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Staff gets a taste of what local coffee shops offer by | Lauren Stepp & Anna Yarbrough

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endersonville is a slowpaced small town, but students are fortunate that they have choices when looking for a caffeine fix. With this in mind, Wingspan staff members went on a quest for the hottest local coffee shops. This search led them to three distinctly different venues. The adventure started at heBREWS (b), a not-for-profit coffee shop. Although religiously-affiliated, the atmosphere is welcoming. Menu items include coffee-based drinks, blended-ice drinks and ice cream, as well as Italian sodas and pastries. Online editor-in-chief Katie Miller sampled a carmel latte. “It was kind of perfect,” Miller said. “There was a perfect balance of sweetness. I could taste the caramel, but it wasn’t overpowering.” Wingspan design editor Sierra Fender satisfied her sweet tooth with the shop’s selection of ice

cream treats. She picked “Muddy Sneakers,” a premium Hershey’s blend with a white chocolate base, peanuts, caramel and fudge. “I love the heBREWS environment. It’s really laid-back and the owner is really fun,” Fender said. If you are looking for a more tranquil atmosphere to get lost in that psychology textbook, drive a little farther into Hendersonville and discover The Ugly Mug (c). With its inviting staff, comfortable couches and subtle lighting, this down-to-earth cafe is the ultimate spot to hit the books. Editor-inchief Lauren Stepp tasted a pumpkin chai latte. “It reminded me of fall. It was just what I needed to kick-start my day and the new month of October,” Stepp said. “The pumpkin was rich and gratifying, but it didn’t consume the entire beverage.” On previous visits, Stepp had enjoyed the cafe cooler, an iced coffee available in a variety of flavors. “This drink is best for the summer time. I normally get the pep-

18 | reviews | wingspan | november 2013

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c. c. permint shot in the drink,” Stepp said. “It is refreshing and not too heavy.” Another delicious summer time beverage is the mango smoothie. Editorin-chief Anna Yarbrough finished her day with this revitalizing drink. “I was cramming for a precalculus test. This smoothie was an excellent fix for that afternoon drowsiness,” she said. The cafe encourages local artists to pursue their dreams with open mic night each Wednesday, starting at 8 p.m. Some of the performances have included local folk musicians. The walls are also lined with paintings and photographs of Western North Carolina. If you are searching for a more up-

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beat vibe, travel into downtown Hendersonville for a coffee buzz. Black Bear (a) is a local hangout offering weekly open mic nights and regular poetry slams. “I am organizing a poetry slam for a club at school and the owner of Black Bear has been very cooperative and helpful,” Stepp said. “He even offered to stay open an hour later.” In addition to the friendly environment, the cafe offers a large menu selection, ranging from espresso to kidfriendly drinks. Yarbrough ordered a caramel latte with a chocolate drizzle. “Black Bear is an awesome hangout place, and I love the coffee there,” Yarbrough said.

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