The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
Named after the hardworking Hawaiian donkeys that transported juvenile java beans through the mountains, Bad Ass Coffee brews 100% Kona Coffee imported from the Big Island. In a meticulous process, Kona beans are roasted to ensure the rich flavors didn't ditch the flight and opt for the beach. Taste buds board a plane for the Hawaiian shores at the first touch of 100% Kona Coffee, a carefully roasted cup brimming with flavors ($3.50 for 16 oz.). Latte lovers choose from more than 15 signature varieties, such as the Kreme de Kona, a bubbling brew of white and dark chocolate splashed with vanilla ($3.70 for 16 oz.), or the sweet caramel base of the Snickerlicious, a hazelnut-and-chocolate concoction ($3.20 for 12 oz.). Coffee drinkers can chew on specialty sandwiches such as the chicken salad flanked by a side of chips ($4.50) or send their incisors into a huge assortment of danishes and pastries ($1.50–$2.50).
Browse black, green, herbal, mate, medicinal, oolong, organic, rooibos, and white varieties online to get an idea of what the grotto stocks. There are tempting tastes for camellia connoisseurs and rooibos rookies alike, and fresh bakery bites complement the steaming cups. Wake with a bang of organic Gunpowder (green tea with a smoky flavor) or a traditionally spicy Masala Chai. The Clear Mind (a blend of organic, wild-harvested herbs formulated by Leslie Peterson, ND) gives the inside of your noggin a cold shower. Bestselling sips include the walnut green tea, chocolate-mint rooibos, and rooibos peach.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air inside both locations of BlueStar Juice Bar and Coffee Café, where staffers eschew corporate cups to roast their own beans into three artful coffee blends. Blenders also churn fresh fruit and veggies into juices such as the Cobra, which gives apple and carrot a mild gingery bite, or the Fruit Fusion, which combines fresh, seasonal picks.
BlueStar staff strives to create a genial atmosphere. At the café location on 2795 South 2300 East, customers can submit juice blends or sandwich recipes to add to the menu, and canine companions are welcome indoors or on the patio. Alternately, the downtown drive-thru makes for a quick refueling stop for drowsy commuters and cars that run on eco-friendly caffeine.
Live trees grow inside Café Solstice, stretching their branches toward the sunlight that streams in through the high ceiling's skylights. The trees aren't the only things that are leafy and fresh, though; so is the spot's menu of vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Kitchen wizards fashion organic produce into dishes such as corn tacos with miso, sunflower seeds, and cheddar cheese beneath greens and cilantro dressing, or veggie burgers made from walnuts, mushrooms, and pumpkins seeds topped with tomato chutney and provolone. Visitors can also snack on fresh-baked goods that range from Kashi krispie bars to double-chocolate butterscotch cookies, and sip organic loose-leaf tea or drip coffee made with locally roasted beans.