uniquely eclectic.” You will find local art and a variety of comfortable places to sit but no one piece of furniture matches! LOL! They also have a drive thru, which is pretty cool too.

Always a plus, the coffee is roasted in house and they only serve fair-trade, organic or rain forest alliance beans. In addition to coffee, The Drunken Monkey serves tea, smoothies, iced and frozen drinks. They also offer an assorted variety of vegetarian sandwiches, soups, quiches and pastries. I enjoyed the Iced Mocha and my husband had the Iced Caramel Latte. Both were really good. We also had the breakfast burritos, Anzac Cookie (banana, peanut butter and chocolate), snicker doodle and chocolate chip cookies.  The Anzac was by far a favorite. Delish!!! The staff and baristas were very professional and accommodating.

If you are a coffee connoisseur and find yourself in Orlando Florida’s Milk District, give them a visit. You will be pleasantly surprised and happy you did!

 

Yours in Coffee,

Alicia


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UPRISING MUFFIN COMPANY

Uprising

Image: Yelp.com

Happy New Year Coffee Lovers!

Recently, I had the opportunity to hang out with my family at Uprising Muffin Company (UMC). UMC is located in Washington DC: Shaw Neighborhood.  It appears that UMC established this company on the basis of making fresh and tasty muffins.  I can tell you they have completely met the mark and are living their motto: “offerings are simple, fresh & seriously delicious”. Now who can pass that up? I certainly can’t. I sampled the sweet potato, savory spinach tomato parmesan and the strawberry and cream cheese muffins. They were indeed delicious. But this is a coffee blog. Right? My Barista prepared a very delicious lightly sweetened Iced Vanilla Latte (with an extra shot of espresso of course). It had the perfect blend of Stumptown espresso, house made simple syrup and cream. What a treat!

Looking forward to another visit. If you ever find yourself in the Washington, DC area do yourself a favor and go check out Uprising (http://uprisingmuffins.com/) You will be glad you did!

Happy Coffee,

Alicia


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Our Midwest Family Trip

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Kenny, myself and the kids spent the last 10 days in the Midwest visiting the Detroit Metro area and Chicago, IL. We had an amazing time with friends and family. Some of the Chicago highlights were going to the 31st Beach, The Lincoln Park Zoo, The American Girl Store,  Giordano’ Pizza and Karyn’s Fresh Corner.

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We enjoyed some great coffee in Chicago. Gaslight Coffee Roasters: Located in Logan Square is an eclectic cafe with very random decor and excellent service. We ordered many items from the menu and since I’m the “blogger” I got to taste everyone’s coffee and food! Pretty  Sweet…right? Our friend Heather had a smooth Soy Latte and a tasty Bacon and Brie sandwich. Kenny and our youngest  daughter (Dayley) had the Pesto Grilled cheese Sandwich. It was really good. Kenny also had a Cold Brew that was rich, full of earthy notes and had a great finish. Our daughter Dia had a breakfast bowl like no other! It was slightly spicy with rice, bacon, sausage, scrambled duck egg and topped with a fried duck egg. Now, I have to say that is the best breakfast bowl I have ever had. Yummy! I had a Brazilian Slow Bar. This is Gaslight’s version of a Pour Over. It was very good and I Iced it so that I could take it to go. So good! The doughnuts were some kind of good! Especially the cardamom glazed. It definitely takes the traditional glazed doughnut to another level!!

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We ended our Chicago trip by going to Cafe Mushtashe. This cafe, lounge and music venue has a very chilled atmosphere and is also located in Logan Square. As I waited for my Peppered Fig and Vanilla Latte, I listened to Louis Armstrong and noticed that no one was  interacting or talking to each other. I found the lack of interaction a bit odd but oh well? The room was dim and the overall feel was hipster. By the way, this has to be the most interesting flavor combination for a Latte I have ever had. It was pleasantly good.

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Despite it’s slow come back, Detroit continues to have charm and promise. Beyond the blight, eye sores and homelessness there are good finds, beauty and chatracter for the whole family to enjoy.

As you may have read here before there are some really exceptional coffee houses in the Detroit Metro Area. On this visit we had the pleasure of going to Great Lakes Coffee located in Midtown. Can I just say this is my kind of place? I walked into this coffee and wine bar finding myself grooving to Regulate by Warren G and Nate Dogg. For the record, Kenny tells me that I haven’t listened to the lyrics of this song and that otherwise I wouldn’t like it. Probably not my thing but the music is amazing, so I’m going with it LOL!

