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'Coffee explorer' delivers Caffeine

Downtown Tampa's new specialty coffee shop Caffeine opened last month.

Downtown Tampa's new specialty coffee shop Caffeine opened last month.

Discovering speciality coffee origins is one of Nidas Kiuberis favorite adventures.

The coffee explorer's travels take him to coffee farms in Costa Rica and Vietnam, looking for the right beans to bring back to his Lithuania-based coffee shop, Coffee Inn.

His passion led to a position as Head of Coffee and Communications for the coffee shops that became known internationally as Caffeine.

Kiuberis and his partners Vygantas Maksele, Martynas Serksnys and Vytenis Kurapka (co-owner of Drama Burger as well) decided to introduce the Caffeine brand to the United States with the first location in downtown Tampa.

"We aren't like a chain, all of our shops are different," Kiuberis said. "In Tampa, I liked the atmosphere of the building already so we left the brick walls and open ceiling."

Teaming up with Zeal, their coffee is roasted locally to create specialties including a cold- brewed coffee infused with hints of orange and brown sugar; an iced cappuccino called an aero cappucino, which "tastes like liquid ice cream"; and a spark­ling coffee made with tonic and espresso.

"It seems like Tampa residents are open to trying new things," Kiuberis said. "We developed the concept to be able to connect to the community and local people."

In that respect, Kiuberis plans to host local artists and musicians, as well as become a space to host creative meetings for startups and tech companies.

A mural is also in the works that will chronicle the history of coffee, "from bean to cup."

"We are trying to bring an open approach to coffee and the whole experience, from the barista to the environment to the coffee itself," Kiuberis said.

Caffeine officially opened last month at 212 E Cass St.

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'Coffee explorer' delivers Caffeine 05/20/16 [Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2016 1:45pm]
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