5 Nice Seasonal Drinks in Charlotte, N.C.

5 min read

From hibiscus to matcha to tonic and extra, these espresso-based drinks function nice flavors for summer season and fall within the Queen Metropolis.


Pictures by Kiara Teasley

Editor’s word: Impressed by the article “Whimsical Drinks for Fall & Winter,” which seems within the present—August + September 2022—problem of Barista Journal, we requested our writers to scour their cities for some distinctive coffee- and espresso-based drinks on supply particularly for the season. Up to now, we’ve featured drinks in Sacramento, Calif., and Santa Cruz, Calif., by Eddie P. Gomez; and from across the East Coast by Vasileia Fanarioti. As we speak, we’re happy so as to add to our assortment an inventory of 5 nice drinks from the Charlotte, N.C., space. And if you want to learn the article “Whimsical Drinks for Fall & Winter”—and the entire August + September 2022 problem of Barista Journal—totally free, simply comply with this hyperlink!

With its Southern appeal blended with eclectic range, Charlotte, N.C., is quick turning into probably the most enticing cities within the South. And whereas the specialty-coffee scene in Charlotte could also be small compared to different main cities, the specialty tradition Charlotte does have is spectacular. Charlotteans are more and more searching for out high quality and artistry, the place they at one time might need settled for mediocrity and comfort.

It solely is smart then that café house owners are stepping up their video games on the subject of distinctive seasonal beverage choices designed to showcase native substances and current one thing really distinctive. Just lately, I ventured outdoors of my consolation zone and indulged in 5 totally different seasonal drinks at a handful of town’s greatest cafés. I discovered that my journey was properly well worth the effort, and through these drinks I tasted the seasons of summer season and fall in all that Charlotte and the world have to supply.

A Blueberry Truffle Latte on a table at Brakeman's Coffee and Supply in Charlotte, N.C.
The Blueberry Truffle Latte from Brakeman’s Espresso & Provide.

Blueberry Truffle Latte – Brakeman’s Espresso & Provide

My first cease was Brakeman’s Espresso & Provide, positioned simply outdoors of the Queen Metropolis in Matthews, N.C., in a superbly refurbished home. It was a cloudy afternoon and a pleasant break from the recent and humid summer season within the Piedmont area. I took this chance to order a scorching drink for the primary time in months and settled on the Blueberry Truffle Latte. Made with in-house roasted espresso, blueberry syrup, white chocolate, and walnut bitters, this drink was a research in subtleties that every one labored collectively in live performance. The fragile taste of the blueberry was completely complemented by the sweetness of the white chocolate, and the mix pushed the berry taste to the forefront. The walnut bitters rounded out the flavour and gave the latte an understated, nutty end.

An Iced Maple Sea Salt Latte in a to go cup on a table.
The Iced Maple Sea Salt Latte from Summit Espresso.

Iced Maple Sea Salt Latte – Summit Espresso

Summit Espresso is a regional specialty-coffee store and roasting firm with a number of places all through the state. Though we’re nonetheless residing in summertime climate, Summit not too long ago launched their seasonal fall drink menu. Being a fan of maple, I used to be drawn to the Iced Maple Sea Salt Latte. This drink was easy and simple, and proved that generally minimalism is actually key. The latte, sweetened with maple syrup and only a contact of saltiness, was endlessly scrumptious. Both scorching or iced, this latte from Summit is as pleasurable on a scorching summer season day as it is going to be on a cold fall afternoon.

An Espresso Tonic in a to-go cup on a bench in at Rosie's Coffee and Wine Garden in Charlotte, N.C.
The Espresso Tonic from Rosie’s Espresso & Wine Backyard

Espresso Tonic – Rosie’s Espresso and Wine Backyard

Espresso Tonic is hit and miss for me, however Rosie’s Espresso and Wine Backyard hit theirs out of the park. Made with Pure Intention Espresso’s regionally roasted espresso, together with tonic water, falernum liqueur, and ginger, Rosie’s tackle an E&T is mild, tropical, and leaves only a trace of berry within the end. I truthfully needed to tempo myself; I wished to drink it so shortly. It was that good. Subtly crisp and candy, this E&T was refreshing and bubbly, and an ideal alternative for a time out within the solar.

A Summertime Chai Tea Latte seasonal drink in a to-go cup on bench at Summit Coffee in Charlotte, N.C.
The Summertime Chai Latte from Undercurrent Espresso.

Summertime Chai Latte – Undercurrent Espresso

I’d’ve by no means thought to pair hibiscus with chai, however Undercurrent Espresso blew me out of the water with their distinctive Summertime Chai Latte. With its floral, fruity, and spiced flavors, this drink had all of it. The flavors have been completely balanced and went collectively effortlessly; I might detect the person substances, however the mixture added as much as one thing particular. This drink could be a favourite for anybody who enjoys natural or fruity flavored milk tea. Bonus factors: The Summertime Chai Latte from Undercurrent is as fascinating and compelling as it’s Instagrammable.

A Summer Samurai seasonal drink in a to-go cup on a wooden bench at Stable Hand in Charlotte, N.C.
Steady Hand’s Summer season Samurai.

Summer season Samurai – Steady Hand

Matcha lemonades aren’t distinctive in a café, however Charlotte’s Southend neighborhood’s Steady Hand boasts a model with a spin on the traditional: Right here, the matcha lemonade has been reborn as a calming citrus matcha referred to as the Summer season Samurai. Consisting of matcha, coconut milk, and lime and pineapple juices all shaken collectively, the Summer season Samurai is a knockout summer season drink for matcha lovers. Gentle and effervescent in physique and texture, vivid and juicy in taste, and with a clear, tart end, this drink can be nice for a caffeine increase within the languid summer season warmth.

Small however thriving, Charlotte’s specialty-coffee scene has extra to supply on a regular basis, and these 5 distinctive seasonal drinks are a testomony to that. I encourage any Charlottean or vacationer to discover our large number of quality-focused espresso outlets and ensure to zero in on one-of-a-kind seasonal drinks.


Kiara Teasley (she/her) is a author and Charlotte, NC native. She works for Pure Intentions Espresso, an area specialty-coffee roastery. Alongside discovering high quality, pure and honey processed, single-origin coffees, she enjoys studying traditional literature, working towards yoga, and testing native music exhibits in her downtime. 

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