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Bites Nearby: Java Joint

This local favorite manages to trump nationwide coffee chains.

Anyone who has driven around the Lehigh Valley might have caught sight of two tiny stands on Hamilton Boulevard or Tilghman Street. From afar, they might look like an abandoned produce stand or the remnants of a gas station, but these vintage-looking stands are home to one of the Valley's favorite coffee spots:

Java Joint is proving to be the little coffee stand that could, earning the title of best local coffee shop for five years in a row as part of Lehigh Valley Magazine's Reader's Choice Awards.

During the week of Nov. 6, Java Joint was offering the Hot Butter Toffee Latte. I'm a huge fan of Heath bars and toffee-swirled ice cream, so I decided to give it a try. The latte was flavored with English toffee and caramel sauce, a delicious combo for anyone with a sweet tooth.

I'm a pretty big fan of holiday beverages, from pumpkin lattes to peppermint mochas and hot chocolate. It's been tough for me to find any beverage that tops Starbucks' peppermint hot chocolate, but the Hot Butter Toffee Latte did it for me. It was a unique taste I haven't been able to find anywhere before.

Java Joint offers tons of specialty beverages for the season; during Halloween, they offered drinks like the Witch's Brew Mocha (white chocolate and Irish cream) and the Haunted House Latte (made with hazelnut and amaretto.) Stop in during one of your crazy shopping days to see what else they have in store for the holidays.

Even though coffee is their speciality, Java Joint also offers baked goods. Their doughnuts and sticky buns are fresh from the Emmaus Bakery, and their muffins and cannolis are made by the Bakery Nook in Whitehall. And for gluten-sensitive stomachs, Java Joint has gluten-free cookies.

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