Chill Treats: Summer Lovin Latte

Summer Lovin Latte from Midtown Coffee
Summer Lovin Latte

Winter feels like it just ended, and we’re safe from Jack Frost for at least a few months. It’s time to find some cravable summer temptations to cool off. This is independent from the list I made a while back that did not include my favorite thing- coffee. Midtown Coffee House, historically has featured some unique drinks like the Strawberry Wedding Cake latte that I posted about on Instagram. Today they had another unique listing- The Summer Lovin Latte.

 

I was intrigued and had to give it a go. The initial scent is mild and inoffensive, I thought I would smell the peanut butter, but it’s not strong enough to smell. Which is great, because peanut butter has never been a favorite of mine. It has a double shot of espresso, that doesn’t taste sharp at all. It’s just enough nuttiness in the flavor to tell it’s there. 

The flavor is unique, to say the least. I pick up the salt over the peanut butter which tones down the rich nuttiness coming from the peanut butter itself. The mocha is hardly noticeable due to the strength of the competing flavors. Midtown mostly uses a medium roast from Rwanda, which would explain the mild body of this particular drink. The drink has a pleasing body that lingers with a receding nutty flavor.

On that note, It’s a touch too nutty for my taste, but the salt does tone that down a fair bit. It’s a fairly mild drink overall, though not for those are either allergic or averse to Peanuts. I’m actually fairly surprised that they were able to quiet down the espresso flavor.

 

Taste; /5

 Certainly not a bad experience, but not one I personally would repeat. Worth a try if you’re looking for something unique to lighten your day. It’s fairly refreshing and mildly flavored, but just not really my thing. 

Hometown Cravings: My Favorite Muffin

Stop: My Favorite Muffin
City: Columbus, GA
Treats: Creme’ Caramel Iced Latte, Cinnamon Crumble Muffin, Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin and Butterscotch Muffin

 

    Guys, guys, guys… I feel cheated. Really. My Favorite Muffin hid from me for so long. I had no idea that there was another coffee shop in town and especially had no idea that it was so close to home and delectable to boot! I happened across them on Facebook among the several (sadly) shut-down establishments of the recent past. Exasperated from the several numbers that had been disconnected, I gave them a try with hope and to my great pleasure they answered! My propensity for iced coffee would be accommodated but the problem was that they closed at 4- bummer. My addiction would have to wait.

Our area has been plagued with some fairly terrible weather since the birthday post, and today was no different. I waited for the weather to make up its mind and headed out. The storefront is fairly small and unassuming, so I almost missed it entirely. Had I not been staring at their logo yesterday, I never would have seen it. This is due in part to the dreary lighting and my own blindness. 

 

Feeling a little adventurous on this #rainyday. Let’s try a new place!

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For being small and somewhat simple, I found it rather charming. Upon stepping inside I was greeted pleasantly by the woman behind the counter. I deliberated for a moment before asking her about her preference and went with that. I do want to note, that for those of you who enjoy a frappe, they are able to take care of your tastes here as well! The caramel decadence frappe that they offered almost swayed me, but I opted for the Creme’ Caramel iced latte as was recommended. 

The coffee was rich and flavorful, and in my infinite wisdom, I forgot to ask what sort of roast they use. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d wager dark roast by the flavor. The caramel flavoring was light and didn’t overpower the flavor of the coffee itself, which was a surprise. I’m so used to caramel being used in excess, and while I enjoy caramel coffee, I do enjoy the coffee part especially. The richness of the coffee lingers on the tongue after drinking leaving you wanting more. Until the cup is gone, I’m going to be very happy. 

 

It be much akin to a crime if I didn’t try a couple muffins, from a place called literally My Favorite Muffin. Not going to lie, guys, this place quickly became My favorite muffin place. The pricing is very fair, 2 large muffins and a micro-muffin was only about 5 dollars. And the quality of the muffins is superb, on top of that. I chose the strawberry for myself and I have one word: YUM. The muffin is so soft, even when not heated. The Strawberry Cheesecake bits are swirled in, and make it so soft and sweet. It feels really decadent and rich- I almost feel bad for eating it. Almost. There’s a great balance of strawberry and cream cheese and it makes me feel like I’m eating an actual cheesecake.

