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A line of fla­vored syrups at Jilly Beans new location which allows cus­tomers the ability to create drinks not on the menu. Maggie Hroncich | Col­legian

There’s nothing like walking down Hillsdale Street as leaves crunch under your feet, col­orful trees line the sidewalk, and front porches display pumpkins and jack‑o’-lanterns. 

Jilly Beans, a coffee shop in the heart of downtown Hillsdale, encap­su­lated this magical autumn feeling in their latest sea­sonal special. The “If Fall Was a Flavour” latte is a caramel, maple, pancake, vanilla-fla­vored coffee – and yes, that is all in one. It is one of many spe­cialty drinks offered at the shop.

Ellie, a barista at Jilly Beans, said that she espe­cially enjoyed one of the lattes.

 “I like the ‘Black Forest’ blended. It tastes exactly like a cake because of the cake fla­voring and dark chocolate,” she said.

With an array of dozens of fla­vored syrups, as well as six types of milk – including coconut, soy, and almond – a trip to the shop is likely to satisfy any coffee craving. 

Many stu­dents fre­quent Jilly Beans – as evi­denced by the line during Parent’s Weekend that extended to the doors, and the four extra employees who were called in to help out. But owner Mary Ellen Sattler pointed out cus­tomers may not realize some of the regular drinks they offer.

“I always hear people saying ‘I wish some­where had pumpkin lattes’ and they don’t realize we have the pumpkin chai all year long,” said Sattler. “It’s some­times hard to come by, but we have pumpkin.”

I was able to enjoy an Irish cream and hazelnut-fla­vored latte called the “Nutty Irishman” when I stopped in, which I felt appro­pri­ately described the drink and my per­son­ality. 

The atmos­phere in Jilly Beans is cozy but modern, with lots of open space and tucked away tables for studying. It felt like the perfect com­bi­nation of urban and small town coffee shop ele­ments. 

Jilly Beans was the first place in town I went to as a prospective student, and it was good to be back to learn more about it and to see the new location. For instance, I learned that the former owner was nick­named “Jilly Beans,” hence the name of the shop.

While known for their coffee, Sattler said that coffee is only half of the equation. The menu has expanded, with new food and baked goods bal­ancing out the coffee options.

“Most of our soups are made fresh in the morning from scratch,” Sattler said.

Jilly Beans also offers breakfast bur­ritos, smoothies, sand­wiches, and gluten-free crois­sants, cookies, and quiche.

With the variety of options, some cus­tomers have claimed there is a “secret” or “fan-based” menu, but Settler said it’s really just a case of the menu expanding, so some old classics are no longer on it. 

But you can order some­thing that’s not listed on the menu. Cus­tomers can be cre­ative and build their own drinks using dif­ferent flavors.