Local coffee shop menus display wide varieties of drinks, ranging from the classic caramel macchiato to the occasionally featured seasonal drink. However, beneath the advertised menus on the surface lies an underground network of specialty drink menus, available only to those who are in the know.
Students do not have to travel far in search of these secret coffee drinks. Local coffee shops such as Inman Street Coffeehouse, Lasaters, Starbucks, and even Lee’s very own Jazzman’s Café have a wealth of unusual drink recipes brewing right underneath the noses of students.
Jazzman’s manager Amber Franklin brought a few of these recipes to light when asked which drinks they make for their customers lucky enough to know of Jazzman’s underground menu.
“The Bear Claw is a big ‘in the know’ among customers. When people hear about it, they really enjoy that one a lot,” Franklin said. The Bear Claw, one of Jazzman’s secret blended drinks, is made with ice cream and flavored with the crowd-pleasing combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
On the other hand, students bold enough to step outside the box of traditional flavors can choose to upgrade their Bear Claw by substituting or adding an extra flavor. The Polar Bear, a variation of the Bear Claw, is an option for those who prefer the flavor white chocolate over traditional chocolate. Students wanting an additional caffeine buzz also have the option to add espresso, creating the Raging Bear Claw.
However, for students who prefer to leave chocolate out of the Bear Claw equation, the Grizzly Bear gives the option to substitute caramel sauce in the place of white and milk chocolate.
Sophomore Michaela Olson says the Grizzly Bear is definitely her favorite.
“I really like the combinations with peanut butter in them, but I’m not always a huge fan of chocolate. So, having the caramel is a nice compliment to the peanut butter when I want to indulge,” Olson said.
Franklin also mentioned drinks such as the Raspberry Mocha Kiss, and espresso-free drink options such as the Caramel Suzie and the London Fog. The Caramel Suzie is a combination of caramel, hazelnut and steamed milk; while the London Fog is a unique blend of earl grey tea, vanilla and steamed milk. Franklin says the earl grey tea used in the London Fog can also be substituted with British breakfast tea if preferred.
Relatively new to the local coffee scene is Lasaters Coffee and Tea, located in the Spring Creek Town Center on 25th Street just outside of campus.
Manager Zack Gates revealed a variety of the shop’s undiscovered drinks, such as the limited edition Andes Mint Mocha, Spiced Eggnog Latte, White Chocolate Gingerbread Latte and Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Latte. He also mentioned drinks such as the “Dirty Snowman”, which is a combination of white chocolate and hazelnut, and the “Chumpkin”, which is flavored with both chai and pumpkin spice.
Gates says the barista’s real goal shouldn’t be focused as much on the artistic aspect of lattes, but rather to provide each customer with a drink that suits them individually.
“The real art is in matching the latte to the customer,” Gates said.
Inman Street Coffeehouse, an established local favorite, also disclosed some of their novelty drinks such as the Nutella Mocha, Banana Pudding Freeze, African Cinnamon Spice Latte and the most unique drink known as “The Tammy.”
“The Tammy, named after one of our regular customers, is an iced latte with six shots of espresso,” said Rogers.
Rogers says ultimately their more exclusive drinks are a product of customer requests, as well as the baristas’ creativity.
Although an internationally recognized chain, Starbucks also has a classified menu available for customers. Cody Batts, shift supervisor at Starbucks’ Inman St. location, said that he only knows a select few of their secret recipes such as the Cotton Candy, Captain Crunch and Nutter Butter Frappes.
Batts says he has heard rumor of a recipe for the Butter Beer Frappe as well, which is based upon the fictional drink known as “butter beer” from the Harry Potter book series. He also mentioned that Starbucks’ website, starbuckssecretmenu.net, is a great source to discover a whole new world of delicious Starbucks specialties.
However secret the underground drinks of Cleveland’s local coffee shops may be, it is no longer secret that they are just as delicious as they are creative.