December Barista’s Choice

 

🤩BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | Meet our fearless leader, Michelle and her barista’s choice creation, the “Holiday P-Ardi,” an Ardi cold brew, cranberry, ginger-beer coffee mocktail 🤯☕️🍸 10% of proceeds for the “Holiday P-Ardi” being donated to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
Michelle manages our awesome staff and we are so incredibly grateful for her positive attitude and dedication to making the cafe an amazing place to work! Learn a little more about Michelle and her delicious drink below 👇🏽
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Q Tell us about your barista’s choice drink!
A: I wanted to create something fun and celebratory for the Holidays – something that would feel festive and seasonal, but not a flavored latte style drink. I used to manage bars, so I have a lot of experience creating cocktail menus, and wanted to use that skill along with my love of iced sparkling drinks to create a “Coffee Mocktail”. For this drink, I drew inspiration from one of my favorite classic cocktails, the “Dark & Stormy”. The drink is typically made with Dark Rum, lime, and ginger beer, but my creation replaces the dark rum with our cold brewed Ethiopia Ardi coffee concentrate. I then added a shot of house-made cranberry syrup to add a winter flavor to the drink. The fruity flavor profile of the Ardi blends nicely with the lime and cranberry and the molasses quality of the coffee is reminiscent of a dark rum. You feel like you’re drinking a cocktail at a Holiday Party (thus the name!), but it’s non-alcoholic and caffeinated. The drink is built like a cocktail using a cocktail shaker, poured over ice, and then topped with the ginger beer and garnished with crystalized ginger and sugared cranberries. It’s served with a straw so that you can mix the drink around as you enjoy it (rest assured, it’s a compostable straw).
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Q What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month and why?
A: I’m choosing to donate proceeds from my drink to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC). The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to stop sexual violence and its impact through support, education, and advocacy. As a past Board Member, serving as the Development Committee Chair, this organization is near and dear to me. As the manager of the cafes, I value the resources they offer to help educate our staff through workshops aimed at creating and upholding a safe space for all.
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Q Tell us a a fun fact about yourself
A: I was one of the first employees when Open Eye first opened in 1999 in the location where Neal’s Deli is now located!
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Q What is your New Years Resolution?
A: I don’t have any specific resolutions, but I do like to think of the New Year as a good time to reflect and take the time to work on continuing to be a better person to myself and those around me.
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Q Cats or Dogs
A: I don’t have favorites – I love them both!
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Q Beach or Mountains
A: A mountainous beach
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Q What’s your favorite drink to order in cafes right now?
A: Either a cup of black drip coffee, a mocha cappuccino with our new house-made whipped cream on top, or an oat milk matcha latte
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Q What book(s) are you reading right now?
A: Most recently read: “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
And I’m currently re-visiting some of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks like “Heart of the Home” by local author Ann Jackson, and the cookbook from Athens, GA vegetarian eatery, “The Grit”. I read about food and beverage a lot 😉
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Q Favorite alt Milk?
A: Oat Milk hands down.
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Q Go-to Latte art
A: When I have the rare pleasure of getting on bar and steaming milk, I like to go for the rosetta.
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Q Favorite herbal tea?
A: I absolutely love the curiously earthy Rooibos tea….Especially made as a latte with steamed oat milk and a little bit of honey
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Q Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: I’m a huge fan of Ethiopia Ardi in general. The Holiday blend is my favorite right now – It’s a harmonious blend of two coffees we’ve previously highlighted on pour over at the cafes – the La Rosa Yellow Catuai, and the Moonset Dwarf Gesha. It’s floral and honey sweet, with a smooth black tea finish. I really love its versatility which allows it to be equally enjoyed using different brewing methods – not only is it spectacular as a pour over at the cafes, but also just as lovely when brewed at home using my french press.

Thanksgiving Hours – we are OPEN!

We are OPEN on Thanksgiving from 7am-5pm!

Come in and get a delicious beverage to jump-start your busy (or laid back) day.

