The top ten places to get your caffeine fix
America’s coffee revolution has seen a wealth of independent coffee shops spring up across the country. We take a look at some of the best.
Since Starbucks first opened its doors more than four decades ago, America has undergone something of a coffee revolution. As the country’s coffee culture has grown, so too has the number of establishments catering to this phenomenon, with thousands of independent cafes and coffee stores popping up across the country.
With so much choice, it can be difficult to know where to go. To help you out we’ve rounded up some of the best places to get a cup of the black stuff on your visit to the US.
Ballard Coffee Works – Seattle, WA
Home to the original Starbucks store, Seattle is a city that takes its coffee seriously. This family-run establishment started life as a roasting house and is split into two sections; ‘The Express Bar’ caters largely for customers who want their coffee to go, while the ‘Slow Tasting Room’ is perfect for those who prefer to sit and savour their brew.
Izzy’s Coffee Den – Asheville, NC
Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, Izzy’s Coffee Den attracts a friendly and eclectic crowd. The cafe itself is cosy with a laid back atmosphere, and they offer a range of baked goods and snacks to go alongside their coffee and speciality drinks.
Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar – Minneapolis, MN
The owners of this unique store have combined their passion for coffee with their love of cycling. As well as offering a great range of coffees (with beans sourced from Intelligentisa Coffee in Chicago), Angry Catfish also sells and repairs custom bikes. It’s a warm, inviting space with friendly baristas who are always happy to talk coffee.
Addiction Coffee House – New Orleans, LA
Housed in the historic French Quarter of the city, this coffee shop gives off a rustic vibe with lots of salvaged wood and copper fittings. There is a range of coffees on offer, and if you’re looking for something different, the house special espresso with “steamed coconut milk, steamed milk, warm honey and a dash of cayenne” is sure to hit the spot.
G&B – Los Angeles, CA
Founders of G&B, Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, are seasoned coffee aficionados and are passionate about passing on their knowledge to their customers. They put a creative spin on coffee making, selling a range of ‘For Real Coffee Drinks’ which include coffee shakes and iced lattes served in mason jars.
Four Barrel Coffee – San Francisco, CA
Four Barrel Coffee is one for the coffee purists, with owner Jeremy Tooker paying meticulous detail to the selection of beans and the ageing process. The cafe does not sell tea or any speciality drinks (simple espresso, with or without milk is the only option here), and unusually for a coffee shop it does not have Wi-Fi. But the coffee is delicious – as the long queues demonstrate.
Abraco – Manhattan, NY
Abraco on the Lower East Side is a standing-room-only cafe that serves some of the best and strongest coffee in the city. It does also have an outside bar / seating area if you prefer to sit and enjoy your coffee (perhaps with one of their delicious home-baked snacks).
Panther Coffee – Miami, FL
Panther Coffee started life as a bicycle cart selling cold-brew coffees and now has three stores in the Miami area, as well as a Good Food Award for their Kenya Kirura coffee. They specialise in small-batch coffee and cold-brews, and they also hold free monthly coffee tasting and information sessions for members of the public.
Coffeehouse Northwest – Portland, OR
In a city that’s renowned for its coffee shops, Coffeehouse Northwest stands out as one of the best. It’s a friendly, unpretentious joint with local pop art brightening up the exposed brick walls. The house hot chocolate, made with Venezuelan dark chocolate and Portuguese sea salt, is a delicious alternative to coffee.
Progress Coffee – Austin, TX
The owners of Progress Coffee have created a venue that successfully blends their love of coffee, art and music. The venue frequently hosts events such as record release parties and exhibition openings. It is also a key player in Austin’s indie community, sourcing ingredients and products from local suppliers.
When it comes to finding a coffee shop in America there is certainly no shortage of options. There are some really great establishments around, whether you’re coffee purist or just want to enjoy a hot drink in a friendly atmosphere, and if you do a bit of research you’re sure to find some gems.
If a jaunt around the coffee shops of America sounds tempting, make sure you take out single trip travel insurance before jumping on a plane. That way, the biggest thing you’ll need to worry about is what pastry to have with your cappuccino.
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