Next stop, Sugarland.

The last two weeks before spring break is always blended with excitement, and then depression when students learn how much work is required before that last toll of the Bell Tower releases them. Balancing school, work and my visiting brother eager to bar hop during my mid-term week, was too much of a conglomeration of priorities. To say I was burned out and overwhelmed is a slap in the face of subtlety.

My brother is spending his spring break away from Burlington, Vermont, a place deprived of real hamburgers, and fixed with chicken byproducts mashed into a nugget formation. Sweets are decked in dark chocolate, sugarcoated with organic flour but lack the essence of satisfaction.

He escaped with a goal to enjoy North Carolina’s version of baked goods and winter temperatures. Early in the morning we set out on our adventure for good coffee and warm croissants.

Still being a newbie to the Franklin Street food venue, I had no idea where good coffee, not commercially grown or tasting of tar could reside. As the days reel by, I find myself craving a bit of chocolate; the bitterness of endless papers and taxing midterms boiling my brain into submission, eager to enjoy the taste of caffeine.

After walking a few feet on Franklin Street, my brother suggested several places before stopping at Sugarland, it seemed a quiet sample of European chic and Starbucks appeal, and we were hooked.

Walls decorated in robin’s egg blue and curtains draped in a subtle checkered pattern welcome guests to a cozy square of large, furnished mahogany tables and two glass boxes housing gelato on one side and cannolis, pastries and cakes in another.

The unsuspecting college student may not have time to process the depth to this place — the convenience of sugared treats wholloped in over-sized bowls, and coffee prepared in insulated containers enjoyed in round, large teacups.

The pastries are delicately flaked with crust, and the center oozes with apricot preserves. Hand-written menus scribbled in script stalk counter tops, and Splenda packets compete with sugar bowls for the interest of coffee-lovers.

Cream swirls in coffee, the cannolis are rich with cream — berry cream, and smothered with chocolate chips. The gelato melts before the container leaves the icebox and tiny baby spoons in electric yellow, peony pink and razzle blue frequent the sample section.

Martini glasses reign on shelves for decoration but are free of alcohol. The Sugarland coffee house blend is labeled as a mixture of beans from the African and Arabian regions—it is sweet with a hint of nutmeg. Beside it rests the decaf blend, warm and full to the brim, leaking, hoping to be noticed, but still the question lingers: what’s the point of decaf coffee?

We get a sample of each available sweet and take our seats, glancing out the window, happy for the unusual silence. Sugarland in time may snub the many commercially owned coffee cafes, and become a favorite among households. The slogan may be true, the South may rise again — but not until 10 a.m.

By Karen Kleimann