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What is it about the perfect cup of coffee that gets us out of our homes and into our favorite local coffee shop? Is it the artisanal, hand-roasted beans? Perfectly balanced lattes prepared by trained professionals? Maybe it’s just the comfy atmosphere of a great coffee shop that keeps us coming back for more.
America’s 50 Best Coffee Shops (Slideshow)
A truly great coffee shop has to feel special: some are like a cozy home away from home, others ideally sparse, like a clean blank slate in which you can revitalize. A place to recharge with a good book and a steaming drink or to chat up a friend over that perfect pastry you’re definitely going to stop eating after one more bite. The best spots have a bit of magic to them: ambiance with no pretense, friendly baristas, and of course, delicious coffee. Choosing your perfect shop takes time and patience, but once you’ve found it, you’re set for life.
Luckily, we’ve done some of the legwork for you with our latest list of the top spots for coffee in America in 2014. Working off of last year's America's Best Coffee Shops of 2013, we scoured the nation from Portland to Florida looking for truly remarkable spots to pop into for a little cup of heaven. We measured the spots based on a wide range of criteria. First off, of course, we evaluated the coffee. The shops on this list use high quality beans and have close relationships with their roasters — or are the roasters themselves. Next, we evaluated the culture of the shop. What’s the point of going out for coffee if the space is dreadful? The shops on our list have created great coffee cultures, and even if they have multiple locations, each one feels like a unique, tight-knit community space. We also took the baristas into consideration. Preparing and serving complicated coffee concoctions is an art form, and on our list, we’ve included some of the best-trained, most knowledgeable baristas around. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the food! Although we didn’t weight the food as heavily as the coffee, we certainly paid attention to it. You’ll find coffee shops serving up James Beard Award-winning snacks along with some of the prettiest pastries around. A great coffee shop always leaves its customers eager for a return visit, and our list includes some exciting up-and-comers as well as established trend-makers too good for coffee lovers to miss.
To help us determine which shops around the country really stand out as spectacular, we asked a panel of experts to help us cull through all of the excellent submissions. Sarah Allen, editor and co-founder of Barista Magazine, weighs in on the process:
"I love and also hate nominating my favorite cafés in the United States — there are so many amazing ones to choose from, way more than ever fit onto one list. But really, this is a pretty great problem to have. The level of quality in both product and service in coffeehouses in the U.S. has put our country at the forefront of the specialty-coffee community worldwide. From micro-roasters with a fierce commitment to remaining completely hands-on from farm-to-cup, like Coava Coffee in Portland, Ore.; Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee, Wis., to name a few; to the old guard that's been succeeding at the specialty game for more than 20 years like PT's Coffee out of Topeka, Kan.; to cafés that don't roast their own coffee but insist on the very best from the brands they carry — I'm talking about you, BARISTA in Portland, Ore. — we have the kind of leaders in specialty coffee that other industries envy. They are smart and driven, insightful and humble, and passionate to the nth degree. I'm honored every day to walk among them."
—Sarah Allen, editor & co-founder, Barista Magazine
Several of our panelists wished to remain anonymous, but we are pleased to acknowledge the invaluable help received from the following authorities in the field:
Sarah Allen, editor & co-founder, Barista Magazine
Park Brannen, Northeast Barista Champion
Pete Licata, World Champion Barista
Bill Walsh of The Pure Coffee Blog
50. Houndstooth Coffee, Austin
Recently named one of GQ’s “25 Places to Visit in Austin,” Houndstooth Coffee takes its name from the Scottish legend heralding the eponymous plaid as a symbol of regional pride. Houndstooth Coffee, with its quirky Austin vibe, takes city pride seriously by offering barista training from nationally recognized industry professionals and serving premium coffee from roasters including Cuvée and Counter Culture.
49. Happy Coffee Co., Denver
From a coffee kiosk in a bike shop to a brick-and-mortar shop, Happy Coffee Co. gives Denverites one more reason to be happy (as if they needed it, what with those 300 days of sunshine per year)., Happy Coffee has become the it-place for Denver espresso lovers. Serving Fourbarrel, Heart, and Sightglass beans and others, Happy Coffee takes its drips seriously. Take the Toddy system for iced coffee, an hour-glass-shaped brewer that takes 18 hours to drip all the way through — it's unreal. Or the Aeropress or Vario V60 drip machine — yeah, they mean business. Happy Coffee Co. sits in a minimalist, spacious space on Broadway, perfect for conversations with your friends and baristas.
