The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
Just a few of our best
by Lori Allen, Local Food Blogger
Even though we may not have those freezing cold temperatures and blistery snowy we days here in Florida we still do enjoy a good cup of coffee! So I have visited a few places and thought that I would share some of them with you. I have noticed that more and more coffee houses seem to be popping up all over the place. They are also becoming more popular with the young teenager which is a great way for them to socialize in a safe environment and they really do know their coffee!
Twisted Compass Brewing Co. 585 State Road 13, Suite 101, Fruit Cove, Florida (904) 217-0916
One that has recently opened is called the Twisted Compass Brewing Co. It is located right down the street on San Jose Blvd. It is run by some fellow neighbors who have full time jobs but decided to open up a coffee house just for fun! Lucky for us they did study up and become quite knowledgeable about what it takes to make a good cup of coffee. Their beans come from Bold Bean Coffee and if anyone has been to one of their coffee houses you know it’s the “good stuff”. So many of their coffee drinks are based on how many beans are used and how much of that is diluted with either cream, or the various types of milk, soy, almond, coconut and even oat. They have really unique choices for their coffee, anywhere from twisted drip (their brewed coffee with a shot of expresso) to their Cortado which I had to give a try. A Cortado is a Spanish term for a beverage that is made up of espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The milk in a cortado is steamed, but not frothy like many Italian coffee drinks. (The word cortado is part of the Spanish verb cortar (to cut), in the sense of "dilute") I had never heard of Oat milk before so I decided to go with that. My coffee was very smooth, had a somewhat nutty flavor and was served with a glass of seltzer to cleanse your palate as you drank. When you sipped your seltzer then drank the cortado you really got that rich deep flavor of the coffee and it had a natural sweetness to it so that I didn’t even need to add any sweetener. Now this type of coffee is not for everyone, but more for someone that loves expresso but wants to try something a little out of the box. I think you will really like the bold flavor along with the natural sweetness and just enough cream to make it oh so smooth. They do offer cappuccinos and lattes that are equally as delicious so of course I had to try a latte which is frothy and opted for the coconut milk. The frothy milk added just the right sweetness and it was prepared so expertly I really do think that you could compare it to any made in Italy. Twisted compass has plenty of seating and even a cute little sitting area. Some come in from the cold (haha) and relax with a nice cup of Jo!
Crucial Coffee, 26 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, 32084, (904) 810-2080
Being a Flaglerite I have enjoyed Crucial Coffee for many years. I always bring my out of town guests here to have a well-deserved specialty coffee after shopping up and down St. George Street. It doesn’t look like much more than a Shed but what the visitors don’t know is that these handcrafted coffees are so worth the wait. My favorites are always their specials of the day. I had one called the Milky Way and it was rich dark and creamy. It still tasted like coffee but then you get an added flavor of rich chocolate which sweetens it up then drizzled with caramel and whipped cream. I mean nothing “skinny” about this one but so worth every deep rich sip and for sure gives you that added “boost” to continue shopping in all the quaint shops! The barista can customize the perfect cup of coffee for whatever you want from something peanut buttery to just good old plain coffee. They also specialize in all types of shakes and smoothies too. I like to take a few minutes and rest my weary bones in their cute little garden and watch all the wandering travelers.
St. Augustine Coffee house, 6 St. George Street.,Suite 107 Saint Augustine, Fl 32084 (904) 819-1644
So I was surfing my FB page when I came across this little place that someone had “checked in” and mentioned frozen coffees, not iced, but frozen. So after a little Bridge of Lions 5k I did with a friend we decided we had earned a “frozen coffee’ and thought we would give this place a try. We were not disappointed. The shop is tucked away off the beaten path of St. George Street towards the end in a cute little courtyard. Their coffee beans are locally roasted by Martin Coffee Company a family owned and operated establishment. They have been called “the home of really big Chocolatey muffins and Frozen Caramel Peanut butter Mochas” but because I don’t like peanut butter with chocolate (I know, non-American if you don’t like that flavor combo) I opted to change it to hazelnut. So they mixed up the coffee with some real cream and then hazelnut flavor and blended it all up until it was smooth. The coffee mixture was creamy sweet and cold, I guess you could almost call it a coffee smoothie. The cool thing about this drink is that the ice doesn’t melt down the coffee flavor so you get you coffee fix as well as something cool to drink. This coffee house unlike others offers local beer and wine as well. They make some great sangria and mimosas. So after you get your coffee fix you can start on a mimosa…or two. Enjoy!
St. Johns Mag
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)