The team of artists, coffee experts, and restaurateurs behind Scarlet Begonias Coffee Roasters draw from their varied backgrounds to create small-batch roasts. The boutique roaster sources its arabica beans from only organic, fair-trade farms, and then processes every batch completely by hand. Each order is hand-roasted less than 48 hours before shipping. A roast master oversees each step of the roasting and cooling process and makes poorly performing beans stay afterward for detention.
After degassing for 24 hours to remove CO2, the coffee beans are placed into colorful, custom-decorated packaging that hints at the bold flavors within. The roaster's two vibrant blends, Dirty Hands dark roast and Velvet Pillow light roast, cover almost the full spectrum of flavor. Perhaps that's why Scarlet Begonias doesn't dedicate itself just to coffee: other treats include the dessert topping Black Agnes Pure Elixir and the Happy Toad Roasting Glaze, which lends a smokey-sweet flavor to meats and vegetables, and are both made using coffee as the main ingredient. And keeping with its environmentally conscious mission, the shop also sells reusable, BPA-free coffee pods that fit into Keurig coffee machines.
The rich and complex flavors inside a cup of Cafe Britt's gourmet coffee start with a simple bean. For more than 29 years, Cafe Britt's buyers have searched for crops with an ideal genetic profile, farms with beneficial ecosystems, and beans with magic properties, and have learned to harness at least the first two elements. In Costa Rica, Peru and Colombia, Cafe Britt has built strong relationships with farmers and maintained fair-trade practices at every step of the way.
With those beans, Cafe Britt blends signature gourmet coffees such as Colombian Dark Roast and Costa Rica Espresso Roast. The shops also complement coffee with gourmet cookies, chocolates, and other treats.
At Blast Organic Coffee, java experts curate a collection of invigorating organic coffees, herbal teas, and supplements designed to energize the body and pique the senses with their rich aromas and tastes. Online shoppers peruse virtual shelves full of K-cups and pouches of grounds from Starbucks and Organo Gold, or teas from Traditional Medicinals and Prince of Peace. And, customers can even choose from special selections designed to ward off maladies, such as coffees spiked with extract from Ganoderma mushroom, which is used to boost circulation and immunity.
Unloathe.com frees shoppers from the burden of transporting bulky goods from the store to their homes. Customers can load up on unwieldy items, such as 24-packs of Gatorade, Huggies diapers, and paper towels, as well as smaller stuff such as batteries and dish soap. The company’s “shopping angels” then deliver groceries for a flat-rate fee and set up recurring deliveries if desired.
Cuban-born Reina has called Miami her home since starting her hairstyling career more than two decades ago. Within those years, Reina has sharpened her eye for detail, which she showcases during each precision cut, ombre highlight, and bridal updo she performs from within Zen Hair salon. Reina reaches for ammonia-free dye to liven up dull locks and straightens out unruly curls with an organic smoothing formula and a tough, but fair, lecture.
La Cocina Puertorriquena's specialty is mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made of mashed fried plantains. Chefs use that recipe as a foundation, preparing more than 20 varieties of the dish with chunks or pork, skirt steak, and breaded shrimp. They also showcase a variety of other traditional specialties, including roasted meats and fried whole snapper. On Saturday nights, servers clear away tables to make room for live musicians and dancing until 1 a.m. The restaurant’s walls proudly display the Puerto Rican flag, which should never be nibbled on, despite its mofongo taste.