Read more about America's 50 Best Coffee Shops.
Jess Novak is the Drink Editor of The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesstothenovak
The 50 Best Coffee Shops In The United States 2020
The third wave of coffee culture has arrived in America and fully crashed down upon nearly every major city in the country, and even every little town. On most street corners in the United States, you’ll find tastemakers, small roasters, passionate underdogs, family business and the people who live, sleep and breathe coffee.
From super Instagrammable cafes to those catering to digital nomads and straight through to the coffee shops serving up some world-class affogatos and nitro brew, you’ll find that the best coffee shops in the United States are just as wonderfully eccentric and unique as each state you’ll find them in.
You’ll notice some favourites on the list who just keep on winning and even a few that have risen in the caffeinated ranks this past year to come out on top. Looking for a truly unique coffee experience while travelling through the USA? Check out the 50 best coffee shops in the United States for 2020, one for each state.
Located: New York, NY Website: Caffe Reggio Any hot beverage tour of the U.S. should begin back where it all started: New York City’s Caffe Reggio. Not much has changed about this West Village stalwart since it first opened in 1927, not even the enormous, chrome and bronze espresso machine that has been churning out perfect cups of cappuccino for more than 85 years. They call it the “Original Cappuccino” because Caffe Reggio was the first cafe in America to add the frothy beverage to its menu of offerings. So sit back and savor the flavor of history (which comes with or without whipped cream).
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Intelligentsia Coffee
Intelligentsia has won numerous awards for its coffee, as well as for the quality of its nationwide cafés (currently 15 locations). The company prides itself on direct-trade practices and highlights the countries and farms from which it sources coffee beans. The connections span the globe, leading to Intelligentsia's vast array of flavors. One of the most popular picks is the Frequency Blend, a medium roast that combines notes of chocolate and dried fruit.
Intelligentsia also showcases its single-origin coffees, a collection that offers flavor gateways into specific regions like Bolivia, Burundi, and more. You can purchase both whole bean and ground varieties, and there are delicious options for espresso, instant, and decaf coffee, too.
Best Flavored Coffee 2021
Since many of us don’t like the taste of coffee as others do, brands all over the world have begun to produce flavored coffee. It is available in all types of flavors and can help you get used to its original taste or just simply provide you with an alternative for your morning routine or for when guests arrive.
Some of them can also be served cold, making them a great addition for a trip outdoors on a hot summer day. Many brands claim that their product is the best, which can make it hard to find the right one for you.
To make your search easier, we compared brands, product quality and user ratings to bring you a review of the 10 best flavored coffee products currently on the market.
1. Starbucks Flavored Ground Coffee
Let’s start our top 10 list with one of the most popular brands currently in the coffee business. Starbucks doesn’t only have its coffee shops, but also provides its customers with ground coffee at home.
Why go outside your house if you can simply taste their unique blend at home? This particular product includes 3 separate packs with the flavors caramel, hazelnut and vanilla. Each pack weighs 11 ounces and offers you 3 different flavors from which you can then choose your favorite.
All in all, it has been purchased many times, while retaining its overall great rating, making it fit to be called one of the best flavored coffee products.
2. Dunkin’ Bakery Series Cinnamon Roll
Another favorite among the crowd, but this time from the brand Dunkin’. It is especially well known and popular in the USA. This particular product features a package of ground coffee that weighs 11 ounces. Its specialty is that it is cinnamon roll flavored, giving you a great coffee option if you like this particular sweet taste.
With many great ratings on Amazon and huge popularity among a lot of people, it has more than enough great features to be called one of the best flavored coffee products currently on Amazon.
3. Dunkin’ Bakery Series Caramel Coffee Cake
We decided to feature two Dunkin’ products one after another since both have huge popularity at the moment. Like the one before, this one also holds 11 ounces of ground coffee. But this time its special flavor is caramel coffee cake. It promises a smooth and rich taste that will leave you or your guests speechless when consumed.