The Butterscotch minimuffin tastes much more mild in comparison to the somewhat vocal strawberry, it has a tiny bit of crunch. I’m not sure if it’s the butterscotch or the baking and honestly, I’m okay with either because it was also delicious. I’m still really feeling the strawberry swirl muffin, so I’m going to recommend that! I got the cinnamon crumble one for my fiance’, since that’s his go-to for muffins and bagels, I can’t speak for it though.

If none of those sounds like something you’d be into, don’t worry, they have quite a selection!

My favorite muffin muffin collection
Couldn’t quite fit the whole selection in frame. When I go back I’m pretty sure I’m going to be just as stumped as I was this time. They all look SO good!

Before I close this review out, I do want to give a shoutout to the exceptional staff of this location!  While I was placing the order for the muffins, the sky opened up and drenched the entire town (or at least my location, but the entire town sounds so much more dramatic), I was about to risk going into the rain and continuing my errands when I was very nicely invited to stay dry inside with them “We can turn on Netflix- is Pocahontas okay with everyone?”. We watched the movie for a little bit and when the rain let up, I left- but rest assured, I’ll be back. 

The staff is so sweet and made me feel so welcome. They just gained a regular!

Instagrameter: /5

   The interior was also rather unassuming and comfortable. Their seating wasn’t too hard, and for some reason I didn’t take a photo of the seating area. It’s what would expect from a business and nicely clean. These ladies take pride in the shop and it shows!

Taste: /5

  I’m really feeling a 5/5 for the entire experience. They really are My Favorite Muffin. Good job, guys!

Before I call this review done, I also want to direct our readers to their Facebook where they advertise their Flavor of the Month! March was Irish Cream, April was Salted Caramel, May is Creme’ Brulee…. I wonder what’s next?

Hometown Cravings; Best Seller, The Snickers Freezer

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: 
Fountain City Coffee
Drink: Snickers Freeze

Hi everyone! Welcome back to Hometown Cravings! I visited Fountain City Coffee once again to try one of their best selling items: The Snickers Freezer. In contrast to the Heath Freezer, I got last time, they don’t have crunched up candy bars but instead use syrup. Since none of my qualifications for this blog state that a coffee must have finely ground candy, I said: “why not?” and decided to give it a go!

The Snickers Freezer has much the same consistency of the Heath, sans candy dust. Like a milkshake- but better! The predominant flavor is nutty with mocha undertones. I feel like the sweetness is trying to emulate the nougat, even if it’s not, the nougat taste certainly comes to mind. It also has a slight bitterness that sticks around as an afterthought to the mocha.

When it comes to using the syrup to create flavors, you can tell. That being said, it’s not bad at all. In fact, they do get admirably close to the flavor of a Snickers candy bar. And for that, I applaud them.

Taste; 3.5 out of 5/5

Would I recommend this drink? Certainly! If you’re a big Snickers fan, this will satisfy any craving you have for the treat. I got the freezer, but they can make it in a hot variant or regular Iced.

 

Hometown Cravings; From humble beginnings to chain- Wheely’s Cafe`

 

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Wheely’s Cafe`
Drink: Caramel Machiatto

Our aim is that among these three [coffees] you will find one that will make you want to beat us up, and another that will make you want to make love to us.

Hi guys! Welcome to another hometown cravings post! Today when I was able to break away from being an adult, I remembered that I was missing one very important thing. The last coffee shop (that I know of) in Columbus. Wheely’s Cafe` started out humbly as a Coffee Cart in Seattle, if I’m not mistaken and in competition with Starbucks. For the interested, you can read up on their history here! You’ll have to scroll through quite a bit of text to get to the history and there’s a couple expletives.

I’ve been to Wheely’s once- maybe twice, before. And it didn’t speak to me on a spiritual level, but I figured why not? And added them to this series, after all it’s only fair that you guys know all of the coffee that this fine city can provide you. And they have coffee, among other things.

My favorite “other thing” they carry is Virgil’s Orange Cream Soda- but this post isn’t about that. It’s about coffee, but before I get to that, the interior.

