Cafe Borgia Scones

18 04 2013

One of my absolute favorite places in Tampa is a small coffee shop, just around the corner from my office. Jet City Espresso is this fabulous hidden gem in South Tampa, owned by the lovely Jessica. If you didn’t know it was there, you might miss it! Jessica runs Jet City right out of her home! (She made sure that her house was zoned properly first!)

Jet City Espresso

(photo courtesy of Meghann)

I cannot say enough great things about Jet City. Jess knows her coffee, so all of the drinks are outstanding. She also makes a variety of scones, ranging from savory to sweet, with a few Paleo options thrown in as well. My “go to” order is a tall, skinny Cafe Borgia and a rosemary goat cheese scone. The sweet drink paired with the savory scone is THE best way to start my day.


Cafe Borgia is the drink Jet City is known for!

What makes the Borgia so special you ask? Well, Jess doesn’t really broadcast the exact recipe, but the description on the menu gives you a good idea:

espresso, a touch of honey and orange blossom, steamed moo, fresh whipped cream, nutmeg and orange spritz!

There’s something about this combination of flavors that is just so comforting- and addicting! It’s dangerous for my wallet that I work so close to her shop!

The other day the thought crossed my mind to make scones inspired by the Borgia. I tossed around a few ideas in my head- Include chocolate covered espresso beans? Throw in some candied orange peel? Base the recipe on an cappuccino scone recipe, or just make some swaps in a cranberry orange recipe?

I settled on an chocolate chip espresso scone recipe and made the adjustments I thought necessary to make them more Borgia-like. 


With the additions of orange blossom honey, orange zest, a dash of nutmeg and some chocolate covered espresso beans, I think I got pretty darn close to perfect.


I do still want to play with the recipe and maybe use some candied orange peel next time, and I think these would be stellar with some clotted cream, but I didn’t want to delay your enjoyment of this deliciousness! So, go out and make these asap- and if you’re in South Tampa, you must, must, must stop by Jet City and say hi to Jess! (and order a Borgia of course!)


Cafe Borgia Scones


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T orange blossom honey
1/8 tsp nutmeg (this is an estimate, I put in three dashes)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tsp hot water
~1 T orange zest (this is an estimate, I zested most of the orange and saved some zest for garnish)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chocolate covered espresso beans (I used the Trade Joe’s espresso pillows because they’re smaller than any others I’ve found)

Coarse sugar (I used espresso flavored sugar I bought at Downtown Disney)
2 T heavy cream


How to:

Preheat oven to 375˜F.

In a measuring cup, mix espresso powder with 1 teaspoon hot water. Stir to dissolve.  Add 1 cup cream and combine. Add the orange zest to the creamy espresso mix.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, honey, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter pieces to the bowl and using your hands or a pastry blender, cut in the butter. Toss in the chocolate covered espresso beans and stir gently.

Pour the espresso-cream mixture over the flour mixture and blend with your hands or a spatula until dough just comes together. Gently knead a couple times, but don’t overmix.

Remove dough onto floured surface. Form into a rectangle, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Cut the scones into desired serving sizes. Place the pieces on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.

Brush scones with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake scones until edges and bottom are golden and they are firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.



Roadtrip to Vermont! (Part 1)

24 08 2012

You might have seen a few of my tweets last week and picked up that I was on a roadtrip!

Last Thursday, I packed my bags and hit the road with a few of my XP teammates to drive up to Vermont for the USAT Age Group National Championships. Courtney, Jess, Felipe and I packed our bikes and plenty of road trip snacks into Jess’s mom’s minivan for the 3000+ mile round trip. The minivan lovingly became known as the “mom-mobile” because it had several “fill in the blank university MOM” stickers on the window. Yeah baby.

We got on the road close to 6am, but not without stopping for some essential fuel:

I opted to try the new Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher. I had already had my coffee before I left my house, so I can’t comment on it’s ability to keep me caffeinated, but it was tasty and refreshing as its name suggests. I’d order it again.

We got back into the car and it quickly became clear that we were all a bunch of type A, food loving triathletes. At a suggestion from Felipe (I think?) we decided to streamline our snacking by organizing our food into a savory bag, a sweet bag, and a candy bag.

Not pictured: Savory bag

Yes, we actually did that. Gotta love it:-)

Jess was a total trooper and drove us all the way to South Carolina, where we made a very important stop.

Anyone recognize this?

It’s the uber cheesy but classic road trip stop, South of the Border.

I mean, who goes on a ridiculously long road trip up I-95 and DOESN’T stop at South of the Border?

And furthermore, why go there unless you’re taking ridiculous photos?


After laughing til our sides hurt, we filled up on some so-so Mexican food and hit the road again.

I got nostalgic as we drove through DC, right by where I used to live.

The one thing I don’t miss? DC traffic:

Thankfully, that was on the other side of the highway, heading out of the city.

Just north of DC, we stopped for dinner at an Maiwand Kabob, an Afghan restaurant. I haven’t found a good Middle Eastern restaurant down here in Tampa, so I was excited for my meal. Courtney and I split a Chicken Tikka Kabob and the Eggplant appetizer.

(sorry, that’s not such an appetizing photo, but man, was it good!!)

For a casual take-out place, I was quite satisfied with the meal. I wish there was a place like this down in Tampa!

By this time in our trip, we were all getting pretty tired.

Jess had done most of the driving for the day; she’s a trooper! And, well, Felipe still had energy to be his usual self. 🙂

We had a goal to get north of Philly by the end of our first day of driving. I took over the wheel for the next few hours until we finally made it to Trenton, NJ, a little after midnight.

Day 1: ~1000 miles down, 400ish to go!

To be continued…