As an intern at CharlotteFive, my leg is constantly shaking from the excitement of the day – not because I’m an overly caffeinated workaholic. And no, I’m not addicted to caffeine, I can stop drinking coffee whenever I want.
Recently KJ Edelman from The Charlotte Observer and I went to Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop in the South End. It’s not just any cafe – it’s the Best Cafe in the Charlotte area, CharlotteFive Reader’s Choice 2022 contest.
Learn more about our adventure:
ABOUT BITTY & BEAU’S: The café is known for providing employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its original location opened in January 2016 in Wilmington, and it has since expanded to over 23 locations in 12 states. The Charlotte location opened on Camden Road in 2021.
SCENE SETTING: So there I was, walking in the 90 degree heat, wishing I had an iced coffee in hand and somewhere cool to escape the angry sun. I saw the Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop sign and sprinted for the door.
I walked in and was immediately hit by a breeze of cold air and the smell of coffee being brewed. After recovering from the heat, I headed to the cash register where Kyle, the barista working the cash register, greeted me with a big smile on his face.
What better way to cool off from the heat than to drink a good cold brew coffee. Although the cafe was busy, Kyle took the time to suggest a second coffee: an iced mocha latte. Before you ask, of course I ordered two: You told me it’s the best coffee shop in Charlotte.
The cafe was filled with the buzz of conversation and the intimate vibe that only a local cafe could provide. Here’s what KJ and I tried:
Beverage 1: Cold Brew
What do you think of when you think of cold brew coffee? I think of the other Gen Zers, who are late to class but need their daily fix of their favorite ice cold caffeinated drink. Photo of TikTok star Charli D’Amilio.
For KJ, this drink gives off coffee snob vibes, which I completely understand. These types of coffee drinkers know exactly where each bean came from and how it became the beverage they currently consume.
As the coffee expert that I am, I could discern from the first sip each bean, where it came from and when it was picked. Just kidding, I don’t know anything about it. “It tastes like coffee,” I said.
Personally, I enjoy my coffee with two shots of French vanilla syrup, four pounds of sugar, and eight cups of milk. When I say two shots, imagine the “two shots of vodka” music video that went viral on Vine.
Drink 2: Iced mocha latte
For my second drink, I had an iced mocha latte. Yeah, I’m a strictly iced coffee kind of girl. I don’t care if it’s 30 degrees outside and my fingers are blue, I’ll have my iced mocha latte with whipped cream.
When the first drop of chocolatey goodness hit my taste buds, my eyes lit up as the caffeine immediately sent dopamine to my last two remaining brain cells. This drink was better than the iced mocha latte I get at Starbucks.
Drink 3: Cappuccino
KJ made the executive decision to have a cappuccino as a second drink. When I think of cappuccino, I think it’s the go-to drink for locals and tourists at sidewalk cafes in Italy (don’t order it after lunch!). “I think cappuccino is the quintessential coffee,” he said. Let’s not skip over how KJ just said the same thing about his cold brew.
So there he was, holding a hot, freshly brewed cappuccino (you know where that’s at, right?). KJ burned his tongue. When for some reason he didn’t expect that to happen, I would have bet $5 and all my BTS merchandise on him burning his tongue.
Being the basic girl that I am, I usually head to my nearest Starbucks when I want a coffee. However, I can now decide to head to Charlotte’s Bitty & Beau’s to enjoy my caffeinated drinks.
The staff were welcoming, friendly and so excited to spend time with us. I especially enjoyed drinking the iced mocha because it’s one of my favorite drinks and it has that unique chocolatey coffee taste that I really enjoyed.
If you haven’t been to Bitty & Beau’s, stop by one day. Order the caffeinated beverage of your choice and wait for your card to be called. Finally, email us and tell me your favorite coffee.
Bitty & Beautiful Cafe
Location: 1930 Camden Road. Suite 236, Charlotte, NC 28203
Neighbourhood: South End
This story was originally published September 16, 2022 5:15 a.m.
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