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Click here for the complete News & Observer article...The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
June 29, 2005
Final Edition, p.4

Trends Perk up Coffeehouses
by Greg Cox
 
...........................
 
As new coffeehouses continue to perk up all over the landscape, newcomers are coming up with inventive ways to set themselves apart from the competition.
 
In Carrboro, for instance, Padgett Station (929-0445, www.padgettstation.com) doesn't even wait until you're inside to begin winning you over. The wooing begins with the curb appeal of the building that houses the coffeehouse at 401 E. Main St., a charmingly converted filling station flanked by an inviting patio.
 
Like a growing number of coffeehouses, Padgett Station brews coffees made exclusively with organically grown and fairly traded beans, locally roasted by Larry's Beans. But owners Rachel Rose and Emmett Fahringer have upped the ante, applying the "organically grown" guideline to virtually everything they sell.
 
That includes Belgian chocolates and truffles, artisanal cheeses (including goat cheeses from Elodie Farms in nearby Rougemont), scones and wines by the glass or bottle. Chai is not made with a prepared mix but from scratch, as are a globally diverse assortment of beverages, including mango lassi, banana frappe and Thai iced tea.
 
Fireside Coffee (467-7008), which opened recently in Cary's Cornerstone Village at the intersection of High House Road and Davis Drive, can't make such a sweeping "all-organic" claim. But owners John and Suzann Everhart can boast that their beans are 100 percent organic and fair- trade.
 
The Everharts would also like to point out that their shop is in no way affiliated with Michigan-based Fireside Coffee, a mass wholesaler specializing in flavored beans.
 
And if Fireside's pastries aren't organic, they are locally made -- judging by the popularity of the cinnamon rolls in particular, they're pretty tasty, too. Other dunkable delights include muffins (blueberry and cranberry-chocolate chip, to name two), eclairs, coffee cake and glazed lemon pound cake.
 
Also in Cary, Mark Pisacane has opened Caffe Kilmayne (342-5251) in the ReMax building at 51 Kilmayne Drive, near the Kildaire Farm Road intersection. If the name sounds familiar, that's likely because Pisacane is the son of Ralph Pisacane, who owned Caffe Piazza in Crabtree Valley Mall (and before that, in Cary's MacGregor Village) until it closed recently.
 
With the opening of Caffe Kilmayne, the younger Pisacane is reviving the spirit of the original Caffe Piazza, which was essentially a combination coffeehouse and small wine shop. The caffeinated half of the offering, in this case, is represented by coffees and espresso drinks made with beans roasted by Raleigh roaster Tradewinds Coffee.
 
The wine shop offers about 300 labels, with an emphasis on wines from Italy and California. Wine tastings with light hors d'oeuvres are offered Monday-Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m., and catered wine-tasting dinners are frequently scheduled.
 
Meanwhile in downtown Raleigh, Peter and Holly Yuan have opened La Joy Coffee & Tea House (832-6768) in the Progress Energy Building at 130 E. Davie St.
 
To distinguish their shop from the competition, the Yuans have opted to surf the wave of bubble tea, the trendy cool tea drink that combines fruity flavors and tapioca pearls. The shop offers a handful of flavors such as almond, honeydew, Thai tea and banana, which may be mixed and matched to create interesting (and, one can only imagine, bizarre) blends.
 
The shop brews coffees with beans from local roaster Bean Traders and offers a limited selection of pastries from Durham-based Sweet Jane's. La Joy features Mighty Leaf brand teas, which are neither locally made nor the loose teas preferred by purists. They do represent the premium end of the tea bag market and are worthy representatives of the "Tea" part of the shop's name. What's more, they'll probably still be around when the bubble tea fad has burst.
 
LOAD-DATE: June 29, 2005

Mighty Leaf Tea Company
136 Mitchell Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94903

Tel:
 415.491.2650
Fax: 415.472.1780
 
 
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