They have sparse seating as it’s not really a place meant to be lingered in for hours upon hours, along the walls they have different candies and syrups. The most interesting of which, to me, was the strawberry syrup that I made a mental note to return for at a later date. In the display case up front, beneath the menu, they have a selection of Virgil’s sugar cane sodas. Trust me, guys, Virgil’s makes good soda, but again not about that so, moving on!

I included a picture of the menu for your perusal-, but that didn’t help me, since i’m indecisive. I asked the barista what I would enjoy based off of my flavor preferences and she recommended the Caramel Machiatto and advised that I stir it as it may be bitter rather than sweet. This advice turned out to be solid, as my first sip was a mouthful of pure caramel.

Once stirred a fair bit, the flavor of the coffee and the caramel merged but still left me with a feeling of bitterness. The sweetness of the caramel all but disappears under the harshness and there’s a lingering acidity on the tongue that fades after a few seconds. If sipped, the drink is bearable, if not a bit persistent in the bitter area, but I do not advise taking a large gulp. I tried to take a big swig of it, which turned out to be a mistake as I was floored by an overwhelming beany-espresso flavor that caught almost off guard. I actually rather miss the pure caramel that greeted me originally.

All-in-all, it’s better than my previous experience, which I won’t try to write on as all I recall is that I didn’t like what I had (could very well be a personal taste thing). The most shining thing I can say about this coffee is that, the caffeine is potent.

In retrospect I should have asked about the roast used- I did see quite a few Medium roast bags around the shop. In the future, I’ll make that a question I ask so I can identify them.

 

Instagrameter: Starbucks/5

they have some interesting treats and snacks that you might post- the most iconic thing is the exterior.

Taste: 2.5 out of 5/5

At first, I was on board with it but as the caramel flavor dissipated beneath the waves of bitterness I quickly wanted off. Maintained a 2.5 based off of effectiveness of espresso. It evidently isn’t my sort of place, but it might be yours!

Hometown Cravings: Time to go to the Bank… Iron Bank

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Iron Bank
Drink: Caramel Latte

 

Iron bank is situated at the corner of Tenth and Broad in the gorgeous downtown that Columbus is home to. The Exterior is that of an old… well, Bank. And every time I see it, I stop and stare. I adore the architecture. It’s classic and classy, and makes me feel like I’m stepping back in time to a day when you’d see gorgeous buildings like this. And not going to lie, I do a feel a little like a mobster or like someone from a Noir film, which is definitely a plus.

 

When you walk in, it’s clear that this shop has history and for the curious, you can read up on that here. The interior is fairly simple with long and short tables interspersed around the large room- they have what appear to be glass chandeliers hanging from the insanely high ceiling. The most interesting feature (to me, at least) is that you can go sit in the old vaults each one is furnished with a table and chairs and one of them has lovely natural light from the fairly large windows. The music is usually a decent volume for a coffee shop, but for some reason this morning, I found it to be louder than the norm. They play a range of music from the Plain White Ts to En Vogue. The latter was noticeably louder than the former.

 

Of course, aside from coffee, they do sell food and in particular, I’d recommend the turkey, bacon, swiss on a croissant. I’ve treated myself to that multiple times and it’s phenomenal. They do have muffins, bagels and parfait as well, if that’s more your speed.

For my coffee this morning, I decided to go simple, which I’ve actually never done here, and get just a Caramel Latte which is surprisingly better than the specialty ones I used to get from this place. It’s not overly sweet, or overly bitter. All around it’s nicely balanced, the caramel flavor is soft and subtle and I felt more alert with each sip. I did notice a slightly nutty taste underneath the taste of coffee. All in all, it doesn’t stand out as remarkable in either direction.

Instagrameter; ohenrys insta/5

The Exterior is unique and the interior is simplistic- I feel like any photos taken here would benefit greatly from being outside. The interior doesn’t lend itself to instagram fame.

Taste;3 out of 5/5

As noted, the coffee wasn’t anything out of this world but, by no means, bad. The espresso was very mild and effective and the entirety of the drink was balanced.

 

-JJ

 

 

Hometown Cravings: My Boulánge, our own little piece of France

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: My Boulange
Drink: Elizabethan (modified)

Situated like our other Hometown Cravings, in the scenic downtown area of Columbus, sits sophisticated and classy looking cafe` that features pastries, quiche, and breakfast that I haven’t been lucky enough to make it in time for. The cafe`itself sits beneath what appears to be lofts and it sets itself apart from the red brick by having a modern brown and gold front.