November Barista’s Choice

🤩BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | Meet Brady and his barista’s choice creation, the “Pumpkin A-chocolypse,” a pumpkin-chocolate latte 🎃🍫 10% of proceeds for Brady’s drink are being donated to CLAWS, a Chapel Hill nonprofit group that focuses on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Learn a little more about Brady and his delicious drink below!
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: My barista choice drink is called Pumpkin A-chocolypse Latte. I love to bake, and my favorite type of cookie is Chocolate chip pumpkin. The drink is cozy, creamy, warming and not-very-sweet, perfect a season in which the days grow shorter. It’s made with our delicious homemade pumpkin syrup, a splash of our equally delicious homemade chai, two shots of Piedmont Espresso, oat milk, a drop of vanilla extract to bring all those incredible flavors out, and lastly, topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
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Q: What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month & why?
A: The organization I’m choosing for my drink is CLAWS, a Chapel Hill nonprofit group that focuses on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. I’ve been a lifelong lover of nature and in our modern world, it’s so easy to forget how important it is for humans to be caretakers of all the beautiful life we cohabitate this amazing planet with.
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Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: Hmm, well I’m a Durham native and have spent most of my life around here. I’m a drummer (I love rhythm, it’s in everything), and currently I’m writing an epic novel that has been bouncing around my head for almost twenty years (it’s about 130K words, so far).
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Q: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
A: Stuffing has always been my favorite, my mom makes an amazing vegetarian stuffing for me every Thanksgiving. I also have a soft spot for cranberry sauce, fresh or canned (I know, I know!)
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Oh, gosh… Cats, mostly because I identify with their quiet independence, but there is nothing quite like the energy and openly loving, happy-go-lucky nature of dogs
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee 90% of the time. Okay, okay, 95%!
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: I’ve spent tons of time at both, it mostly depends on what experience I’m craving. The beach is for energy, sunshine and people, mountains are for solitude, nature and peacefulness. If I had to pick one, though, I’d have to go with mountains.
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: kinda depends on my mood. I’ve always been an avid reader, but there’s nothing like a good movie. There’s practically no type of story I don’t enjoy, from history to science fiction to mindless entertainment.
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: With espresso, definitely oat milk. To drink by itself, soy milk
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: some variation of a Rosetta, but I see latte art as something that should vary slightly from drink to drink, as every drink is unique, just like all other forms of art
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: my go to has always been something fruity or minty, though lately it’s been tea with licorice root, as it’s very soothing
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: Oh, it’s always tough to choose just one! I love fruitier coffees, so right now it’s a tossup between Edith Meza, our new Finca Balam and Nancy Hernandez Catuai

October Barista’s Choice

🤩BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | Meet Sophie and her “Bad Apple Cappuccino,” an apple-pie Cappuccino so good that it will make you want to go apple picking and carve a pumpkin 🎃🍎
10% of proceeds for Sophie’s drink this month are being donated to The Compass Center for Women and Families in Chapel Hill . Learn a little more about Sophie, her drink and choice of charity below:
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: The Bad Apple Cappuccino is an apple-pie inspired drink. It’s a sweet treat with a bit of caffeine to help pick you up on October nights. I am hopeful that we will be graced with appropriately chilly fall weather soon.
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Q: What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month & why?
A: The Compass Center for Women and Families in Chapel Hill provides resources and support to people experiencing crises involving domestic violence and abuse. This organization works hard to support and empower people in our community. October also happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: I stress-bake. My go-to is chocolate chip cookies.
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Q: What is your all-time best Halloween costume?
A: One year my brother and I went as Thing One and Thing Two from Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Always dogs.
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Q: coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee – although I’m trying to taste more teas.
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Mountains
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: Book
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Oat milk
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: I usually go for leaves but one of these days I’ll pour a heart that doesn’t look like an onion.
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Classic Chamomile with honey, you just can’t go wrong with such a comforting combination.
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: La Perla by Jose Arnold Paz.

September Barista’s Choice

🤩BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | Meet Hannah and her beautiful barista’s choice creation – a homemade Saffron Rose Tea that is SO delicious it will warm your heart 💗10% of proceeds for Hannah’s drink this month are being donated to NAMI NC (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Learn a little more about Hannah, her drink and choice of charity below:

Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: My drink is Persian inspired with saffron and damask rose petals grown in Iran, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods. The spices and petals are served to you brewing in hot water and homemade sweet saffron concentrate. It’s a warm and comforting hot cup with so much flavor.
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Q: What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month & why?
A: NAMI NC (National Alliance on Mental Illness) because they’re an awesome organization that strives to make policy change in the mental health system and serve as an invaluable resource for family members of folks with mental illness.
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Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: I went on a month long backpacking trip this past summer.
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Dogs
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee now, but I grew up drinking tea and it’s still a constant in my beverage choices haha
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Mountains
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: Book
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Oat!
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: Whatever my hand decides for itself that day
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Hibiscus Zest
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: Ethiopia Yergz

