Start your morning off right with a caffeinated cup of joe from one of Memphis’ best coffeehouses. These are the places to grab your daily dose of espresso, or perhaps a cup of tea to go. Each offers something unique and all maintain a positive reputation fueled by satisfied customers spreading the word.
Bluff City Coffee & Bakery
Coffee Shop, Tea , Pastries
iced drink with chocolate pastry / (c) Bluff City Coffee / | Facebook
Located in the South Main Historic District, Bluff City Coffee & Bakery has been servicing the Memphis area since 2006. The cafe provides espresso-based drinks, based on high quality Italian espresso basics, as well as a variety of teas and smoothies. The coffee flavor found in Bluff City’s drinks comes from a combination of coffee beans used from Central America, Indonesia and South America. The shop also serves breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries and other sweets. Due to its location, trolleys often pass outside the windows and the occasional horse-drawn buggy can also be seen.
One of Memphis’ oldest coffeehouses is Java Cabana, which opened in 1992. The original owner, Tommy Foster, was a huge Elvis Presley fan and decorated the shop to reflect his adoration for The King. There was even a backroom where many wedding ceremonies took place by Foster, accompanied by an Elvis impersonator. Mary Burns, who worked behind the counter, bought the coffeehouse in 1998. The shop sells organic, fair trade coffee, speciality drinks, breakfast, lunch and dessert.
More than just a place to grab a cup of coffee, Otherlands Coffee Bar is a Cooper Young District hotspot that has a gift shop in the center of the coffeehouse. In addition to its food and drink offerings, Otherlands sells products like beeswax candles, bohemian jewelry, hippie-style bags and dragon finger puppets. On the weekends, the shop hosts live music, converting it into a place more akin to a beer bar. Most of the menu items are made from scratch, including the mocha sauce. There are several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items to choose from too. All the muffins, cookies, breads and cakes are made by local Memphis bakers.
Serving gourmet coffee, tea, espresso and specialty drinks, the motto at Tamp and Tap is “Grind or Unwind.” The coffeehouse and restaurant features breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and also offers catering services. Everything in the shop is made to order and orders can be placed at the shop or online for collection.
City & State is an artisan-centric store that scours the country to find fair trade goods like clothing and home decor to sell to its customers. Most of the products sold at the shop have an accompanying story behind them. The shop also sells coffee, iced seasonal drinks, organic teas and sandwiches. A variety of croissants and other sweets are also on the menu.
Started in 2014, Avenue Coffee began as a way to build a community for artists, students and Memphians. The coffeeshop is committed to supporting local charities and aims to be a second home where creatives can work, study or relax. On the menu at Avenue Coffee are items like espresso, iced drinks, tea, muffins, hummus and ice cream.
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The only coffeehouse in Memphis to serve Illy coffees is Cafe Eclectic in the Volentine-Evergreen district. Illy uses a signature blend composed of nine Arabica beans and those beans are purchased directly from the growers at fair prices. Illy is organic, so the coffee served at Cafe Eclectic is free from chemicals and pesticides. In addition to the coffee bar, there is an old fashioned soda fountain and a menu full of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items.