Latte Exploration: A Seasonal Perspective

A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. The term as used in English is a shortened form of the Italian caffΓ¨ latte, caffelatte or caffellatte, which means “milk coffee”. Wikipedia

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love a perfectly executed Latte. That of course starts with quality coffee beans followed by a skillful barista. This fall has been deliciously favorable for seasonal Lattes. With notes of cinnamon, maple, and of course pumpkin spice, you can’t go wrong. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Claro Coffee Serving Up Next Level Pumpkin Spice Lattes This Week Only

It’s still Pumpkin Spice Season and I’m a pumpkin spice everything type of gal. Who cares what Martha Stewart says, pumpkin spice is life! Since the beginning of the season, I’ve had my share of amazing pumpkin spice lattes, but nothing like the one today. Yesterday, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, I came across a post from one of my favorite coffee shops in Toledo, Claro Coffee. They were featuring the Ultimate Pumpkin Spice Latte, this week only!! Not only is it adorned with all kinds of deliciousness, it’s also served in a PUMPKIN!!!

So you know I had to come and experience it for myself. At a whopping $8.00 it was totally worth every sip! Everything was made in house, from the pumpkin syrup to the whipped cream. It was quite awesome. If you’re in the Toledo area this week, come get one!!

Coffee Shop Love: Literati Coffee | Ann Arbor, Michigan

This year, I’ve become quite the coffee shop enthusiast. I love coffee and I like to drink my coffee in cool places. On a quick visit to Ann Arbor, I used my trusty Yelp app to find super cute coffee shop in downtown Ann Arbor, called Literati Coffee. Before actually getting to the coffee shop, I had to go through Literati Bookstore. Yes! A bookstore. This independent bookstore houses the 2 floors below the Literati Coffee, offering a very nice selection of books to choose from. My 9 year old was very impressed with the chapter book section. She could have stayed there all day!

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Be still my literary heart.

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Once upstairs, I was kindly greeted by two lovely baristas ready to give us the full Literati experience. I was drawn to their seasonal menu and selected the *Literally* Pumpkin Spice Latte, made with their house made pumpkin spice syrup. Sooooo delicious! My daughter chose their Chai Latte. That was AMAZING! I enjoyed quite a few sips from her cup. She wasn’t exactly happy about that. Lol!

The coffee shop sits on the top floor with a nice view of downtown Ann Arbor. Plenty of seats to chill or get some work done. It’s also one of the quietest coffee shops I’ve been, so staying focused should not be a problem. With good vibes and excellent espresso, Literati Coffee is definitely winning.

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We love our little shop πŸ’•

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Literati Coffee

204 S 4th Ave

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

6 Coffee Shops to Visit in Toledo, Ohio

This summer, I decided to visit my parents in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio. As a food blogger, I’m always in search of the best places to eat and drink. When I left Toledo, there wasn’t much of a culinary scene at all. Like nothing. The plus side of that is that my family ate at home most of the time. Which lead to my mother teaching me how to cook. Which in turn led to my love of cooking and food. When I moved to Atlanta in 1995, I wasn’t really into the culinary scene that much, as I was adjusting to the college life 4 states away from my parents. I still loved to cook though. I still remember those spaghetti dinners my roommates and I cooked with that portable cooking eye my mom mailed to me…even though it was against the rules. Lol!! As the culinary scene in Atlanta grew, so did my palate. Today it is amazing. It’s a Food Blogger’s dream. Not only are there amazing restaurants, Atlanta has some awesome breweries and coffee shops.

When I came back to Toledo, I must admit, I felt that my search to find a culinary adventure here would be grim. I’m still in search for an awesome restaurants, but happy to say that Toledo’s coffee shop game is spectacular! Boasting locally roasted coffee beans, chic decor, and amazing lattes just to name a few. Like I’m totally in love with these coffee shops! If you find yourself in Toledo, check out any one of these fantastic coffee shop!


1. Rustbelt
119 N Ontario St

Toledo, OH 43604

2. Β Claro Coffee Bar

1801 Adams St

Toledo, OH 43604

3. Β Maddie & Bella Coffee Roasters

44 S St Clair St

Toledo, OH 43604

 

4. SIP Coffee

3160 Markway Rd

Toledo, OH 43606

5. Β Black Kite Coffee
2499 Collingwood

Toledo, OH 43610

 

6. Β BleakHouse Coffee
612 Adams St

Toledo, OH 43604

 

#AtlFoodiePhotoChallenge | Coffee | Hodgepodge Coffeehouse

Oh Honey!

Espresso, steamed milk, honey, and a hint of vanilla.

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse

What’s your favorite coffee shop around Atlanta? Shout them out below! β˜•οΈ #AtlFoodiePhotoChallenge

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse

720 Moreland Ave SE

Atlanta, Ga 30316

Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm

Sunday 9am-9m

Atlanta Coffee Shops To Visit

I have not always been a fan of coffee. Growing up, my mother would get up early every morning start a pot of coffee for herself and my dad. Every single morning. I didn’t like the taste of coffee back then. I preferred tea. I didn’t really start drinking coffee till about five years ago. Starbucks was my coffee of choice until I was really introduced to the real world espresso. My espresso drink of choice is a Latte, sweetened with honey. If a coffee shop can nail that with the perfect amount of sweetness and flavorful beans as a base, they will have a return customer. There are so many coffee shops in Atlanta, you are bound to have a couple favorites. Here are a few of mines.

1. Octane Coffee


I had my first latte here and was hooked! I’m excited for the opening of their newest location at Woodruff Arts Center!

2. Chattahoochee Coffee Company

   

This coffeeshop has the most amazing scenery. Sitting along the Chattahoochee River, it’s the perfect place to enjoy you great cup of coffee and reflect on life.

