9 Creative Craft Coffees to Mix Up Your Morning

Skip the Starbucks drive-thru and check out the exclusive beverages brewed at nine Maine coffee shops.

Bored of your medium-regular-with-cream-and-sugar? Craving a caffeine concoction you’ve never tasted before? Maine coffee pioneers are here to help you expand your cappuccino catalogue with some menu options you won’t find anywhere else.

Photo: Julie K. Gray / Artwork: Hannah Hirsch

Pistachio Cream Latte: espresso, homemade pistachio cream
Time & Tide, Biddeford

Inspired by a consulting trip to the Middle East, this latte combines espresso, milk, and a secret recipe of pistachio cream to create a latte that is equally sweet and nutty. Hot or iced, this popular menu item is a Biddeford staple.

Photo courtesy of Cupacity

The Thunderbolt: espresso over fresh-squeezed lemonade
Cupacity, Damariscotta

Ideal for warmer months, this surprising marriage of tart, sweet fresh-squeezed lemonade and smoky, bitter espresso makes for a refreshingly acidic pick-me-up.

CBD Maine Maple Latte: espresso, Maine maple syrup, Mindful Earth CBD tincture
Higher Grounds, Portland

This combination coffee shop and medical dispensary has the option to add up to 10mg of Mindful Earth CBD tincture to your brew. A celebration of local ingredients, the Maine Maple Latte is made with coffee beans sourced and roasted by Speckled Ax, real Maine maple syrup, and CBD extract from Maine grown hemp.

Photo courtesy of Traverse Coffee Co.

Flying Dutchman Latte: espresso, dark chocolate, habanero pepper
Traverse Coffee Co., Hallowell

If you’re looking for a way to change up your mocha latte and don’t mind a little heat, Traverse Coffee Co. has the perfect drink for you. Rich, dark chocolate and a hint (or splash!) of habanero pepper concentrate blended into a smooth and creamy latte create a spicy twist on a coffee shop staple.

Photo by Lincoln Sample

“Special” Café Bombon: espresso, condensed coconut milk, pandan
Dog Bar Jim, Brunswick

The deep green color of this twist on an Iced Vietnamese coffee comes from pandan syrup. The floral, grassy notes of the pandan paired with sweetened condensed coconut milk and rich, earthy espresso come together to create a delicious and aromatic breakfast blend.

Photo courtesy of Smalls

Espresso Tonic: espresso, tonic water, orange
Smalls, Portland

Espresso tonics are quickly rising in popularity in coffee shops around the country, and for good reason! A bubbly fusion of tonic water, espresso, and citrus make for a refreshing morning pick-me-up or a great mocktail option. If you’ve been itching to try this new coffee craze, Smalls in Portland has the hookup.

Photo courtesy of Lucky Cat Coffee Truck

Cold Brew Flight: rotating seasonal flavors
Lucky Cat Coffee Truck, Lewiston

Do you often find yourself having trouble choosing between different flavor options? At the Lucky Cat Coffee Truck, you don’t have to. Order the cold-brew flight to pair with your Hong Kong Bubble Waffle to sample four of their seasonal coffee beverages. The four pours are switched up each month, and each of the cold brews are specifically brewed and infused depending on the flavor profile.

Café de Olla: latte with house made cinnamon and cardamom syrup
Choco-Latte, Bar Harbor

Choco-Latte brings a traditional Mexican spiced coffee to Maine. The warm blend of cinnamon and cardamom with espresso and milk is a great way to start your morning and gently wake yourself up before hitting Acadia’s hiking trails.

Astro Drinks Series: rotating seasonal flavors
Little Woodfords, Portland

This rotating drink series is based on the zodiac cycle, which means twelve unique beverages to sample a year! As of writing, “Sagittarius” is on the menu, a peppermint mocha topped with a torched marshmallow. When in season, you can also find drinks like the “Leo,” a sparkling blood orange bitters and agave flash brew topped with oat cream cold foam, and the “Pisces,” a white chocolate and cardamom mocha topped with crushed raspberry and pink salt.

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