Coffee & Treats in Nebraska

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The Tea Smith owner Tim Smith searches out loose-leaf teas from all over the world—and he says he has to consciously limit himself as he fills the shops' stock of about 150 teas. But it wasn't long ago that Tim didn't even like tea. "I thought tea was brown water and a bag," he confesses.

It took a gift for his wife to change that. "I was traveling for business, it was around Valentine's day, and I was married long enough to know that you don't come home empty-handed," he says. So he bought her some loose-leaf tea and the right accessories to brew it. "She made me try it, and it was surprising," he says. "It was not that stuff in a bag. It had some character and some taste to it."

He began researching, and realized that tea—already the world’s most widely consumed beverage after water—was experiencing a resurgence in the United States. While many tea spots have British or Japanese themes, Tim decided to open a tea shops with a "comfortable contemporary" vibe, where people could enjoy hot, iced, and bubble teas with friends. For at-home brewing, visitors can shop for classic teas such as Earl Grey, sample more unusual flavors such as the “Iron Goddess of Mercy” (an oolong), or browse seasonal blends such as pumpkin spice, cranberry cream, and fireside chat. The shops also stocks travel tea mugs, teapots equipped with infuser baskets, and unglazed Chinese YiXing clay pots that enhance the tea’s flavor.

Tim knows that many people who walk into the shop are unfamiliar with loose-leaf tea and may not be sure what they'll like—which is why he only hires tea enthusiasts. "Part of their training is to come in and drink each of the teas, and make notes on the flavor profiles," he says. That way, the staff can recommend blends suited to each customer's palate, rather than having to analyze a Rorschach tea-blot test. In addition to events including an annual blending contest, they also run periodic Tea 101 sessions that introduce attendees to the "history, the myths, the legends, and the lore of tea," says Tim.

345 N 78th St
Omaha,
NE
US

When the Bluejays take the court, you can expect to see a sea of bright blue shirts at the Sam & Louie's at the corner of 24th and Cuming in Omaha. The location has been one of Creighton University's homes away from home since it opened in 1994, but its welcoming atmosphere is found at each of the eatery's 24 locations. There, friends and families bond over great conversation and an eclectic mix of casual cuisine from a menu inspired by traditional New York–style pizzerias. Eighteen specialty pizzas are hand tossed into thin-crust pies before being decorated with more than 35 toppings such as creamy alfredo sauce, sliced Italian meatballs, and canadian bacon. In deference to those with special dietary needs, almost all of these specialty pizzas are available in gluten-free pizzas.

In addition to pizzas, cooks also craft their daily-made dough into calzones and strombolis, which ooze with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. The menu culminates in five third-pound Black Angus burgers, Italian hoagies, and eight types of pastas. In addition to hosting guests inside their welcoming pizzerias for both lunch and dinner, the cooks at Sam and Louie's also take their food on the road, offering catering services for events both large and not-so-large.

1501 Pine Lake Rd
Lincoln,
NE
US

When the Bluejays take the court, you can expect to see a sea of bright blue shirts at the Sam & Louie's at the corner of 24th and Cuming in Omaha. The location has been one of Creighton University's homes away from home since it opened in 1994, but its welcoming atmosphere is found at each of the eatery's 24 locations. There, friends and families bond over great conversation and an eclectic mix of casual cuisine from a menu inspired by traditional New York–style pizzerias. Eighteen specialty pizzas are hand tossed into thin-crust pies before being decorated with more than 35 toppings such as creamy alfredo sauce, sliced Italian meatballs, and canadian bacon. In deference to those with special dietary needs, almost all of these specialty pizzas are available in gluten-free pizzas.

In addition to pizzas, cooks also craft their daily-made dough into calzones and strombolis, which ooze with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. The menu culminates in five third-pound Black Angus burgers, Italian hoagies, and eight types of pastas. In addition to hosting guests inside their welcoming pizzerias for both lunch and dinner, the cooks at Sam and Louie's also take their food on the road, offering catering services for events both large and not-so-large.

3608 Twin Creek Dr
Bellevue,
NE
US

Alotta Brownies is a true-blue neighborhood bakery where glass cases reveal sweet morsels of handmade decadence. The inviting confectionery is owned by New York native Michelle, whose former stomping grounds had her baking cakes for the sweet-toothed likes of Madonna, Mary Tyler Moore, and Yoko Ono. She and her lovingly prepared sweets migrated to the Midwest, where a 100-year-old sugar-cookie recipe mingles with more than 20 varieties of brownies and bars and a full menu of edible rewards. If you don't see your consummate confection, opt to customize a cake. Choose the filling, layer-count, frosting, and decoration, such as an eight-inch, three-layered creation smothered in cream-cheese frosting for $29.

317 N Main St
Fremont,
NE
US

After Jacobus Stam attained a compliment-baiting reputation for crafting delectable pastries and chocolates at his bakery, Chocolaterie Stam was founded in Amsterdam in 1913 to focus solely on chocolates and sweet treats. Visitors of Chocolaterie Stam's American branches can enjoy a wide range of assorted sweets that contain no wax or preservatives. Savor nearly a century's worth of quality and tradition in every decadent bite, recalling the time when actual gold coins were the de rigueur dessert. Percolate palates with a 14-piece burgundy box ($14.95), a 16-piece jewel box filled with bonbons ($19.95), or a toothsome stack of stroopwafels toting a layer of caramel syrup ($3.95). Additionally, visitors can stop by to soak in the relaxing atmosphere and sip on a flavorful Italian soda, gelato, or hot chocolate instead of converting their home’s crawlspace into a compact café.

7474 Towne Center Pkwy
Papillion,
NE
US

Offering convenient transport of milk, produce, cleaning products, and more, Milk2You provides a convenient and time saving service for re-stocking household essentials. Peruse a wide selection of products online before loading up on necessities such as butter, eggs, potatoes, ground beef, cereal, paper towels, and much more. Delivery is available to a wide range of zip codes, ensuring pantries are fully stocked and ready to withstand natural disasters such ravenous packs of college kids returning home for the weekend. Refer to the handy FAQ page for answers to additional questions.

6998 S 108th St
La Vista,
NE
US