August Barista’s Choice

🤩BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | This month, we’re highlighting Rajeev, who you’ve most likely met because he’s Carrboro-famous! His barista’s choice creation is the “Orange Blossom Special,” a classy and delicious drink that looks and feels like you’re having an old-fashioned, sub espresso for booze! 🥃🤤
10% of proceeds for Rajeev’s drink this month are being donated to Refugee Community Partnership in Carrboro, an organization that builds ecosystems of resources, opportunities, and relationships with and for refugees while forging protective interdependence and solidarity among neighbors. Learn a little more about Rajeev, his drink and choice of charity below:
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: I’ve been a fan of our coffee from Saul Melara’s farm and I was looking forward to it showing up at Open Eye as an espresso option. I wanted to make something that had that espresso at the center, and was also fun and summery. The espresso is chilled with ice and then strained over a cube of frozen honey and orange blossom. I like orange blossom in anything, with its sweet smell and its slightly bitter taste. Also, I don’t drink as much alcohol as I used to, and I feel like when I’m holding this drink in my hand it feels like I’m having a coffee version of the sort of alcoholic cocktail I would have made for myself. This whole thing was a fun process; it was collaboratively made with Michelle and Thurmond, and I love obsessing too much over flavor.
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Q: What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month & why?
A: I’ve pickedin Carrboro because I think they’re providing the sort of support network for people in our community which my family would have appreciated a couple decades ago, and eventually found. Maddie’s great–I trust them.
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Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: I have a kombucha company which I’m proud of but which might have collapsed under its own gravity and I’m hoping I can perform some CPR on it without breaking too many of its ribs.
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Meh. They’re all fine. Puppies and kittens are both inherently cute because they’re small and new at this, but I’m not really partial to either dogs or cats. Humans are legit though.
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: stageplays
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: half and half
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: Tulips are the actual best.
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Yerba mate
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: Saul Melara or Ethiopia Ardi
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July Barista’s Choice

🤩JULY BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | This month we are highlighting our awesome barista, Caesar! Pictured is his Barista’s Choice creation, the “Basil Con Pana” and a drawing of him, compliments of his sweet daughter 😊
The Basil Con Pana is a doppio topped lovingly with basil-infused whipped cream and garnished with fresh basil 🌱🤯YUM!
10% of proceeds for Caesar’s drink this month are being donated to CWS Durham, an organization that works to build bridges between refugees and immigrants and the greater community, and equip them for long-term success. Learn a little more about Caesar below:
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: Been on a pesto kick at home, so I thought ” hmmmm why not?”
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Q: What charity are you choosing to donate proceeds of your drink to this month & why?
A: CWS in Durham for their work helping refugees/ immigrants resettle here in the Triangle.
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Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
A: I have never seen Star Wars
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Equally ambivalent
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Both
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Mountains
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: Book
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Goat Milk
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Q: Go-to Latte art? 
A: Tulip
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: A strong cup of Rooibos
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: Ethiopia Yergz

June Barista’s Choice

🤩JUNE BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | 👋🏼Meet Nicole 👋🏼 Their Barista’s Choice creation is the “Cold Blue,” and will be featured all of June, so come in and order one, you won’t be disappointed! Extra fun fact – Nicole is our talented chalk board artist! Make sure to check it out while you’re ordering and let Nicole know how awesome they are!
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Here’s a quick Q&A with our featured barista of the month:
Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: My barista’s choice is a cold brew drink lightly sweetened with a blueberry ginger simple syrup and condensed milk (vegan version available with condensed coconut milk!)
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink!
A: I played the cello for about eleven years!
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Cats all the way.
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee.
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and exploring all the views.
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: Books over an adaptation but movie if its an original screenplay!
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Oat; it’s got a nice texture and earthy flavor.
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: A heart!
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Lemon mint.
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: We only had it for a brief time at Open Eye, but I really enjoyed El Aserradero from Nicaragua.

May Barista’s Choice

🤩MAY BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | 👋🏼Meet Sarah 👋🏼 And enjoy her Barista’s Choice creation, the “Scarborough Fair.” It is being featured all of May, so come in and give it a try, and thank Sarah for dreaming up something so delicious!
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Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink.
A: The Scarborough Fair is an iced honey, rosemary, sea salt espresso-based beverage topped with cream (or oat milk). Complex, yet perfectly balanced, this drink is perfect for the beginning of spring.
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: Happy dogs who like to swim, hike, and cuddle
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Swimming at the waterfalls in the mountains
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: Books!
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Oat milk because of it’s creamy texture
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: 🦢 Currently perfecting my swan, thanks to the help of our barista trainer Thurmond
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Rooibos. It’s a South African herbal tea that is smooth and gentle with a natural sweetness and slightly nutty flavor. Our Avena Dream herbal blend is a close runner-up.
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: I love Edith Meza’s Finca Tasta from Peru. We serve it frequently in the cafe. Its clean, fruit forward, silky body and sweet spice makes it an incredible coffee that makes your senses come alive.

April Barista’s Choice

🤩APRIL BARISTA HIGHLIGHT | 👋🏼Meet Josh 👋🏼 And meet his Barista’s choice creation, the “Mochiato” ☕️🤯 It is being featured all of April, so come try it and thank him for creating such a delectable treat!
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Here’s a little Q&A with Josh:
Q: Tell us about your baristas choice drink.
A: Chocolate + Macchiato+ 🍫 = Mochiato
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Q: Cats or Dogs?
A: 😻
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Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Tea
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Q: Beach or Mountains?
A: Beach
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Q: Book or Movie?
A: 📚
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Q: Favorite alt. Milk?
A: Hemp Milk
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Q: Go-to Latte art?
A: Marble
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Q: Favorite herbal tea?
A: Get Smart
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Q: Favorite Carrboro Coffee Roasters coffee?
A: Piedmont Espresso