Unlike most coffee shops and all PTA meetings, Crescent's Coffee & Tea accents its selection of coffee and baked goods with beer and wine. This welcome addition simply goes further in the café's quest to add a refined touch to the familiar, along with filling mugs with certified fair-trade, 100% organic coffees and filling stomachs with fresh croissant sandwiches, paninis, and baked goods. As they gaze through the café's windows onto St. Cloud's historic downtown scenery, diners can tap into the free WiFi while they sip a warm cup of caffeine or raise a glass of white wine or beer to the live entertainment that pumps out free sounds every Friday night. Crescent's also hosts themed tea parties that pair mothers and daughters, nieces and aunts, or grandfather clocks and digital watches to socialize over steamy brewed beverages.
On weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., cooks at Better Lunch stack sandwiches with sumptuous ingredients: chicken spread with cranberries and almonds, salami with carrots and Italian sauce, and signature egg and pickle salad are just a few examples. Diners can also opt for the soup of the day, or for a crisp salad with all the fixings.
One of the largest locally owned gourmet coffee and tea shops in the U.S., Barnie's offers more than 50 different gourmet coffees with 15 delectable flavors. Barnie's typically brews four different fresh coffees each day, and a ballroom of smoothies and lattes waltzes alongside mochas, espressos, and cappuccinos. Sit and sip a freshly brewed cup ($1.59+) or begin hoarding bags of pre-ground or whole-bean specialties such as Santa's White Christmas ($9.49/12 oz.)—a combination of Barnie's blended coffee with hints of coconut, sweet caramel, and vanilla guaranteed to keep you alert during the season when homes are most vulnerable to invasion by diabolically generous bearded elves. Recently unfrozen British cavemen can warm up with signature teas such as organic raspberry truffle and white-ginger peach, while all others can hose down tongue gardens with summer specials such as the Barnie Palmer ($2.29–$2.59), a blend of strawberry iced tea and mango lemonade.
Amid brick walkways and burnt-red walls, leaves rustle softly. Steam rises in the distance, then quietly disappears. One moment, this place emits smoky hints of cedar; the next, it teems with notes of ginger and cinnamon bark. This isn’t an idyllic college campus on a brisk autumn night. It’s Infusion Tea, a charming café on the balmy streets of Orlando. Sun streams through oversized windows, warming chilly scoops of gelato and triple-decker cream-cheese sandwiches. More than 70 types of tea—including blacks, greens, oolongs, and herbals—can be ordered hot or cool, like most jazz saxophone solos. Though they hail from faraway lands such as China, Japan, and South Africa, many of these teas are organic and fair-trade certified, reflecting values owner Christina Cowherd cultivated while traveling the world in the Peace Corps. Rare, premium teas such as gyokuro transport taste buds to new frontiers as well, whether nestled in a takeaway tin or steeped in a pot made for sharing in house.
Steeping each of its locations in colonial Boston-style interior design, Boston Coffeehouse serves a modern slew of specialty drinks, deli-fresh fare, and all-day breakfast items. For starters, munch on mango salsa salad, a leafy medley of mango salsa, dried cranberries, almonds, onions, and cucumbers slathered with mandarin ginger dressing ($5.89). Tender rotisserie chicken—served with baby arugula greens, red onions, and sun-dried tomato mayo on a pretzel bun—mollycoddles midday masticators ($6.50), and a french toast breakfast panini eases groggy taste buds awake after a long night or an afternoon nap with fresh egg, cheese, and ham sandwiched between slices of french toast ($3.50). Pair your choice of various Danish pastries, muffins, or croissants ($1.75) with a 12-ounce espresso ($1) or a specialty drink such as the Yankeedoodle, a mocha-based coffee concoction that features caramel, hazelnut, and macaroni feathers ($2.75/12-ounce), or the Nutty Irish Lady, which starts with espresso and expands into a whipped cream-topped comfort drink with flavors of cherry, Irish crème, and hazelnut ($2.75/12-ounce).