Bluegrass Java concocts a bevy of barista beverages, smoothies, and pastries inside of its compact, double-drive-thru coffee-stop quarters. Specialty drinks, such as mochaccinos ($3.75) and lattes ($3.60), please taste buds, and easily can be paired with fresh muffin selections ($1.50). With multitasking talents, the coffee specialists at Bluegrass Java accommodate drivers and walkers with signature "animal kingdom" drinks, named after their appearance, such as the chocolate-and-caramel-sauce Cheetah and the white-chocolate-and-caramel-sauce Giraffe. All drinks are made to order, and all orderly citizens are welcome to hitchhike along the highway of super information courtesy of Bluegrass Java's complimentary WiFi.
Nicolette Spears used to think green tea tasted like bad, stale grass-clippings. So when she began studying the importance of brewing temperature, it was a revelation. “Green tea is like a vegetable: if you burn the leaves, it tastes really bitter. That was sort of an eye-opener to me.”
Now, at Louisville Tea Company, Ms. Spears brews more than a hundred tea varieties according to strict standards, paying attention to each brew’s optimal brewing temperature, steep time, and leaf-to-water ratio. She also considers her tea’s origins: she sources Japanese green tea directly from a small tea farm in Japan, and the Kenyan Ajiri Tea employs Kenyan women and funds orphan education in West Kenya.
Additionally, Ms. Spears strives to educate newbies about tea. At the tasting bar, she brews fresh pots of the shop’s tea of the day. During the shop’s classes and tea tastings, tea experts delve not only into tea origins and flavors, but the positive effects on human health and boring water.
Helmed by Connie Young and her two daughters, Lori and Kelly, Sisters Tea Parlor Boutique transports visitors to simpler times, when taking tea was a daily ritual. Before settling at tables for afternoon tea, guests are invited to visit the boutique's dress-up vanity area and don festive hats, wraps, costume jewelry, and gloves. Traditional tea service includes scones with tart lemon curd, tea sandwiches, and a sweets tray lined with decadent desserts—plus, of course, bottomless pots of loose-leaf tea.
Thorntons independently distributes gas while keeping clean convenience stores filled with snacks to help drivers stay awake, nourished, or quenched. Power depleted, flex-fuel-friendly cars, trucks, vans, or tail-finned Zeppelins with E-85 Flex Fuel, a renewable fuel source that minimizes earth-detrimental emissions.
Most frozen-yogurt venues don't have a mascot. But at the newly inaugurated Swirlz Frozen Yogurt, Swirlz the Squirrel makes special appearances decked out in a bright-pink cheerleader uniform. Her intermittent presence at the independent, family-friendly dessert establishment augments the sunny vibe. Flat-screen TVs list mouthwatering flavors and music fills the multicolored confines as customers build their own concoctions before lounging in bright-white booths or perching on orange or pink stainless-steel chairs at spacious tables.
Locally owned by a fro-yo enthusiast, Swirlz Frozen Yogurt also prides itself on its community involvement. Mini desserts in the form of Red Velvet Cake and Cheesecake from local bakery Desserts by Helen grace the counters. On each Monday in the fall, nonprofit organizations such as animal-rescue outfits will set up booths in Swirlz, where they'll educate customers about their causes and bring in much-needed funds with a percentage of the day's profits.