It's time for another installment of our Feel Good Drinks Of Fall series, where we celebrate the latest and greatest in cozy coffee drinks. Today we present four drinks from the Daily Press in Charlotte, North Carolina. The shop opened a little over four months ago, sharing a space with the music venue Evening Muse.
Head Barista Diana Mnatsakanyan explains that Daily Press is more than just a place to get coffee, “We regularly host Community Education classes in the shop. We had a Brewing Science & Theory class taught by BUNN Field Rep Rusty Angell. We're currently planning a Southeastern Barista Jam that we hope to host in March.”
On their coffee service, Mnstsakanyan tells Sprudge, “We offer pour-overs, specialize in our Seasonal Specials, and also have a stunning Victoria Arduino Athena Leva spring-lever espresso machine that we happily pull shots from.”
Check out four feel-good fall-time Seasonal Specials from the Daily Press below.
As told by Diana Mnatsakanyan of the Daily Press.
The “Candied Yam Cortado”
We wanted to do a twist on the usual pumpkin-y fall drink, and thus the Candied Yam was born. It's a cortado flavored with our house-made candied yam sauce: a concoction of organic pureed sweet potatoes, maple syrup and marshmallow fluff (yes, freaking marshmallow fluff!). We serve it sprinkled with nutmeg sugar & a sprig of fresh rosemary as a garnish. After a few sips, we usually recommend customers stir in the rosemary sprig to infuse a delightfully savory, herbal taste to their drink that really rounds out the sweet & spicy flavors in the sauce.
The “Morning Woodford”
This is an iced Chemex'd Ethiopia Idido coffee (from Counter Culture Coffee), shaken with lavender-oak-hibiscus bitters & Woodford Reserve bourbon honey. We dust it with dutch cocoa and always giggle when we call it out for customers to pick up at the bar. While this drink isn't your typical milky, hot fall fare, we understand & have embraced the fact that Southern autumns tend to be mild and generally warm which leaves a little bit of wiggle room for a bourbon-y, woods-y, chilled drink on our Fall Specials menu.
The “Piccadilly Fog”
This drink is our Southern twist on the London Fog. It's an Earl Grey tea latte, sweetened with a house-made pomegranate-molasses syrup & garnished with Chinese Cassia Cinnamon sugars & crushed hibiscus petals. We serve it with fresh pomegranate seeds on the saucer for customers to enjoy. We've gotten a really great response from folks about this drink, as it's tasty, comforting and the tangy-sweet of the pomegranate-molasses & dried hibiscus works for all varieties of sweet tooths (is that a word? “tooths”??)
The “Ghost Onyx Mate Latte”
The Ghost Onyx is a Yerba Mate tea latte, sweetened with black onyx sugar and served with a demitasse spoon of local ghost pepper honey. As you can see, the cup is garnished with black onyx sugar, a slapped mint leaf, and ghost pepper honey & black onyx sugar on the rim, which gives customers a sweet-spicy kick to their mate latte. It's one of those love-it-or-hate-it drinks, since the kick of ghost peppers isn't for everyone. It's a surprisingly rich beverage (that black onyx sugar is amazing!) with a fantastic warming element to it for those colder fall afternoons.
Sprudge: Tell us about the inspiration for the drinks!
Diana Mnatsakanyan: Fall itself is inspiring. It's a romantic season of oversized sweaters and fireplace-cuddling, an exciting time of pre-holiday anticipation, and it's usually the season when everyone suddenly remembers that coffee shops exist. We were inspired and encouraged to think creatively about our favorite fall staples and I think that is reflected in our menu: warming ghost peppers, comforting bourbon, grandma's casseroles, Persephone's pomegranate, etc.
Sprudge: Was there a specific person/barista behind the concoctions?
Mnatsakanyan: All the Seasonal Specials that we create at The Daily Press are a collaborative effort between Lindsey Pitman, the shop owner, and The Daily Press baristas. Everyone is encouraged to think outside of the box and find inspiration in local flavors and seasonal favorites. We get all of our spices from our favorite local spice shop, Savory Spice, and will often take samples from them back to the shop to play around with. We spend weeks tasting, testing, tweaking, and perfecting each beverage and usually end up with five Seasonal Specials when all is said and done.
Sprudge: How much do they cost?
Mnatsakanyan: All of our Seasonal Specials are $5.00 per beverage.
Sprudge: How long will you serve the drinks?
Mnatsakanyan: Our current Fall Specials Menu will be at The Daily Press until early December. After that, we're switching to the Winter Menu (which we're currently working on and are VERY excited about)!
Sprudge: What foods do they pair with?
Mnatsakanyan: In the shop we sell pastries made by local baker Whisk & Wood and cookies from The Cookie Cult. We don't necessarily have official food recommendations for the drinks, but one of the Fall Specials (not listed/pictured above) is a Pumpkin Honey Cappuccino that we serve on a small plate with a pie crust cookie from Whisk & Wood that she bakes to be served with that drink only. So yeah, occasionally we'll create specials paired with specific foods.
Sprudge: If we were to pair the drinks with music, and listen to the perfect song while sipping, what would those songs be?
Mnatsakanyan: You can never go wrong with a lil' bit of Prince!
Sprudge: Thanks so much for the time!
If you or your favorite cafe has a fall feel-good drink, tell us about it! Send us an e-mail at email@example.com to be considered for Feel Good Drinks Of Fall.