The USA has had a bad reputation at times for our watered-down, frilly coffee. But beyond the mega-chains and cheap diners, there is a coffee culture that is passionate about the perfect brew. We look at 12 independent coffee shops that are paying attention to their product sourcing, creating craft beverages, and changing the way Americans see coffee.
Fresh from a win at America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition, Peregrine Espresso is turning a lot of heads. The brand now has three shops in the DC Metro area and is gaining momentum. The shop focuses on procuring and preparing the best single-origin beans available. Regulars claim that Peregrine’s classic latte is the best they have ever had. Beyond providing delicious beverages, this shop engages with the community by offering classes on espresso fundamentals and brewing the perfect cup at home.
Peregrine Espresso, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington DC +1 202 629 4381
Commonplace Coffee is a charming company, owned by a dynamic husband and wife team. The pair had the dream of opening their own coffee house and roaster and found fertile ground for their vision in western Pennsylvania. Since opening 12 years ago, the company has been happily growing to accommodate a growing loyal following. The dining area is small, and can get crowded, so it’s best to come early if you want a seat. The baristas are friendly and knowledgeable, standing ready to share their craft with locals and visitors.
Commonplace Coffee, 5827 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA +1 412 422 0404
Palace Coffee Company
In the panhandle of northern Texas, Palace Coffee Company is bringing craft coffee to Amarillo and Canyon. The two retail locations seem to have a big-city coolness to their atmosphere, yet are easy-going and approachable. Palace Coffee aims to bring a heaping dose of southern hospitality, and a love for good coffee to guests and friends. The company’s attention to high quality and superb flavor earned them a coveted title at last year’s America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition: cementing their placement among the best of the best. Customers rave about their coffee’s perfectly balanced flavor and recommend the must-try vanilla brown sugar cinnamon latte.
Palace Coffee Company, 817 S Polk Street #2, Amarillo, TX +1 806 476 0111
Octane Coffee provides a unique experience, centered around a passion for craft coffee. The company’s five locations go beyond the classic coffee and pastry, offering craft beers, wines, and specialty cocktails as well. The result is a vibrant combination of culinary delights. Reviewers can’t get enough of Octane’s precise lattes and cappuccinos and have no reason to leave when they discover the extended menu. Whether its espresso, french-pressed, poured-over coffee, or a drink to get the night going, Octane is the place to go in the Peach State.
Octane Coffee, 1009-B Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA +1 404 815 9886
Serving up exceptional coffee in the southern US is Panther Coffee. The company has two locations in Miami, and locals can’t get enough of it. The company specializes in specialty, small-batch coffee, roasted to perfection. The baristas are friendly and knowledgeable and take a notable pride in making their drinks exactly right. In the shops’ design, Panther embraces the zest and vitality of Miami with bright colors and striking patterns. Outdoor patios take advantage of the pristine weather and make for a great place to enjoy some fresh air. Panther often hosts local music acts, providing live music for their thirsty fans.
Panther Coffee, 2390 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL +1 305 677 3952
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