This product also has huge popularity among many people and great ratings on Amazon, making it fit to take a place on our list of the 10 best flavored coffee products.
4. Seattle’s Best Coffee Toasted Hazelnut
The next product is brought to you by the brand Seattle’s Best Coffee. It features a 12-ounce pack of ground coffee with the flavor of toasted hazelnuts. Only the best coffee beans were used in the production of it. It offers a sweet aroma with notes of hazelnuts, making it very popular among many people.
Since it has several thousand great ratings on Amazon and many people that claim it to be one of the best flavored coffee products, it is more than good enough to take a place on our list.
5. Happy Belly Hazelnut Flavored Coffee
Since we mentioned so many well-known brands, how could we forget to mention Amazon itself? This product features a 12-ounce pack of ground coffee with hazelnut flavor. The fact that it is also Kosher just additionally makes it popular among many people. The brand is also confident in its product enough to offer a full refund if not satisfied with it for any reason.
Not only does the product’s great flavor put it onto our list, but also the fact that Amazon gives a lot of attention to producing high-quality products for its customers.
6. Eight O’Clock Vermont Maple Bourbon
Another great brand that features one of their products on our list. Eight O’Clock Coffee has been on the market for quite some time and practically hasn’t let us down with its unique and great assortment of flavors. This particular product features a maple bourbon flavor and is crafted out of pure Arabica coffee beans. The whole package contains 11 ounces.
Because of the great demand that people have for this product and the great rating it has, it is more than good enough to be listed in this review.
7. Eight O’Clock Caramel Macchiato
Another product from the brand Eight O’Clock that takes a place on our list. This time featuring a caramel flavor, which is popular among many people. The whole package contains 11 ounces of ground coffee. It is also certified to be Kosher and is made out of 100% Arabica coffee beans.
With many overall great ratings on Amazon and huge popularity among its users, it is fit to be called one of the best flavored coffee products currently on Amazon.
8. AmazonFresh French Vanilla
If you prefer a medium-light roast with a strong vanilla flavor, then this might be the right product for you. The whole package includes three 12-ounce packs of flavored ground coffee that is made out of pure Arabica coffee beans. The brand is also confident in its product enough to offer a full refund if you don’t like it for any reason.
Since this is also an Amazon brand and it has many great ratings, it deserves to be listed in our review of the best flavored coffee products.
9. Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll
Since we have included a lot of ground coffee in this review, we decided to add some in K-cup pod form to it. This product features a sweet cinnamon roll taste and contains 48 pods that will last you for some time. It is a great addition for being prepared if guests arrive.
Not only does it have an almost perfect rating, but it also features a unique taste, making it one of the best flavored coffee products currently available.
10. Gloria Jean’s Raspberry Chocolate Lava
Another product that features K-Cup pods and has huge popularity among its users. This particular package includes 24 pods with a special flavor of dark chocolate and sweet raspberries. It offers a great flavor that is worth trying out.
Because of its unique flavor and an almost perfect rating on Amazon, it is more than popular enough to take a place on our list of the 10 best flavored coffee products.
With so many different products to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one for you.
We hope this review was helpful in your search. If you want to learn more about the topic, you are welcome to browse our webpage for more information.
Three Portland cafes land on list of America's 50 best coffee shops
Portland's Heart made the Daily Meal's list of the nation's 50 best coffee shops.
Four Portland cafes landed on the Daily Meal's list of
The list, picked by a handful of coffee industry experts, includes cafes "from Portland to Florida" evaluated on their coffee, baristas and "coffee culture." Here's what they had to say about the three Portland cafes that made their list:
"The friendly folks at Coava are all about two things: craft and hospitality. Their coffee buyers travel the world learning about farming practices, soil, and production methods to bring the best tasting coffee they can find home to their community. The shop itself is a welcoming space designed for coffee lovers to come together, united in their appreciation for the perfect bean. Coava is also committed to partnering with other coffee shops around the country, helping small businesses expand and succeed."
"Serving three locations throughout Portland, Barista’s owner, Billy Wilson, is barista royalty in the Pacific Northwest, having won three Northwest Barista Championship titles. His coffee shops focus on showcasing obscure and out of town roasters, giving the little guys a chance and breaking from the norm. In addition to delicious coffee, Barista also serves pastries from Food and Wine’s Best New Chef Nominee Joshua McFadden’s Roman Candle Baking Co."
