Local, Cozy Beverages

The clump of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas involve a lot of work to do, particularly for college students with finals coming up! And I don’t know about you, but getting up early and staying awake late gets a whole lot harder when it’s chilly and dark outside. My blankets never seem more inviting than when my tattered planner lurks on the other side of my alarm going off.

This is the one time of year that I truly become a coffee drinker.

Of course, my favorite kind of coffee reminds me of home: Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters’ “Jamaican Me Crazy.” Flavored with cinnamon, rum, and pecan, this particular blend is so sweet that I don’t need to add sugar or creamer- which is great because those tend to make me crash around noon.

Being the most popular flavor that the company sells, it was easy to find and bring back to Indiana for my roommate to try. A year-round coffee drinker herself, I shouldn’t have been surprised when a 1-lb bag showed up on my apartment doorstep a few weeks later. With online ordering at her fingertips, I can only imagine the variety of flavors and blends that will come as the year progresses.

But those will be mostly for my roommate to decide, as I’ll likely be distracted and burying my face in the steam of another hot drink: tea. Glorious, flavorful tea. I champion this beverage as a hug for your insides. I don’t think it’s possible to feel anything but mindful and calm when sipping warm tea.

I tend to not join in on the debate of tea bags versus loose leaf- it all works out well for me. However, if you’re interested in shopping small, there’s an adorable loose leaf tea shop in Canandaigua called Good Leaf Tea. If you have any questions or if you are totally new to the tea life, Robert O’Brien is incredibly knowledgeable and will absolutely help you out. They’ll even ship you a free sample with online orders, in the hopes that you’ll be exposed to your new favorite!

Now, if you’re cold and cranky because you can only imagine coffee and tea as dirty water (in the decidedly-wrong words of my boyfriend), then all hope is not yet lost for you! You’re saving grace is the warm beverage that manages to convince kids to get out of their beds and go play outside in the snow every winter: hot chocolate! Believe it or not, every local grocery market seems to have their own super-secret blend- and let me just tell you that Jenkins Farm Market in Arkport has forced me to forever snuff my nose at poor Swiss Miss. 

I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to top it off with marshmallows (the wrong choice) or whipped cream.

And if you happen to be over 21 and none of these are quite doing the job for your evening, I happen to know an excellent mulled wine recipe that manages to make the whole kitchen smell like happiness. The list of local wine options seems to go on longer than Santa’s Nice List.


Halie Solea 2013By Halie Solea