Hometown Cravings; Crunch Berry Latte With Origin Coffee

I came into Origin Coffee, once again, for a wonderful tryday experiment! Honestly, I love asking the lovely people to just make something fun. I get some really unique flavor experiences that way. Today I asked about something unique, outside of my usual favorites, Mocha, Caramel and Brown Sugar. I was introduced to the Captain Crunch Iced Latte.
 
   As mentioned in the previous Origin post, their coffee is locally sourced and has a bit of bite to it. I feel like they use a darker roast, due to the tinge of bitterness I get underneath the other flavors. That being said, this drink is mild, but the coffee flavor may be a bit much for those who don’t like the bitterness. The bite of the coffee adds a wonderful counterbalance to the raspberry flavor that is the predominant flavor.
 
   The flavors they used to make this wonderful concoction were Caramel, Hazelnut, and Raspberry. The hazelnut is so subtle and adding not really a nutty flavor, but just a touch of that cereal taste. It’s really surprising to me how well the flavors work together to bring in a sweet, not-too-rich, drink. 
 
     By now, you guys probably think I’m completely obsessed with Origin Coffee, and well… you’d be right. Proximity and quality are unparalleled and the staff they have working here are absolutely wonderful. I definitely highly recommend Origin and I can’t sing their praises enough.
 
Lucky me that they set up shop so close to my home!
 

Taste; /5

   I love this drink! It’s the perfect amount of new and nostalgia. When I asked for something new and “Crunch Berries?” came from behind the counter, I was curious. It surpassed my expectations and gave me something to crave when I’m feeling some nostalgia-need.

 
Now that we’ve taken care for your regularly scheduled content, I have the next couple of posts planned. We’re going to be attending the grand opening for Petite Sweets n Treats, and seeing what kind of goodies she’s whipped up for this big event! Followed by my first Beauty post (what’s in my bag?) featuring my top dollar acquisitions or this huge makeup wholesale event I’ll be attending Saturday! Time will tell which one goes live first!
  
I’ll also be reviewing the newest JnJ Merch from Vista Print that I get each month! We’ll be seeing a few subscription oriented posts- Ipsy, Promobox and the Goodie Box from our baker friends over at Petite Sweets N Treats. 
 
Though it’s been completely insane for me for the past month or so, I’ve been making plans!
 
Stay fabulous, guys! I’ll see you Monday!

Home Town Cravings; Sweet Rebellion with Midtown Coffee

Hey everyone! I visited Midtown Coffee again, after a long Saturday at work. I’ve mentioned the Barista’s Choice list a time or two, and I highly recommend trying it! If your local watering hole doesn’t offer such a list, it’s also a fun to ask them flat-out what their favorite drink is! Midtown Coffee really has the right idea!

Immediately I noticed the sheen of Honey on the whipped cream, and I’ve never had these two flavors together at the same time. It was absolutely wonderful! Absolutely an amazing combination of tastes and textures that had me smitten. It was sweet in a modest way and not overbearing. I could totally see just this portion alone becoming a staple.

The sweet rebel is a blended drink, with a double shot of espresso, cinnamon and brown sugar. The first impression is entirely cinnamon and is paired nicely with the earthy tones of the espresso. The scent honey adds a nice counterpoint to the bitter richness that’s in every sip.

The lingering flavor on the tongue is dry cinnamon- it has a graininess on the back of the tongue.

All in all, the flavor is zen and a great choice for the summer!

I apologize for the short post for today! If you follow on Instagram, I’ve had a hectic few weeks and have been in the process of moving! I should be debuting my first Beauty post with some of the great products I’ve found!

Stay tuned for some new content and a new friend that is going to hook us up with a special Java and Jeans dessert that I can’t wait to show you!

Sweet Rebellion Taste; /5

    All in all a pleasant experience, but even though I quite enjoyed the honey topped whipped cream, I’m not generally too big on the overall flavors. I do recommend this if you’re looking for a good summer drink to cool you off, or even the spring. 

Coffee Abroad; Twofer with Lightnin Bugs!

Coffee Abroad; Twofer with Lightnin Bugs!

  For an adventure, my lovely partner and I headed to Warm Springs, about an hour outside of our hometown. The small town of Warm Springs, Georgia has some of that small-town-charm that I’m so big on. We had found that there was another coffee shop out near UniquExpressions and we had to see how it stacked up against one of my all-time favorite spots.
 