"Heart Roasters owns two beautifully minimalist locations in both East and West Portland where they serve up their Thrive Farmer’s Good Food Award-winning house roasted coffee. But they’re also willing to ship their beans around the country they even sell the same equipment they use to brew their coffee on their website. Their shops are as sophisticated as their flavors, with Scandinavian chic décor and an in-house DJ on Friday afternoons."
Reader nfidel points out another Portland-based cafe on the list, Stumptown, which appears at No. 28 under "various locations." Again, here's what the Daily Meal had to say: "Throw Stumptown into the great coffee debate, and you’ll get a variety of opinions. Some people love it, some hate it. Some say it doesn’t deserve to be called a great coffee shop -- that it’s gone corporate. Yet the coffee experts we spoke with all acknowledged that Stumptown is a damn fine cup of coffee. No doubt that Stumptown was the game-changer in the field of coffee what Starbucks is to Seattle, Stumptown is to Portland."
2404 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405
There are four different Spyhouse Coffee locations in the city, but all are charming in their own ways. From the welcoming atmosphere to the variety of drink options, it's a go-to for locals and visitors alike. The location is quirky with black tiles and vintage art pieces hanging throughout.
Houston - SIPHON COFFEE
The team at Siphon Coffee are undeniable experts in their craft. Like the name suggests, the cafe incorporates the unique Siphon method into their coffee, using halogen burners to craft a brew that shows off the vibrant tasting notes of their beans. In addition to covering your morning coffee, Siphon does lunch, happy hour bites, and drinks&mdashit&rsquos truly the best of both worlds. Ready for more joe? Check one of the other four shops on Houston's full list.
The Coolest Coffee Shops in the U.S.
Nothing says good morning like a great cup of coffee.
And while there are coffee shops that can do the job on seemingly every corner, some are simply cooler to hang out in than others — and don’t forget, a study suggests that drinking coffee (and alcohol) may help you live longer.
Ezra Baker, a certified Q Grader by the Coffee Quality Institute (basically a coffee sommelier), said he looks for a sense of “genuineness” and a cool aesthetic when choosing a coffee shop.
𠇌offee shops are a place where you can be alone and not feel weird,” said Baker, who is also the general manager of Stumptown Coffee Roasters in New York’s Ace Hotel. Adding that he looks for 𠇏riendly, but not overly friendly baristas.”
From the unique pairing of coffee and tacos at Muchacho in Atlanta to decadent flavor combinations like peanut butter mousse and dark chocolate in latte form at The Wormhole Coffee in Chicago — coffee shops throughout the U.S. are delivering a high standard and welcoming guests to not only get their caffeine fix, but to luxuriate in the experience.
Baker is a professional coffee taster, so his opinion is grounded in a lot of research. Below are his picks for the best coffee shops around the country.
10 barista-approved tips for making high-quality coffee at home
Brew Brew Coffee Lounge—located in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, on the corner of Diversey Parkway and Avers Avenue is a local, hidden gem. Like other communities throughout the city’s Northwest Side, Avondale is a diverse, blue-collar neighborhood. Framed two-flats and three flats line the streets. Brick storefronts selling flowers and discounted home goods are scattered along Milwaukee Avenue—one of the area’s main thoroughfares. Ethnic grocery stores offering homemade sausages, paczki and cabbage soup are plentiful.
The corner of Diversey and Avers isn’t exactly where you’d expect to find a coffee shop. This is precisely why siblings Jazmin and Christian Medrano decided to open Brew Brew. As residents of the neighborhood for nearly a decade, the Medranos often wondered why they had to venture outside their community to find a place to gather for coffee.
Recognizing a need for a coffee shop in Avondale, the siblings decided to open Brew Brew in September 2014. Since opening its doors, Brew Brew has become a fixture in the area. Even earning itself a spot among other beloved Chicago coffee shops in Chicagoist’s list of The 14 Best Coffee Shops for Getting it All Done. Besides serving exceptional, high-quality coffee and espresso drinks, Brew Brew is dedicated to partnering with local businesses and supporting new and established artists throughout Avondale.
