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Jet City Espresso

by Meghann on December 20, 2012

There are still a few hidden treasures around Tampa I still haven’t had the chance to explore. I have a list of “must-try” places that runs 10-12 items deep. This morning I had the opportunity to cross one of those items off my list when a group of twitter friends invited me to Jet City Espresso for a weekday coffee date.

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Jet City Espresso is located just outside downtown Tampa on a hidden street I never have thought to drive on until my GPS told me to turn on it today. Basically if you weren’t looking for Jet City Espresso, chances are you’re never going to see it. It’s a hidden treasure in all senses of the term.

The mini-coffee shop is run by free-spirited Jessica, who’s passion for coffee grew and developed when she was living in the heart off the coffee mecca that is Seattle. A couple of years ago she moved to Tampa and opened Jet City Espresso right next to her living room. Every weekday she opens up shop from 7:00am – 2:00pm (11am – 1pm on the weekends) and welcomes coffee addicts into her home. She’ll happily share her life story with you as she whips up one of her unique espresso/ coffee creations and loves to hear about your adventures as well. She’s a hardcore traveler, closing up shop over the summer to travel the U.S. for a month, and she’s a dedicated triathlete and endurance runner.

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Before today’s visit I’d never been to Jet City Espresso, but after enjoying some beverages there today, and getting to know Jessica in the process, I can’t wait to return and support her beautiful business.

We had a quite a group of us there today (5 in total) and there were just enough chairs for us all to have a seat and enjoy our coffees before heading off to work. This may have been hidden spot for me, but the locals definitely knew where to get the best coffee at. There was a steady flow of customers throughout the morning, with a line 4-5 people deep forming every once in a while. A smile remained on Jessica’s face the entire time, as the one-woman-show took orders and slung out drinks as quickly as she could muster. Everyone stayed in a good mood and the regular customers greeted the owner as if they were lifelong friends. I was there for about 30 minutes and the energy that filled the coffee shop was so inspiring, you couldn’t help but leave the place with a smile.

Per a couple of friends’ suggestions, I ordered the “Ned Head” which was a fresh fruit smoothie with spinach and hemp seed.

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The smoothie was delicious, it was sweet, but not too over powering. It was also refreshing and left me feeling very energized.

When I had arrived everyone was ordering Jet City Espresso’s signature drink the “Cafe Borgia”

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I was a little thrown off when I read the description – an espresso drink with a hint of orange? Definitely not something I would have ordered on my own. However, I couldn’t resist trying the highly recommended creation and grabbed a sip of Mary’s drink. One word – wow. That drink was good.

So good that I ordered one to go as we were all leaving.

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If you’re ever in Tampa, please take my advice and skip the tourist spots and head straight to Jet City Espresso for a Cafe Borgia. You may wonder where the heck your GPS is taking you when you turn off of the main road onto a small narrow residential street, but trust me, that just means you’ve reached the right spot. Walk-in, say hello to Jessica, and order the espresso drink with orange – you’ll be glad you did.

What are your favorite hidden gems in your city?

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lisa fine December 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

It’s in her house? That is so cool. I’d love to have a business right at home one day. That’s the dream. πŸ™‚

And I love supporting local businesses and finding cool new spots to hang out.
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2 Courtney December 20, 2012 at 10:16 am

What a cool place! πŸ˜€

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3 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

I looooove little places like that, they always have the best food and drinks. Glad you got to try it out!
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4 Army Amy* December 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

I’m currently living in a tiny town in Germany. Considering I just moved here in August, I’m still doing a lot of exploring and figuring the place out. One thing that didn’t take long was locating a deelish Chinese food restaurant. (There’s a surprising amount of Chinese food sold here.) I always get the lo mein veggies and spring rolls. To die for!*

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5 Steph December 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

Awesome place! I’ve never been but it’s on my list!
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6 Megan December 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

wow! I had to look up the address.. I used to live on Davis Island.. right around the corner!! What a random spot! Glad she her business is doing well!

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7 [email protected] December 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

Local businesses are the best!
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8 Sabrina December 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

In the Hyde Park area? I stumbled upon that place this past summer but it was later in the evening and I never had a chance to go back. Next time I come to Tampa I’ll have to make a point to get there. Sounds wonderful!
Sabrina recently posted..Because I Love Coffee

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9 Meghann December 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

Yep it’s in Hype Park area. You should definitely check it out next time you’re in town.

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10 Erica December 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

Wow! That place sounds so cool! I love that its literally in her house. The coffee beverage looks amazing

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11 Renee December 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

That looks like such a fun place. and yay for coffee dates.

Where I live is a local restaurant and bakery that is so yummy and such fun to go in.
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12 Annette @FitnessPerks December 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

What a fun place! I love chatting with friends over something yummy πŸ™‚
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13 Liz December 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

You can never go wrong when you have a little coffee. πŸ™‚
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14 Meghan @ After the Ivy League December 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

That little coffee shop sounds amazing! So personal, what a great business idea. I never would’ve thought to combine orange and espresso either, but now I’m very intrigued!
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15 Erin @ Loop Looks December 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I’ll actually be in Tampa next week (visiting my dad who technically lives in Lutz) but don’t drink coffee. Can you share your list of must-try places so I can demand he take me to them?
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16 Meghann December 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm
17 Cher @ Weddicted December 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m kind of a nut when it comes to safety, and this just freaks me out. Sounds like a great place, but she has all the money, product, etc. from her business literally attached to where she sleeps? Scary! πŸ™
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18 Steph December 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Many people live above their restaurants, especially in bigger cities. It’s not that unusual. Just another type of work from home situation!
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19 Sara @ fitcupcaker December 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Ive never had a smoothie with hemp seed, can you taste it? I love green smoothies!
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20 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

whoa that is too cool! I want a coffee shop in my house!
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21 Natalie @ Free Range Human December 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

We have a spectacular little Italian restaurant in my town that’s unreal. It’s just a little hole in the wall but it’s so good!

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22 TorontoRunner December 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Jet City looks sooo cosy. I adore places like that! I’ve found a hidden gem in my city, a small bakery, which I go to every couple of weeks. So cute!
TorontoRunner recently posted..I save everything.

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23 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More December 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I love little hidden gems like that – they’re always so fun and the best stuff!
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24 Sara @ fitcupcaker December 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

There is a little bakery by my house called Bakery Barn which is aweome! Small little family owned shop. Those are my favorite!
Sara @ fitcupcaker recently posted..Mad Hectic Oatmeal Free Giveaway!

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25 Katie @ running4cupcakes December 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

That sounds like such a adorable place! I love finding places like that!
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26 Erin December 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Love this post, I feel like I was there. When I lived in Colorado, Cafe Ardour in Fort Collins was my favorite place to hide at a table, sipping a latte with they’re homemade espresso and homemade hummus

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27 Katie @ Balanced RD December 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

That coffee shop looks/sounds adorable! I love finding places like that. One of my favorites was a little house that had yoga classes and coffee. It was so cozy!

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28 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats December 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I’m not a big coffee drinker but this looks adorable! Will have to check it out next time I’m in Tampa πŸ™‚
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29 Melissa @TryingtoHeal December 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

We have several of those in San Diego that I used to visit all the time during college. I miss those…I should find some in Orange County now!
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30 beka @ rebecca roams December 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

MUST try!!!
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31 Julia H. @ Live Young & Prosper December 22, 2012 at 10:43 am

I’m not a big fan of coffee (except coffee-flavored ice cream!), but that drink you ordered sounds fantastic. I’d definitely give that a try!
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