        The cafe in Warm Springs is called Lightnin Bugs, and the ladies behind the counter were polite and courteous- always a plus! The hype was real when we walked in and saw the decor- I adored all of the wall hangings, and low-key want to buy one for our kitchen! The Lightnin Bugs Cafe has a fairly large shop area that has a variety of items, ranging from purses and apparel to stuffed animals. I find it really cool, because up to recently, I had never seen a coffee shop that also sold wares. Check out the small slide-show below for a quick peek at their inventory!
 

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Picture 1 of 3

 
        We perused the menu for a while and eventually decided on the French Vanilla Iced Latte, since i don’t think I’ve done this basic coffee-staple on the blog quite yet! Sadly, the picture I took of the drink got erased in the meantime between actually drinking the coffee and writing this post. It was just your basic coffee cup, though so you’re not missing too much there as far as aesthetic goes.
        
        I was really not too excited to do a a writeup on this drink.  It had a very generic flavor that was simiar to the Starbucks Frappe you can get in the convenience stores. In fact, it was so similar in flavor to that, that I’m half convinced that that’s what I served. It was extremely mild and a little over-sweet. The vanilla, while refreshing and likewise on the overly saccharine side. The coffee had little to no bite, unfortunately. Sadly, I can’t recommend this particular drink just due to to the over-whelming generic quality of it.
 
        I did get another beverage tho that I did quite enjoy- I tried a hot Peppermint Bark Latte. I really get the feeling that this was a light roast, due to the mildness of the blend. The flavor was not unlike a York’s Peppermint Patty, to my great pleasure. There was a light mingling harmony of flavors, with the peppermint and the dark chocolate that was charming and rich. The mildness of the coffee itself lent to a more relaxed vibe that I altogether enjoyed. 
 
            This was definitely one of those times that I enjoyed the Hot latter a fair bit more than the iced. Which is rare, as I’m generally pretty big on iced coffee. I do intend to return to Lightnin Bugs Cafe to give them another go with a different flavor. I feel like they have such potential and I need to see what they can do. Next time I return, I intend to sample something from their personal favorites and see how it stacks up.
 
        My general consensus for Lightnin Bugs Cafe, right now, is that their hot drinks are leaps and bounds better than their iced variants. They have a charming, down-home aesthetic with baked goods and wall hangings adorning the actual cafe portion of their building. They have some cute wares that you can see in the pictures I captured while I was there.
 
        No one yet has managed to dethrone UniquExpressions, we’ll see if one day someone manages to come close!
 

Instagrameter; /5

    I really liked their walkway to the door. The hanging plants made me feel like I was (somehow) back in time. It has a very old-timey feel that is only magnified by the quaintness of the town in which it resides. I loved their ambiance, and the neutral tones that were contrasting nicely with the banners that were hung along the outside.

Vanilla Latte Taste; /5

    Generally not something to write home about. If you like Starbucks Bottled Frappes, you may like this iced latte. I know that this comes across as just being overly negative towards this particular drink- but it really was that similar to a bottled coffee. I hope to have something different to say on my return. 

Peppermint Bark Taste; /5

    This one was much better than the iced beverage- it had a distinctly holiday vibe. I really love the harmony of Mint and Dark Chocolate, and this one made me very happy. Despite the climbing temperatures outside. It’s not a menu item, so if you find yourself in their cafe, just tell them the recipe!

Chill Treats; UniquExpressions is Heavenly

Heavenly Caramel Iced Latte
I always get so thrilled when they bring out these cups

  City; Pine Mountain, Georgia
  Stop; UniquExpressions
  Coffee; Heavenly Caramel- Caramel and Vanilla

      On a beautiful weekend of content, my partner and I returned to Pine Mountain Georgia, home of UniquExpressions. We went to try something new this time, and I gave the Heavenly Caramel iced Latte a try. This was an immensely refreshing choice. I adore caramel, and this one has it in spades. My only regret is that we never got to see the sunset while we were there, and believe me, guys. Sunset is Beautiful in Pine Mountain.

     As usual, the beautiful workers behind the counter were amazing. They have building rapport down to an art and are so nice to chat with. I love just asking them for their favorite items, and taking a chance. This time, I got some ideas that I balked at, maybe I’ll be brave down the road and try something way out of my comfort zone (the coffee soda debacle has me reluctant).

Click the link in the tweet for a spoiler to how that came out.

 
     UniquExpressions consistently makes an amazing product. This Heavenly Caramel latte was pleasantly sweet, but certainly not overly so. Though, it did toe the line for a couple of sips. I did find the overall flavor to be harmonious, but definitely more on the sweeter side. The coffee flavor lurking under the caramel was what made the drink so refreshing on a hot day.