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We enjoyed Cold Brew, a Lavender Latte, Lavender Ice Tea and  a Vegan Granola bar made by Avalon Bakery (also featured on this blog). All were very delisious but oh my goodness this Latte had an unexpectedly great flavor. I would have never expected to pair lavender simple syrup with coffee but it was Delish! It totally worked. The menu at Great Lakes is pretty extensive. One interesting item is a beverage made with half beer and half coffee. Different. Right? We will definitely go back there. So many things to choose from. Great Atmosphere.

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We ended this trip with a bang by visiting Astro Coffee located in Cork Town. As we drove up, I immediately noticed lots of customers hanging out enjoying this Beautiful Sunday morning and taking in all that this House to bring. Something told me Astro would have the “It” factor! It did!

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We enjoyed Cold Brew, Mocha Lattes (featuring Calder’s Dairy), Lemon Ginger tea, Polenta Plum Cake and Vegan Coconut Bread. To sum it up, I found myself in Coffee Heaven. EVERYTHING was exceptional. Just Delicious. Simply Spectacular!  This chalk art was breath taking!

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Put these places on your Midwest Bucket List! You will be pleasantly surprised.

Coffee Lovin,
Alicia

Chicago:
http://gaslightcoffeeroasters.com
http://www.cafemustache.com
http://www.lpzoo.org
https://giordanos.com
https://karynraw.com

Detroit:
http://www.greatlakescoffee.com
http://www.astrodetroit.com


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Bluebird Coffee Shop-New York City

 

Photo credit: yelp.com

On a recent trip to New York City I visited Bluebird Coffee Shop in the SoHo neighborhood located in lower Manhattan. This no frills coffee bar has limited seating and a simple decor. The barista was less than friendly but professional none the less.

The coffee menu was simple, traditional and to the point. They use Counter Culture beans though and their is nothing simple about this place! Check out their website here:(https://counterculturecoffee.com/contact/about-us)

Offering Lattes, Flat Whites, Cortados and brewed coffee, Bluebird appears to be purists when it comes to their craft. I believe this is in an effort to serve up a solid cup of coffee! A solid Latte is what I received at BB. I ordered an Iced Latte with an extra shot of esspreso. It was pretty darn good:)  I didn’t purchase anything from the pastry menu. However, other reviews say they are really good.

I found this coffee bar to be a bit pricey but worth the trip. Check them out on your next trip to Manhattan: http://www.bluebirdcoffeeshop.com/

Always coffee,

Alicia

 


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Compass Coffee- Washington, DC

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Today my family and I visited Compass Coffee in the historic Shaw neighborhood in Washington, DC. It is clear that the proprietors of this establishment are serious about making good coffee. One distinguishing hint is that they roast their beans on-site in “The Lab”. Another good hint is that they choose their beans from various importers at the peak of freshness! This can only result into one thing…..”a real good cup of coffee!” How impressive is that???

Great customer service and a really good cup of coffee is what we received at C.C.! I had the Nutella Mocha- Iced and slightly sweetened. I seriously almost did a small dance when I took the first sip! Whoa, was it good. My husband had his new favorite, Nitro-slightly sweetened with caramel syrup. It had a very rich but smooth taste. We also had assorted cookies. My daughters said they were amazing:) Other interesting menu items are coffee cola, assorted teas and sandwiches.

If you live in or around DC or find yourself visiting, check out Compass Coffee (www.compasscoffee.com) where they are doing it good and right.

Coffee Love and Happy 4th of July,

Alicia


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Plum Brew Coffee~Johnson City TN

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Today was an exciting day!  I visted one of the most interesting coffee and art establishments by far: Plum Brew located in “My Hometown” Johnson City TN.  I always feel a sense of great joy coming back to visit family but Wow this makes it a little sweeter!

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Plum Brew is located downtown inside the Nelson Fine Art Center. They offer a variety of coffees, espresso drinks, hot teas and hot chocolate, local-made backed goods and house-made crepes!  They even provide delivery to downtown businesses! P.B. has an online store but more excitingly they now serve Nitro! As you may have read in my last post, Cold Brew Nitro is a high caffeine “on tap” coffee that pours like Guinness.

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My husband and I had the Johnson’s Nitro! It was so smooth and had a beautiful finish. The Crepes were amazing! We had the Skinny Italian: with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and balsamic drizzle. To finish, we enjoyed the Banarama: with Nutella and Fresh Bananas! Oh what a treat!!!

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If you happen to find yourself in East TN, especially near Johnson City, do yourself a favor and stop by Plum Brew. You will be pleasantly surprised!!!

Plum Brew
324 East Main Street
Johnson City TN

Nitro Love,
Alicia