Like most of the coffee shops here in Columbus, the interior has an industrial feel- and guys, I swear I’m trying to come up with other words so I can stop beating you about the head with it. The ceilings are high and adorned with fairy lights, and I love the way the red bricks complement the entire decor. The fairy lights and wood accents lend a welcoming energy. I have the distinct urge to bring my computer in and just people-watch from the large front windows.

When you walk in, you’re immediately greeted with a gleeful Bonjour on a light purple wall, as you proceed further in the large Eiffel Tower standing behind the counter and surrounded by delectable looking pastries guarded behind glass takes precedent.

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The service here is always top notch with the cashiers being knowledgeable in the products that they sell and able to tell you, based off of their experience and your preferences, what you may enjoy. I employed this particular skill of theirs this afternoon when I went in to try something a little different.

They have seasonal lattes with interesting names that are fairly unique, which you can see some of them in the picture below.

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What I treated myself to today was the Elizabethan, and before you say “But, Jill, that’s what you got at Midtown Cofee two days ago”, I changed it to Strawberry and Mocha. Next time, I think I’ll try the Queen Bee from here.

The Elizabethan as I got it tastes quite like a strawberry dipped in chocolate which makes me wonder if they used natural flavoring as opposed to the coma-inducing artificial flavors that you might have at home. The flavor is balanced- the strawberry is the forefront but then steps aside for the mocha. It’s surprisingly dainty with almost no bite, it even smells mild and sweet with just a hint of chocolate.

As an extra note, they do hold wine tastings here so if wine is more your speed, they have you covered here! I’ll go ahead and move on to my ratings!

Instagrameter; 4.5 out of 5/5
Taste; Taste Rating/5

A couple of notes before I sign off for this post! First, a quick thank you to our readers so far.  I know doing reviews is touch and go for myself and miss Belle Bottom Jeans, but I have every faith that we’ll get better at reviewing things and become more discerning, so in these first phases of our blog we appreciate you stopping by!

Second, I do want to maintain a Hometown Cravings series but I’m not sure how often would be too often to visit these places. I’ve added a poll on the Surveys and Polls page so if you want to put in your feelings on visiting the same place multiple times, I encourage you to drop a vote here!

-JJ
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Hometown Cravings: Give ’em the Ole Razzle Dazzle

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Midtown Coffee
Drink: Razzle Dazzle

A little out of the way and a fair way down 13th street, (far enough for me to think I somehow went the wrong way) rests another hidden gem. Midtown Coffee sits among various boutiques and restaurants that have trendy balconies and fairy lights. The exterior feels classic and timeless and almost reminds me of a bygone era.

Walking in, the hum of patrons talking and the decor immediately makes this shop feel homey and wholesome. Belle Bottom Jeans feels like it’s where the “cool Christians go for Bible Study” and there are some scripture references and even the Wi-Fi Password supports that sentiment. They have fairy lights hanging from some industrial feeling rafters (?). I’m noticing a trend here of hip industrial-eque establishments. I’m definitely not complaining. The music is more in the interest of ambiance and just is the perfect volume to be a soft background noise.

The handwritten menu signs give it comfortable and unintimidating air, as opposed to places with impersonal and cramped menus.

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This time I did try something new, the Razzle Dazzle, a raspberry mocha. The artful presentation gives it an immediate lead on the instagrameter. But how’s it taste? The most prominent flavor is Raspberry with a soft whisper of mocha undertones. The balance achieved by this is interesting because it’s usually the other way around. The mocha flavor isn’t overwhelming or bitter. Overall the drink is smooth and soft- goes down easy and feels like the perfect drink for the holiday season if I can get away from Peppermint Mocha.

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Drinking it, as good as it was, was exceptionally difficult for me as the latte` art is just too cute. I imagine it’ll get easy to just devour the art as we grow, but for now, I just really want to enjoy the dainty and photogenic drink in front of me. Unfortunately, I do have to drink it before it gets cold. I do want to note before I issue my ratings, that the drink itself really reminds me of the Raspberry Dark Chocolate Break-Apart treat. It was a pleasant surprise to see that resemblance because I loved those as a child and even more so now.

