I don’t know about other moms, but there’s something about hitting 2 PM and needing an afternoon pick-me-up to conquer the rest of the day’s battles (because someone needs to solve the what’s for dinner question). Luckily, this time of the year does offer some autumnal themed espresso drinks even though the weather doesn’t generally match up.
For any of the naysayers, feel free to hold that beverage through the aisles of Hobby Lobby as you fill the cart with pumpkin and apple-cider scented candles. I’ll be the first to admit that once the temperature dropped below 70 degrees last year, I felt compelled to get a warm drink while pretending that a cool breeze would soon come to knock the crunchy leaves to the ground. Back in reality, you’ll catch me sipping on iced coffee year around from the Top Coffee Spots in the Ancient City to celebrate the warm rays of Florida sunshine.
Here’s a highlight of a few new fall coffee favorites that my family has stumbled upon in St.Augustine that are worthy of sharing.
Look no further for the perfect spot to indulge in a sweet treat on your own or with the little ones in tow. Swillerbees is a recent and welcome addition to the donut & coffee shop scene in downtown St. Augustine. The storefront is stocked with a variety of donuts (cake and yeast, for those who have split households like mine) and a kitschy coffee bar menu. My recommendation to ease the afternoon burden? The Bee’s Knees! This signature latte upgrades the standard espresso & milk combination with the addition of honey, cinnamon, and a swirl of caramel sauce.
Be sure to combine this latte (available hot or iced) with a delectable apple-cinnamon stuffed donut to fulfill that I-wish-was-at-an-apple-orchard-feeling your heart desires this time of the year.
Tucked away from the main thoroughfare, Relámpago offers a quiet and charming escape from the afternoon routine. The bright yellow entryway welcomes you into a modernly crisp interior that showcases a simple menu of their house specialty drinks. Even on a Saturday afternoon with tourists walking around the city, my little buddy and I had the beautiful outdoor patio to ourselves. While my son was chatting up the friendly barista about his favorite drink (milk with ice in a coffee cup), she suggested that I try one of her fall favorites – Dirty Chai. This delicious drink combines the familiar fall spice of Chai tea with milk, a single shot of espresso, vanilla syrup and a dusting of cinnamon.
The warm spiciness of chai mixed with a caffeine boost is a perfect match for tackling your email inbox or more likely, watching the kids pretend your chair is a tunnel for hot wheels cars.
A local favorite, the previously known Hyppo Cafe, has recently celebrated a grand opening as the storefront shifts its focus back to coffee-based roots. While the plaza might be a drive away from the downtown scene, this is a perfect spot to spend the afternoon drinking a favorite fall beverage and playing a ravaging game of Pictionary or if you’re like me, tic-tac-toe with a competitive four-year-old.
For some folks, a fall beverage wouldn’t be complete without the mention of pumpkin syrup (or the infamous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte) so rest assured that this is an available option. Yet, as much as I want to join the club, pumpkin-flavored drinks just aren’t my thing.
Luckily, the Hyppo Coffee Bar offers a secondary trendy late summer/early fall option that has won my heart – meet your new best friend, the Lavender Vanilla Latte. A delicious mix of espresso & milk gets updated with floral notes from lavender syrup and sweetness from the added vanilla. The lavender simple syrup may not be a traditional fall flavor, but the lingering earthy notes are sure to make it a new favorite.