June 14, 2024


As a self-professed coffee enthusiast, I’ve sipped my way through countless cups across the world in search of the “best coffee ever.” I am not as easily swayed as Buddy the Elf, so it has truly been research–wonderful research. From cozy corners in local cafes to impressive brews that have graced my travel adventures, each cup has its own story. I’m thrilled to share my current top five coffees—each a unique blend of flavor, aroma, and pure joy. The following five might not the best ever, but they the five cups that I just can’t forget.

Cameron Coffee’s Highlander Grog

Imagine a coffee that perfectly captures the essence of a Scottish Highlands escapade—Cameron Coffee’s Highlander Grog does just that. With its intoxicating blend of butterscotch, caramel, and rum, it’s more than just a morning wake-up call; it’s a sensory experience. Each sip transports you to a dreamy landscape, wrapped in warmth and mystery. It used to be such a staple in my home for when I need a little escape.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery’s La Tortuga Whole Bean

Starbucks Reserve Roastery’s La Tortuga Whole Bean coffee offers an exquisite complexity that’s hard to find. This coffee, with its rich, velvety texture and hints of chocolate and nuts, comes from the Galápagos Islands, which adds to its exclusivity and allure. Brewing a pot feels like an indulgence, a special treat that’s both grounding and elevating. I loved it for my pour over cuppas, right down to that very last grind.

University of Minnesota Duluth’s Snowstorm Mocha

The Snowstorm Mocha from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s coffee shop is a delightful surprise that captures the essence of winter comfort. I drank this by the gallon when I was a student, and I still swing by as alumni to enjoy one when I am in town. Infused with white chocolate and coconutty goodness, this mocha is like a warm, sweet hug on a cold day. Or a warmer day. Whenever. It’s delicious.

Caribou Coffee’s Cabin Bar Mocha

For those who adore a touch of whimsy in their coffee, Caribou Coffee’s Cabin Bar Mocha is a dream come true. This drink combines the rich, deep flavors of espresso with the comforting sweetness of milk chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter. It came with a little piece of a cabin bar (also known as Scotcharoo); we could take a bite, take a sip, and have a true moment of bliss. It’s was honestly like stepping into a rustic cabin with a warm fireplace—a retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Dairy Queen’s Iced Coffee from That One Summer

Lastly, the iced coffee Dairy Queen introduced one summer left a lasting impression. It was refreshingly simple yet surprisingly robust—a perfect companion for those long, languid days of summer. I was still photographing senior sessions at this point, so this iced coffee was my little treat afterwards. While it was a fleeting treat, it remains vivid in my memory, a testament to how a good cup of coffee can make a season unforgettable.

Each of these coffees holds a special place in my heart and my coffee journey. They are my “best coffee ever” picks not only for their exceptional tastes but also for the memories they evoke and the smiles they bring. Whether it’s the exotic allure of La Tortuga or the comforting warmth of a Snowstorm Mocha, these coffees enrich my days and bring a little extra joy into every moment. What’s your favorite coffee that you would label as the best ever? I’d love to hear your coffee stories!

Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer (and handcrafter on the side). She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullestSee more about the KLP Wedding Experience!

Fridays are for high fives! Every Friday, stop by to see five of my favorite somethings! Click here to see past Friday High Fives!

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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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