Jazmin and Christian’s passion for coffee and their community impressed us so much that we decided to tap into the sibling’s coffee expertise. We wanted to learn how to make high-quality coffee shop coffee at home. From using a scale to precisely measuring your coffee beans to brewing coffee with filtered water, the Medranos had a lot to teach us about what goes into making the perfect cup of coffee.
Follow these steps to make your own gourmet coffee at home:
1. Buy whole bean coffee
When it comes to coffee, it’s OK to splurge. As Jazmin told us, “… if you want a good cup of coffee, you need good coffee beans.” That’s why Jazmin and Christian buy all of the coffee and espresso beans used at Brew Brew from a Chicago-based, small-batch artisan coffee roaster.
If you can’t find a local coffee roaster in your area, you can still make high-quality coffee at home by purchasing whole bean coffee and grinding the coffee beans yourself. Why whole bean coffee? Compared to ground coffee, whole bean coffee is fresher and more flavorful.
2. Invest in a scale
To brew better coffee at home, Jazmin recommends using a scale. Before becoming a barista, Jazmin measured her coffee at home with a spoon. “It doesn’t taste the same,” she said. She now understands the importance of accurately measuring your coffee. “You need to know how much coffee you’re going to use in order to make the perfect cup.”
At Brew Brew, baristas measure 180 grams of whole bean coffee per carafe. Each carafe makes 12 8 oz. cups. At home, for a 6-cup, automatic drip coffeemaker, Jazmin recommends measuring out 90 grams of whole bean coffee onto a small, inexpensive scale before grinding and brewing.
3. Grind only what you need
Don’t grind all of your coffee beans at once. Keep your at home coffee as fresh as possible by only grinding the amount of coffee beans you plan to use.
4. Store coffee in a ceramic canister
Once opened, coffee should be stored in a canister that shields sunlight. According to Jazmin, you should always “store coffee in a dark colored-ceramic or glass container—this keeps the coffee fresher.” It’s also important to avoid freezing your coffee. When you freeze coffee, there’s a chance that it will absorb moisture, which can affect its taste.
5. Use filtered water
When it comes to brewing coffee—water matters. That’s why Brew Brew uses filtered water to make all of their coffee and espresso drinks. At home, Jazmin suggests keeping a pitcher of filtered water in the refrigerator and brewing coffee with filtered water that’s heated to between 195°F and 250°F.
6. Brewing methods matter
Not all coffee brewing methods are created equal. The device you use to make your coffee at home will have an impact on the strength of your coffee. Choose the brewing method that meets your taste preferences. Automatic drip coffeemakers tend to brew an even, mild pot of coffee while a French Press provides a bolder, darker flavor.
7. Clean your coffeemaker often
“Coffee beans have oil,” Jazmin told us. “If you don’t wash your coffee pot—well, then the oil is going to stay. The next day you’re going to brew more coffee and the oil is going to affect the flavor.” This is why Brew Brew cleans their coffee and espresso machines daily. At home, Jazmin explained, if you don’t clean your coffeemaker often, “… the coffee is going to taste like it’s burnt because of all the oil that’s been left in the pot.”
8. Know your coffee bean
Knowing where your coffee comes from is important. Acidity, strength and flavor are dependent on the growing region the coffee derives from. “Usually coffee beans from Africa are dark and acidic,” Jazmin said. “Coffee beans from South America are less acidic and more of a medium roast.” If you’re unsure of what type of coffee to start brewing with, Guatemala is a good place to start. Grown in Central America, Guatemalan coffee is complex while still being balanced in flavor and medium in roast.
9. Flavor your coffee with spices
Brew Brew’s most popular seasonal, specialty drink is their Lavender Honey Latte. While Jazmin and Christian wouldn’t reveal the ingredients that went into their best-selling latte, they did provide some tips for flavoring coffee at home without using syrups. The baristas suggested stirring pieces of chocolate into your coffee or topping your coffee drink with whipped topping and ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
10. Steam your milk
Did you know that you can steam your own milk at home? If lattes and cappuccinos are a morning must-have, Jazmin suggests buying an electric milk frother. Not interested in investing in additional coffee equipment? Visit The Kitchn’s website to learn how to froth milk for cappuccinos in your microwave.
For more information on Brew Brew Coffee Lounge visit their website.