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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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?