// Seasonal ingredients meet seasonal coffees, and happy customers. //
It's true, some parts of the country are warm and refreshing in January and February. I've never lived in one of those cities, and after experiencing 60 degree wet and windy days in San Diego last weekend it proved even more that you just don't know how bad winter is going to get. Oh, wait, is climate change even real? Kidding, and to all those politicians who don't think it is I hope your lattes are real bitter and stale.
These drinks are certainly not bitter or stale, but rather unique and full of soul-warming flavors for the coffee lover. From the West Coast to Oklahoma these shops are part of our first seasonal series.
Second Best // Drink: Into The Woods // Kansas City, MO
We were looking for drinks for our winter menu that didn't include eggnog. Lately we've found ourselves with a lot of iced signature drinks, and wanted to create something warm. Gentry had the idea of working with pine and started from there. Often we'll start with one ingredient as a focus. Once we came up with the final drink we were happy with it, but the pine itself really dries out your mouth, so we added bacon as a garnish to get your mouth salivating. We also spent time playing with the presentation in a way that I feel opens up some new ideas for us. Pouring the shot table side is one of those. It's a small touch that I really like, and it feels special. I'm really excited about this one! We use our Malawi coffee (roasted by Second Best) pulled as an espresso because of the raisin-like sweetness in that shot. Because of how integral the espresso is to this, it would be difficult to duplicate at home. - Leia Anderson
Communal Coffee // Drink: Rose Vanilla Latte // San Diego, CA
Our newest drink on the menu is our Rose Vanilla Latte. We were inspired by the gorgeous flowers that we are surrounded by in our shared space with a Native Poppy, a florist.
This latte is a combination of organic rosewater, housemade vanilla bean syrup, Sightglass Coffee's Owl’s Howl espresso, and whole milk. The espresso has bold aromatics of butterscotch and spice which blend amazingly well with the rose-vanilla combination. Rose petals on top are an optional garnish. It has just the right amount of sweetness as we prepare for spring here in San Diego.
With a good espresso machine this can be duplicated at home. You can order organic food grade rosewater online, or pick it up at a local health food store. We use a 4 to 1 ratio of vanilla bean syrup to rosewater. Use 1 ounce of this combination with 2 ounces of espresso and steam milk to 145 degrees for the perfect 12 ounce latte. . - Jen Byard
Clarity Coffee // Drink - Blood Orange Latte // Oklahoma City
Here at Clarity we really try to work with ingredients that are in season. Every drink is made from scratch. It just so happens that blood oranges are at their best in January. It works so well because the espresso provides a chocolatey edge to the drink, giving it a kind of chocolate-orange quality that people really love. We're really proud of our blood orange latte even though the recipe is pretty simple - a little bit of fresh blood orange juice, sugar, espresso, and milk. Careful not to add too much juice. A little goes a long way! - Steve Willingham
UP Coffee Roasters // Drink - Barrel-Aged Lumberjack Latte // Minneapolis, MN
The Barrel-Aged Lumberjack Latte has become a winter staple for Minnesotans and alike. Up Coffee Roasters aged green coffee beans in an empty Bulleit Bourbon Barrel. The green beans were aged in the barrels for several months then roasted highlighting the aromas of the whiskey. The baristas at Up then produced espresso with those beans. In addition, our baristas developed a bacon simple syrup that was mixed with pure maple, vanilla and vanilla flavoring from Amoretti baking supply store. Altogether the drink consists of Bulleit Bourbon espresso, bacon simple syrup, pure maple syrup, vanilla and steamed with milk. The result is a latte that tastes like a sweet pancake with a Bourbon maple syrup. Unfortunately this drink is hard to be produced at home. The bacon simple syrup is a feat in itself. - Evan Christensen