3. Dancing Goats/Batdorf and Bronson Coffee


Recently I took a tour at the Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roastery and became an even more fan of the company. Their coffee is just dreamy! They can be found in a few restaurants in Atlanta, but I like to visit their coffee shop at Ponce City Market, Dancing Goats. They have an amazing outside sitting area perfect for reading a book and sipping on a latte. 

4. Rev Coffee

 
This coffee in located in my former hood, Smyrna. I was so happy to discover this awesome coffee shop near me. I love going there to to write. The atmosphere is real chill. Their dedication to a perfectly roasted batch of coffee does not go unnoticed. What’s also very cool about this coffee shop is that it’s a converted garage. Brilliant! 

5. Cool Beans Coffee Roastery 
 Located in Marietta Square, this coffee shop is your best bet for a good cup of coffee north of Atlanta. I actually found out about the while attending the Coffeee Fest last year. As I sampled a taste, I was thinking, how have I not been to this place that’s basically sitting in my backyard?? Since then I’ve made several visits the Cool Beans Coffee Roastery. It was even a stop on The Marietta Food Tour I took not to long ago. Besides the great coffee, the atmosphere is real laid back. I like that. Who wants to go to an uptight coffeehouse anyway? Not I! 

5. Java Monkey

This Decatur Square gem is a great place to grab a caffeinated drink and then sit outside to people watch. They make an awesome latte! While you’re there check out their selection of teas. The best!

HOW TO STAY AWAKE ON A BATDORF & BRONSON ROASTERY TOUR

  
Staying awake will never really be an issue when you take the Batdorf & Bronson Roastery Tour. Why? For many reasons. One, they have the best tour guide around. His name is Ren and he’s awesome! Which leads us to the second reason why staying awake will not be an issue. Ren will make sure your cup is full with delicious Bardorf & Bronson coffee throughout the entire tour. High five Ren! Third, it is just amazing to watch all these coffee beans being prepared by hand.
 

Hot cup of coffee to start this awesome tour.
 

So earlier this week I read a post on Instagram by blogger,  Morgan Ashley ( @eathereatl ) saying she had received an invite from Bardorf & Bronson to take a tour of their roasting facilities. She wanted to bring a guest with her and asked that followers comment with their email address if they would like to join her. Umm Yes, please! I love Bardorf & Bronson coffee. I had to go, so I commented. A couple days later, I get an email from Morgon to say I was in there! Yes! So Thursday morning, very excitedly, I headed to the roastery.
We started tour with a cup of hot coffee. It was delicious as I knew it would be. Ren told us that the first person who arrives in the morning makes the first pot of coffee and starts running the reports. They chose the coffee, so every morning there is a mystery pot of coffee. The person who gets the last of that pot of coffee, has to make another pot,  of their choice. Yet another mystery pot of coffee. 

 

Morgon and Ren discussing their prefrences in how their coffee is prepared. Morgan prefers her with cream and sugar, while Ren prefers his black.

  

With coffee in hand, we headed back to the lounge to talk a bit. First, we took turns telling the group what our first memories of coffee was. I remember growing up and my parents having a cup of coffee first thing every morning. Even now,  when my parents visit me, every morning my Dad gets up and goes to get coffee. I used to think coffee tasted like dirt. I thought it was real gross. I was a tea drinker. It wasn’t till about 5 years ago that I tried it again and became a fan. I enjoy lattes a lot, but I do like my coffee black with a little honey as well. When you start to notice the differences in quality of all the many coffee shops, you become picky. You are now a coffee snob. It’s not a bad thing, you are just are aware of who serves a good quality cup of coffee. Which is why I love Bartorf & Bronson. The coffee is great!

Next, Ren took us into the roastery. He showed us were the sacks were delivered and stored. There were stacks and stacks of sacks of green coffee beans waiting to be roasted. Coffee beans are the seeds of a coffee plant. It is the pit inside a red or purple fruit usually referred to as a cherry.  Coffee plants grow in the mountainous regions between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. A coffee plant reaches its full maturity at five years. Then they are ready to be harvested and processed. After several more stages, they travel to Batorf & Bronson to be roasted.

   
    
 
Beans are roasted as they are ordered to maintain the freshest coffee beans possible. Which is where our friend Alex was busy making sure the coffee beans were being roasted properly. Hi Alex!  

  

After the coffee beans are roasted, they cooled off.
 
  
After the beans are cool, they are then sucked up into another part. The power of the suction is only strong enough to pick up the weight of a bean. Those beans are dumped into a bucket to be weighed. If it’s heavier than a bean, it stays in a metal basket to be sorted by hand.

  
  
  
  
  

Now they are ready to be filled for orders. What’s interesting is that all the coffee bags are filled individually, by hand. There were only like 5 people there running the operation the whole time. And everyone seemed so chill and relaxed. Seems like a fantastic place to work. After being packaged, they are then ready to be shipped to various restaurants and coffee shops around Atlanta. My favorite place yo enjoy a cup of Bardorf & Bronson coffee is at The Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. They have a great outside seating area, perfect for sipping coffee.  

   

  

  
   The last activity on the awesome tour was a French pressed coffee tasting. We all gathered around the lounge table and sampled some Nicarguan and Ethiopian coffee. By the way, I was fully caffeinated and wide awake before this tasting. Ren educated a little further on the methods of preparing and properly tasting your coffee to experience the full flavor.

   

  

At the end of the tour, everyone was given their choice of coffee and a coffee mug! Nice! I chose the Organic French Roast, one of the selections we enjoyed while on the tour. It’s so good! And it smells oh so delicious!

 

A big thanks goes out to Eat Here Atl for inviting me along with you on the great tour. And much gratitude to Ren and Bardolf & Bronson for a lovely tour and stellar hospitality. I had a most fantastic time!