Get in your car. Check the mirrors, strap on your seat belt, and head to Waterford Lakes. Across the street from the humongous Target, in the Sports Authority Plaza, find Vespr Craft Coffee & Allures. Open less than a full year, Vespr is home to a relaxing cup of joe that you won’t want to miss. Owned and operated by Edd, a Full Sail graduate with a penchant for roasted beans, Vespr is the coffee shop Orlando deserves and the one it needs right now.
Something is happening in Orlando, much akin to cities all over the country. People are demanding better food, drink, and entertainment. Aligning himself with the demand, Edd created Vespr, not just a place where you can imbibe delicious coffee, but a comfortable place to write, work, meet, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Simple pleasures like a hand-crafted beverage the likes of which you have never seen, smelled, or tasted. A confident traveler, Edd has experienced much this great country has to offer and noticed a void in the Orlando marketplace. With a Starbucks on every corner rushing people in and out, names scribbled on cups, there was no personal, warm, hospitable coffee experience. Until now.
Vespr is simple in its design and offerings, yet complex in the experience for your senses. Take the Barrel-Smoked Sweet Iced Tea, for example. Everyone living in Orlando has experienced sweet tea at some point, but not like this. Not a sweet tea inspired by the Kentucky Derby, Mint Juleps, and barrel-aged bourbon. Not a sweet tea made right before your eyes, cold-brewed, accented with mint and the perfect amount of barrel-aged maple syrup. Vespr’s take on a previously simple beverage adds depth, character, and a story. Much is the same with their craft coffee creations.
The Dick Tracy comes paired with a spoonful of maple bacon to clear your palate. The coffees, lattes, and espresso drinks are painstakingly crafted by hand, designed to please your eyes, nose, and your mouth. Ready for a show? Simply request your coffee via Siphon, an inverted process that accentuates the high and low notes of the coffee bean. The lighter bodied coffee provides a flavor clarity unmatched in any other coffee drink that has ever touched your tongue. Think french press and then some, plus it’s fun to watch. Vespr is always growing and changing, finding new ways to bring an old friend to the party. Visit soon and you’ll have the opportunity to sample a Hunter S. Thompson-inspired coffee creation.
As you might have expected, it ain’t just about the coffee. At Vespr, they make their own chai, a true labor of love, and feature locally baked delights like the Magic Bar, a marriage of sugar, bacon, chocolate, and awesome. Pairing with great bakeries, Edible Orlando included, Vespr is able to offer the freshest treats to pair with their coffee masterpieces. Coffee with a conscience has come to Waterford Lakes. [Tweet “Coffee with a conscience has come to Waterford Lakes. @thevespr”] Not only are the partner bakeries fighting the good fight for various causes, but all of Vespr’s coffees are Direct Trade and Fair Trade Certified, all of the teas are USDA Organic, and they are working on more and more involvement opportunities.
With a divided demographic split between UCF students and families in the Avalon Park area, Vespr bridges the gap offering hours from 8 AM to 11 PM every day of the week. They feature events on their bulletin board, and are connected heavily via Social Media. Instagram, first and foremost, since it is the best way to show off a beautiful beverage, followed by Facebook and Twitter. Go ahead, check them out, like them, follow them, and get a little social. It feels good.
Technology plays a large part of what Vespr does on a day-to-day basis. Starting with the all-present Social Media, Vespr wields Square for their payment point of sale management. You may have seen Square around, people accepting money on their phones via credit and debit, and actual cash register-looking devices brought to you by the growing merchant services provider. And it definitely feels cool to sign your receipt via iPad. Edd has also used Basecamp’s software to keep the entire team on track. The Basecamp software allowed Edd to manage everything happening with his business, whether he is on location or not, following along with group discussions, marketing development, event scheduling, and every aspect of the business. In the marketplace today, technology is simply a requirement for growth.
As if craft coffee and allures weren’t enough, Vespr also offers unique wine and beer options, including some fantastic local selections. In early February, they hosted a wine tasting featuring Quantum Leap wines. They serve quality craft beers from Cigar City Brewing, Avery Brewing, and Left Hand Brewing Company. You can even join your fellow creatives on Friday nights, or as it is commonly known, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober Fridays.” An homage to Hemingway, you’ll get a buck off any beer or wine with the purchase of any espresso drink. Score. They also feature weeknight specials on beer and wine, such as $10 Thursday Wine for Two, a perfect date invitation.
At this brand new sensation of a coffee house, Edd has surrounded himself with an amazing team of polished baristas and Rachel, the creative coordinator (also known as Edd’s stress reliever) who also makes a mean Cafe Au Lait. Rachel keeps the joe flowin’ and focuses on the way locals and regulars interact with Vespr. Here, tucked away in Waterford Lakes, Vespr can be itself, a great meeting place and hangout spot simultaneously. The duality of comfort and style, dripping with espresso. Vespr is a spot for writers, a spot for coffee lovers, a spot for those who want something different, yet familiar. According to Edd, “you should only be fueled by great coffee.” It’s hard not to agree.