     The coffee flavor barely lingered on my tongue, which I attribute to the sweetness of the caramel. Speaking of the caramel, it was the has the final word where the flavor is concerned. This is another drink I would highly recommend for my readers who are just getting started drinking (and enjoying) coffee. It’s one of most sweet, yet somehow mellow coffees I’ve had. I’m still definitely partial to the Prince Harry

 

 

Coffee Abroad; Revisiting Good Memories with UniquExpressions

On February 17th of this year, my boyfriend and I visited the charming town of Pine Mountain, Georgia and visited the coffee shop UniquExpressions. My partner isn’t a fan of coffee for the most part, and gets turned off by an espresso flavor so finding coffee for him is a challenge. Honestly, we were very surprised by this little shop and fell in love with it. Afterward, he surprised me with my engagement ring, so needless to say we have some good associations with this place.

 

We have not shut up about it since then and I’ve been itching to take Jeans there with us. Today, I got my wish. We made a day trip to Pine Mountain and treated ourselves to the most AMAZING burger I’ve seen in a small town from Eatz on the Corner. Seriously, it was phenomenal, seasoned so well and cooked perfectly. Look at this beautiful thing. 

 

For dessert, as is our custom, we hoofed it across main street and to the main attraction. UniquExpressions- we couldn’t wait.

We have done nothing but talk it up since February, and finally got the chance to bring her. The inside of the shop is incredibly homey and feels a little Boho to me, with the soft mismatched seating. It feels welcoming and comfortable and I had to fight the urge to retrieve my laptop and geek out.

 

 

There was also the cutest decor above the large window that I would love to take home- you can view it above. The idea is so inspired! I loved the coffee cups hanging with the fairy lights. 

Coffee and their shoe selection
Shoes and Coffee- a match made in heaven!

We sat down to enjoy our drinks- Jeans and I got one of their signature drinks, the Prince Harry iced latte. The drink is a made from a dark roast with Chocolate, Caramel, and English Toffee flavors. Their beans are a locally sourced proprietary blend that they have posted by the register for the curious.

UniquExpresions Blend info
UniquExpressions was kind enough to display their blend information at the register

The coffee was as fantastic as I remember- the flavors are incredibly smooth and balanced without a hint of bitterness. The toffee was the predominant flavor and followed nicely by the rich mocha and caramel. There is espresso in it, but the flavor is so subtle and sweet that it even my coffee-ambivalent partner was enamored. I did try a second one from them today, since we were there for a while and the prices are so fair.

The second drink I got was the Nobel Prize Latte which was English Toffee and Vanilla- honestly, it was quite similar to the Prince Harry, while delicious, I didn’t taste the vanilla under the toffee, save but for a whisper.  You really can’t go wrong with any option here- because although I couldn’t taste the secondary flavor, it was delectable. When I go back, I’m going to be more adventurous. There are so many options to choose from!

Honestly, this place has some of the best coffee I’ve had so far- it’s sweet, flavorful, smooth and has just a little bit of a nutty flavor that makes it all pop. So far, this town has a lot going for it. Gorgeous views, wonderful burgers and incredible coffee. If you find yourself anywhere near the area, I highly recommend a visit to Pine Mountain. 

 

Instagrameter; /5

Taste; /5

 

    Pine Mountain gets my first 5/5 on both counts- for the wonderful atmosphere, service and flavors!

 

 

 

Hometown Cravings: It’s a Caramelnilla kind of day

City:  Columbus, GA
Stop: Midtown Coffee
Drink: 
Caramelnilla

Hi everyone, guess what time it is? It’s time to revisit the downhome shops that Columbus has in store for us. Since I already revisited Fountain City for this series, I took a moment to return to Midtown Coffee once again, since they struck gold once.

After a moment of indecision, I settled on the Caramelnilla Latte (iced this time, so no art, sadly- no time to relax today). Since I showed you the interior last time, I won’t bore you with those details. And this post will consist of my thoughts and rating for this Latte.

Full disclosure, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this drink, but my second. But I couldn’t very well, write on it unless I have it in front of me. So onto the coffee.

Caramelnilla Coffee in the wild
Had to come up with a good way to illustrate how delicious this drink is!

The coffee, unlike the imitation coffee drinks I’ve sampled, tastes sweet and strong like a good coffee should. It’s got a nice full body and low acidity, and in stark contrast to the aforementioned imposters, the flavor that lingers is the sweetness of the mingling vanilla and caramel.

Overall the drink feels balanced and pleasing. It’s strong without being bitter and sweet without being overly saccharine. Which is quite the achievement. The underlying flavor is a little nutty, which isn’t a bad thing and adds a lovely bit of contrast in its softness.

Taste; 5 out of 5/5

With all of the good qualities in this coffee, I can’t think of any reason not to give it a solid 5/5 rating. Good job, Midtown Coffee!

 

Most Wanted; The month of April!

Hey, guys, it’s JJ again with a new monthly series. You’ve seen my  Hometown Cravings posts and now it’s time to do a quick highlight of the best coffee from the previous month.

Quick note that May is going to mark the debut of a couple series, this one included. I’m planning to start a series with some opinion pieces on coffees you can brew in your home. So, be on the lookout for that! There may be some other ones as well, but I have a lot of ideas for you guys to maintain a steady stream of content! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited!

Back on topic, my favorite coffee for April was a tough choice. I had so many good coffees last month in my Hometown Cravings series. But after some deliberation and being talked out of doing a flat out #1 post, I’ve landed on Midtown Coffee as my favorite coffee of April that you just can’t miss.

Right off the bat, I was incredibly impressed to see the picture in my latte, being as much as a creature of habit as I was previously, I had never strayed away from cold drinks. But not only the artfulness of the presentation, I was taken in by the warm hospitality of the staff. I had been sampling the drink for a while and writing, and in the course of that, it had cooled.

But not for long. The staff was on it to bring it back to temperature when I didn’t even know it was an option.

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Just look how pretty that is. How could I not be totally enamoured?

Service and Art aside, the drink itself was fantastic. A month later and I’m still craving the smoothness and how well the flavors blended together. I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say the flavor was dang close to this chocolate candy that I used to get around the holidays. Talk about a blast from the past.

Guys, seriously. I literally can’t recommend Midtown Coffee enough. If you’re around here, or from here, pay these lovely people a visit, they deserve their spot for the best coffee of April.

 

O’Henry’s Coffee- Turtles are Awesome!

City: Homewood (Birmingham, AL)
Stop: O’Henry’s Coffee
Drink: Frosted Turtle, Mocha Chip
Extras: Strawberry Cake and Oreo Brownie

We left our home to seek out a venue for a particularly important event in our near future and on leaving, we made our way towards Birmingham. We made a beeline toward O’henry’s Coffee and were not disappointed. The outside was a little nondescript in comparison to the somewhat ritzy buildings surrounding it. That did not deter us as we made our way in.

The first thing I noticed was the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, which we were informed was accurate as all of their beans are roasted onsite. The interior was surprisingly mature looking but also a certain level of hiptitude that could easily appeal to a younger crowd as well. We perused the menu for a moment and decided on our respective drinks.

While we eagerly awaited our drinks, we wandered around the cozy (but not cramped) main floor. We were more than a little entertained at the little naked iron woman posing seductively on the bathroom door. I can’t recall the motif on the men’s door but it was likewise a somewhat green looking iron. The rest of the place was interspersed with similar motifs and wall art pertaining to coffee, that lent the place a certain amount of charm.

After we got our drinks from a knowledgeable and friendly barista, we made our way to a warm loft with mellow lighting. The Frosted Turtle was surprisingly smooth- I didn’t notice the bite of espresso or any unpleasant bitterness. The Caramel and Mocha blended smoothly into a lovely harmony that left me feeling energized. Neither flavor was particularly overpowering, which is fairly impressive for something featuring two strong flavors like caramel and mocha.

I didn’t drink the entirety of the Mocha Chip, admittedly, as that belonged to our food writer, Obadiah. On trying his coffee, I was hit by the bite of strong mocha. It was a stark contrast to the smoothness of the caramel in my own drink. The bite from the mocha was short lived as I adjusted to the change and it was pleasantly rich, with the coffee and chocolate flavors merging.

As we drank our coffee we shared some delectable treats! The strawberry cake was soft and lightly flavored- perhaps due to a lack of artificial flavors. It tasted like strawberry, but not overwhelmingly so. The frosting was likewise delicious with a softness in taste and texture.

We made short order of the cake and moved on to the oreo brownie which I highly recommend. The brownie was soft and yielding, with a richness that made it hard to imagine eating a huge portion. The couple bites I was able to enjoy left me feeling full and satisfied.

 

 

 

Instagrameter*: ohenrys insta /5
Taste: Ohenrys taste/5

-JJ

 

* how photographic I feel like the environment is based on atmosphere and any existing motifs