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Best Barrista
Best Café Ambiance
Best Café Expansion
Best Café For Coffee
Best Café For Food
Best Café Stronghold
Best Chai Tea
Best Coffee Beans
Best Drive-Thru Coffee
Best Espresso
Best Foo-Foo Coffee Drinks
Best High Tea
Best Iced Coffee
Best Mocha Latte
Best New Beverage Craze
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Best Teas

Best Foo-Foo Coffee Drinks

Coffee X-Change
2415 N. Campbell Ave.
6841 E. Camino Principal
4951 E. Grant Road

READERS' PICK: When the craving for a chocolate-mint mocha latté hits and you don't want anyone to overhear you order it "double-tall, skinny, with a single shot and lots of whipped cream," Coffee X-Change is there for you. Not that you should be ashamed: They have an entire menu of dessert drinks--blended, iced or hot, with espresso or regular coffee--because there are a multitude of coffee drinkers out there just like you. What differentiates Coffee X-Change from the rest is the drive-thru: no inconvenience, no hassle, and no one can see your face. (Not that there's anything wrong with it.)

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Starbucks Coffee (four locations). First came the pre-blended cappuccinos and mochas on our grocery store aisles. Then came the rumors. Then the construction signs. But this past year, the Seattle franchise finally arrived, fully stocked, with their signature "frappaccinos," cappuccinos, café mochas, flavored lattes, and the whole nine yards. Consider the Mocha Valencia (an explosion of chocolate and sweet orange syrup) or Caramel Macchiato (frothed milk, espresso, vanilla syrup and real caramel).

CLUE IN: For those who "like a little coffee with their sugar," you can't beat the Rainbow Planet Coffee House, 606 N. Fourth Ave. Diabetics beware: Just reading the drink menu--Nutty Decadence, Mardi Gras Mocha, the Black Widow--might be sufficient to induce shock. One Dessert Mocha, and you'll be unable to sit still for a week, much less order another. More likely, you'll crave something a little less sweet to take off the edge. May we recommend the Kahlua cheesecake or a foot-long eclair?

CLUE IN: We can't be fooled! All those expensive frozen coffee drinks are just tarted up Slurpees. 7-11 (23 locations!!) had the brilliant idea of putting coffee and milk and sugar into their Slurpee machine and voilà: Café Coolers, a foo-foo coffee drink for under $2, available all over town. They come in French vanilla and mocha, or in the grand tradition of the Slurpee, you can mix the two. Now we're addicted and there's no converting us to anything fancier.

Case History

1997 Winner: Cuppuccino's Coffee House
1995 Winner: Coffee, Etc.

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