Copper Star Coffee barista Emma Truitt is partial to the shop's lavender cappuccino -- but it isn't because she has hair the same color as the gently fragrant herb. It is because she is aware of how its flavor lends itself in a good way to the popular frothy espresso drink.
Truitt says that initially the herb would be added to the grounds, so the flavor would be extracted during the brew, but that process evolved into the creation of lavender flavored simple syrup. To create the latter, the herb is first steeped and then mixed with a mild amount of sugar; the sweetness never overpowering the floral goodness. When added to the cappuccino, the lavender in the simple syrup continues to hold its own, the hint of sweetness making the whole creation rich and delicate, incorporating easily into the espresso roast from Tempe's Lost Dutchman Coffee Roasters, from which Copper Star gets all of its coffee.
See also: Silver Spoon's Lemon Lavender Biscotti
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Owner Bill Sandweg says that he and his employees are always trying new things. He was inspired to start making his own chai tea and after some trials, is thrilled with his current product, loaded with lots of delightful spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, anise and ginger. He's partial to using whole spices when possible rather than powders. Staff experimentation can also be thanked for the creation of Copper Star's peanut butter and jelly coffee drink made with actual peanut butter and strawberry syrup. And baker Sara Beasley makes a slew of Jurassic-size pastries that pair well with the many drinks.
Five fun facts about Copper Star's Emma Truitt:
1. She is good at opening doors with things that are not her hands. 2. Is a self-proclaimed expert vegan brownie maker. 3. Yoga and performance art are two of her favorite things to do, preferably in public places. 4. She has an affinity for film photography. 5. The idea of leaving traces is a focus for this barista, along with leaving things where they don't belong.