Cold, wet and dark. Welcome to your latest Cleveland winter. To get you through, we've sniffed out four mini vacays for your soul — all for less than the cost of a tank of gas. Amber Matheson
Mayan Magic blend ($11/pound). The beans from Central America and southern Mexico are grown in the jungle, says Berea-based Red Cedar Coffeegeneral managerLarry Denton. Because they are harvested high in the mountains, they grow more slowly, which allows the full flavor of buttered notes and hints of chocolate to develop.
Mexico City latte ($3.85-$4.55). Adding cinnamon and hazelnut syrups is one thing, but we love the straight-from-the-kitchen addition of crushed cinnamon brittle Gypsy Beans & Baking Co.ownerNicole Gillota compares to rock candy. "It just has that feeling to it, that kind of spicy sweet, almost like a Mexican coffee," she says.
6425 Detroit Ave., ClevelandOhio, 216-939-9009, gypsybeans.com
Sunrise Over Kona mocha ($3-$4). People go to Hawaii to relax, says Maui WowiownerLauri Johnson, and the orange flavoring with Hawaiian espresso beans and chocolate evokes that feeling. "You get the warmth of the coffee, rich chocolate, and then fruitiness of the orange — a nice little hint that reminds you of being on an island."
51 S. Main St., HudsonOhio, 330-655-0060, smoothiesncoffeeohio.blogspot.com
Caribbean Nights blend ($1.70-$2). "When it's hot, the rum flavor comes out," says Cravings Cafécoffee roasterRick Lawson of the Columbian blend of cinnamon, rum and pecan designed to conjure memories of lazy beach days. "As the temperature cools down, the cinnamon tastes come out, and you start noticing the softer pecan flavors."
19701 Lake Road, Rocky RiverOhio, 440-895-0098, cravings-cafe.com