Needless to say, I certainly recommend MitownCoffee, on the basis of taste and environment. I do want to add the superb customer service, too. They will steep your tea again and reheat your coffee which was a surprise!

Onto the ratings!

Instagrameter; Te Amo Insta/5
Taste; Ohenrys taste/5

 

-JJ

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Hometown Cravings: Heath Freezer

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Fountain City Coffee
Drink: Heath Freezer
Extras: Bacon, Egg and Mozzarella Wrap

Fountain City has been a very recent discovery for me and skyrocketed into staple status. The interior is a subtle mix of rustic and industrial that makes me feel hip. The music leans toward Alternative and lends a hand in music discovery, if you like music like The Shins, Vampire Weekend and Regina Spektor. As I sit and write this, they’re playing one of my favorite Vampire Weekend songs M-79, which I really never hear while out and about.

Every time I come in here, I get the deceptive feeling that I’m doing something important even if it’s just watching youtube videos or drawing. The open air flow, the primarily warm colors and the black and white graphite portraits on the walls feel smart. There’s a stream of hip young students and businessmen that only makes the feeling that I should be doing schoolwork that much stronger.

With that feeling, I’m going to  move on to to the 3rd cup of coffee featured here: The Heath Freezer. All of the baristas are fantastic, but one stands out to me. This morning, I got lucky and she was here to make my drink.

The freezer has a milkshake consistency, it’s not watery but rich. The espresso flavor is surprisingly mild and doesn’t overpower the toffee/chocolate flavors. It’s almost like drinking a heath bar. In comparison to yesterday’s coffee, it’s night and day in terms of sheer quality.

The first flavor I notice is a toffee and it’s followed by a nice contrast of slight bitterness that doesn’t detract from the drink but rather complements the sweetness. I honestly can’t recommend this drink enough.

The wrap was what you’d expect from a wrap- bacon and egg, a mozzarella chaser. A safe bet if you want breakfast. I don’t have too much to say about this sandwich, but if you like bacon, egg and cheese, you’ll like this.

Instagrameter:  ohenrys insta/5

Taste: Ohenrys taste/5

-JJ

 

Hometown Cravings: ‘Te Amo’ Columbus’ Hidden Gem

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Te Amo Tea
Drink: Southern Vanilla

 

Nestled in the heart of Broad on the Phenix City-Columbus border is a unique beverage and dining experience. If you’re walking downtown and blink, you’ll miss it. Columbus has 6 Starbucks, 4 unique coffee shops, and One dedicated tea shop.

The proprietor is an expert on teas from all over the world including the history and brewing of many unique blends. He even sells loose leaf tea, if you make it out and decide you want to take it with you.

When you walk into Te Amo Tea immediately it’s like a weight is lifted, throughout his decor he uses natural and earthy colors that are conducive to an all-around relaxing experience. The shop is full of soft cushions and places to sit and a chic style that feels perfect for the creator wanting somewhere to brainstorm. The environment feels charmingly haphazard and personable, which makes sense because the space was previously an art studio and that sentiment is still felt with the current setup.

The tea does take a little while to brew, after all, perfection takes time. If you don’t know what you like with your tea, you can let him know what flavors you like and he’ll set you up with your perfect tea. It’s definitely not a place to go if you’re in a huge rush, and it’s a MUST if you’re passing through or have an afternoon to kill.

This evening, we dropped by and I took a chance on a somewhat new menu item: Southern Vanilla tea. And honestly, all of his teas blow me away and this was no exception. It had a delicious lightness and was perfectly sweet. It doesn’t take him any time to get a grip on what his customers enjoy. The southern vanilla was accented with cinnamon with was a lovely complement to the sweetness.

I usually try to stray from the caffeine-free options, because I apparently need all the energy I can get but he may have converted me over. If it’s your thing, he does also have Boba Options like Tapioca and Strawberry which add a more tactile element to the experience.

He also has food, he makes a lot of breakfast sandwiches that smell phenomenal but I can’t comment on taste as I haven’t had them yet.  If you give it a try, let us know and we can feature you in your own post!

 

 

 

Instagrameter; Te Amo Insta/5
Taste; Taste Rating/5

 

-JJ

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