You might know Jet City Espresso owner Jessica Glover from when you frequented her Tampa coffeehouses in the ’90s, or from when your parents made you tag along as a kid. It could be her Seattle-inspired coffee stylings that bring back fond memories, or maybe it’s the hugs.
Glover’s been in the food and drink industry for nearly 30 years, but her passion’s rooted in coffee and espresso businesses — they’re her favorite kinds of shops to run. Her two latest Jet Citys are in Hyde Park (at 318 S. Edison Ave.) and Seminole Heights (at 5803 N. Florida Ave.).
Made with honey, organic milk, homemade whipped cream, orange zest and nutmeg, the Cafe Borgia — an orange-infused latte — was developed by Glover more than 20 years ago. Many tell her she should copyright the recipe.
I drank a cup and chatted with her this past weekend at the Seminole Heights shop after closing time.
How did you come up with the Borgia?
Espresso is traditionally served with lemon zest or a wedge, and I wanted to come up with something that would have a little citrus, but I didn't quite want lemon — I wanted orange. In the '80s, everybody went through every flavor to make every different type of drink, and nobody had ever come up with this orange and honey that I developed. So I made it into a latte, and just loved the topping being nutmeg and orange. I could've done cinnamon; I could've done dark cocoa and orange, which is also delicious. But the nutmeg and orange was just really good, and so unique and different. I didn't have to be redundant of other flavored coffees that were out there.
What do customers say about it?
They love it. It just became and instant people-pleaser because it's really light on the honey and doesn't have as much sugar as the other syrups. You wouldn't think that an orange latte would taste good, but it does. We did a lemon one, too, and called it "Little Miss Sunshine." But the orange is definitely the keeper of them all. I'm so well known for it. People come in and call it crack — "I tasted the crack."