To get your caffeine fix from a decidedly non-corporate cup, head to Intelligentsia. The Old-World atmosphere trades up blah, lightwood furnishings (you know the ones) for marble-topped tables for two; a rose in a glass vase sits primly atop each one. Newspapers on long, wooden sticks await current events groupies, and curtain-clad windows look out onto the bustle of Jackson Boulevard. On a low set of shelves at the front of the space, coffee and tea trappings that far outweigh the average mug entice at-home brewers: Look for the hardcore Technivorm KTBS Coffee Maker or the hourglass-shaped Chemex Coffe Maker.
The cafe's cup of tea is, well, an extensive variety of teas that come from all over the world. Representatives of the white, green, oolong and black population stand ready for brewing: Sip on exotic and flowery flavors like organic jasmine peach, organic wild rose mint and lychee tea. Falling into the "special offerings" category, the jasmine silver needles tea is a special grade of white tea that's scented with jasmine and has a rep for exquisite sweetness. But if your cravings lean more toward cappuccino, caffeinate away: Intelligentsia's menu doesn't discriminate against lattes. Other offerings include a la carte panins, ready-made salads, old fashioned chocolate bars and protein-laden juices.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg