Coffee is a year-round beverage. Even in the hot summer months, millions of people start their morning routine brewing a hot pot of coffee to get themselves fully awake and alert. But it’s this time of year that coffee can really shine, warming us up inside out and keeping the cold at bay. Mylo Coffee Co. is well aware of that. The full team at the Hillcrest café, both the baristas and kitchen crew, have come together for a winter drink menu that satisfies the taste buds and braces you against winter.
Mylo has experimented with seasonal menus before, but all of those focused on the beverages and were designed by brothers Stephanos and Markos Mylonas. For this menu, Markos turned over creative control to his experienced team and watched them come up with a line-up of four drinks paired with bites from the kitchen.
“To me, they’ve made something that’s a really good way to indulge yourself and make it count,” said Markos. “A lot of us indulge over Christmas, and it just leaves a hole. We’re hoping that this will hit the spot for a family or group of friends who come out and splurge a little on their calories and caffeine, and actually have it hit the spot with a quality treat.”
The menu got its original inspiration from a dessert that Mylo already makes. Barista Sydney Mullins wanted to take the café’s ginger molasses cookie and make a drink with those flavors. The result is the Ginger Molasses Cappuccino, which is paired with the cookie. This is a true cappuccino, with a heavy amount of foam for a rich, classic texture. Cutting through that pillowy feel is a sharp ginger syrup and a robust molasses that wake all of your senses up at once. A little fresh nutmeg provides the final touch.
“I love the cookies so much that I wanted to drink it as well as eat it,” said Mullins. “The cookies taste like Christmas, so I just took his recipe and made into a syrup we could use with the coffee.”
Mullins’s favorite new drink is the Rumdorla Teardrop, a layered glass you might be tempted to stir. You shouldn’t, though, as this one is meant to be shot as it is. The base is a rum and almond syrup, topped with cold cream and layered again with hot espresso. It is an exhilarating sensation knocking this one back as the flavors cascade over the palate. The butterscotch candy served with it is also fantastic, resembling fudge in texture but with a flavor that you recognize immediately.
“This is the one that relies most heavily on the food pairing,” said barista manager Matt Britt. “The drink is modeled on the Buttery Nipple cocktail, but the only flavor that isn’t in there is the butterscotch. We wanted something that was a little bit softer, that didn’t get stuck in your teeth. We think it really rounds everything out.”
For those who don’t want caffeine in their cup, Mylo created the Pear-Apple Cider. This is a classic, sweet, spiced cider, served hot with a dash of cinnamon on top and on the rim of the mug, which helps accent the aromas. To pair, the team brought out Mylo’s spiced pecans, which the business has sold for years.
“We put them together, and that spice at the very end (of the pecans) was perfect,” said Britt. “It was delicious. Plus, I could eat those pecans all day, I think they pair with anything. But it worked really well with the sweetness of the cider.”
The final drink, a Hazelnut Latte, might be seen as the least original of the four if not for the food pairing. The latte is extremely well made, and the housemade hazelnut syrup brings out the espresso capably, but you’ve likely had a hazelnut coffee before. So Jonathan Levi and his kitchen team of Paige Russell and Thomas Pollack came up with a Nutella truffle for the pairing, putting everybody’s favorite dessert spread to a whimsical use. The truffle is soft and delicate; you will want to savor it instead of woofing it down.
“We were kind of envisioning a Ferrero Rocher,” said Levi. “We wanted to make that in house, and you can see that just looking at it. It doesn’t have the gooey inside that Ferrero Rocher would, but we wanted to keep the same texture you would get throughout the whole truffle. The drink goes really well with this one. It’s super wintery, it reminds you of sitting around the Christmas tree and feeling toasty.”
And it’s that feeling of warmth and comfort that I think Mylo has best achieved here. These drinks, while expertly designed and created, feel homey and cozy. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine some of these becoming fan favorites and making a repeat appearance in the future. But you probably shouldn’t wait for that. Mylo’s winter menu is here now, and you should stop by and savor it while the cold still lingers.
By the way, Mylo has opened an online retail website for your holiday shopping needs. Right now, you can buy coffee and some of Mylo’s snacks and have them shipped anywhere in the United States. The store will soon feature merchandise and brewing hardware as well.