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These are some of the best coffee shops in the country
// By Amber Gibson
By Amber Gibson
Photo courtesy of Storyville Coffee Company
Something amazing is brewing
From artful lattes and pour overs to house roasting and one-of-a-kind blends, we've found the best cafes and coffee shops in the country. At the following locations, you'll find an intense commitment to craft.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Osterhout
Caffe Umbria | Various locations
Italy is famous for its coffee culture and espresso is as essential to daily life as water or wine. Caffe Umbria merges Italian finesse with truly exquisite coffee blends and single-origin sourcing. The Seattle-based brand has cafes in Portland, Chicago and soon, Miami. In Chicago, the 9,000-square-foot Logan Square cafe, roastery and coffee training lab offer a trio of experiences in an old warehouse space that blends modern with rustic, mirroring Caffe Umbria's ethos of Italian tradition meets state-of-the-art roasting. Tours are available upon request by calling ahead.
Photo courtesy of Belen Aquino
Passion House Coffee Roasters | Chicago, Illinois
Passion House Coffee founder Joshua Millman used to be a house DJ (hence, the 'house' in Passion House) and music still inspires his approach to coffee. Seasonal coffees are named after song lyrics from Phish to Bob Marley, and coffees are divided into three different genres – ambient, mainstream and experimental. They're about to add a second roasting machine alongside their current 1957 German-built Probat roaster that will triple their production capacity. Visit the Logan Square or Goose Island cafes in Chicago for weekly live DJ sessions and pair award-winning cold brew, pour overs, espresso and drip coffee with overnight oats.
Photo courtesy of La Colombe
La Colombe | Various locations
Philadelphia's biggest coffee roaster has 30 cafes across the country, roasting locally in Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. They're known for pioneering innovative canned coffee drinks like the nitro cold brew lemonade and oat milk draft latte. In Philly, La Colombe's Fishtown flagship is a regular hangout for some of Philadelphia's top chefs including Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov, and it's the only La Colombe cafe with a liquor license and full a la carte menu. They even host monthly pizza and bread baking classes along with private events.
Photo courtesy of Common Room Roasters
Common Room Roasters | Newport Beach, California
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Common Room Roasters is now based in Newport Beach, California, offering a seasonal menu of Australian-style craft coffee drinks along with delicious breakfast and lunch bites. Enjoy fresh coffee with a live vinyl set list every Saturday from 10 am-2 pm during Beans and Beats. Common Room recently partnered with Hurley to create a custom coffee with all proceeds donated to the non-profit Waves for Water, which provides clean water solutions to communities around the world.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Gerard
New Order Coffee | Detroit, Michigan
This design-focused coffee shop in Detroit balances serious, single-origin coffee with playful flavors including a mocha made with M&M ganache and cereal milk lattes. New Order Coffee roasts in each of their cafes in custom-built, locally made, cheerful turquoise roasters. Look for cold brew ice cream and milkshakes coming soon.
Photo courtesy of Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company
Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company | Indianapolis, Indiana
The sign at the door of Calvin Fletcher's Coffee Company says "All Are Welcome Here" and that inclusive ethos (plus excellent coffee roasted on-site in their teal 11-lb roaster) has defined the company since they opened in Fletcher Place a decade ago, when this now trendy neighborhood was just getting started. The coffee shop doubles as a local art gallery (ceramics, vases and all art on the wall are for sale with 100 percent of the purchase going to the artist) and all tips from the tip cup are donated to a different local nonprofit each month. Try the Calvin Pepper, a traditional cappuccino with honey and cayenne pepper.
Photo courtesy of French Truck Coffee
French Truck Coffee | Various locations
On a hot day, the New Orleans-style iced coffee at French Truck Coffee hits the spot. This roaster kicked off the third-wave coffee movement in New Orleans and they now have five sunny cafes around town plus three more in Baton Rouge, Metairie and Memphis. Their blend of Colombian & Brazilian coffee with chicory makes for the smoothest cold brew in town, which is then shaken martini style with crushed ice and cream-on-top milk. Ask for your coffee "dressed," a term usually used with po' boys, and it will come slightly sweetened.
Photo courtesy of Loyal Coffee
Loyal Coffee | Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs-based Loyal Coffee is barista-owned and operated, committed to using coffee to build community. They roast their beans downstairs at the Ivywild School and offer a "dis-loyalty card" encouraging guests to visit a number of other locally owned coffee shops. Once your punch card is full, bring it back in for a free coffee at Loyal Coffee. The Ritual Chocolate mocha is excellent.
Photo courtesy of Laura Watilo Blake
One Line Coffee | Columbus, Ohio
Sustainability is at the heart of One Line Coffee and the team personally visits mills and farms they source from to verify the sustainability of economic and physical conditions at origin. The training center at their original Short North Arts District cafe offers free weekly workshops led by senior baristas teaching coffee enthusiasts how to taste and recognize coffees from around the world. Explore the robust coffee scene in Columbus with prizes to be won for visiting at least four stops on the Columbus Coffee Trail.
Photo courtesy of Cody York/ThisIsCleveland.com
Rising Star Coffee Roasters | Ohio
The Black Star cold brew at Rising Star Coffee Roasters packs a serious punch and the cardamom bomb latte is a signature here too. They have five cafe locations in and around Cleveland, but the Ohio City flagship is the best hangout, located in a historic firehouse with a great front patio during warmer months.
Photo courtesy of Michael O'Neal
Sightglass Coffee | California
Sightclass Coffee is named after the viewing window on their vintage coffee roaster, and the company is built on a foundation of transparency, with single-origin coffees and blends thoughtfully sourced from Mexico, Honduras, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Papua New Guinea and Guatemala. The sibling-owned coffee company currently operates four brick-and-mortar cafés in San Francisco, a kiosk at the iconic Ferry Building Farmers’ Market and they open their first roastery and all-day restaurant space in Los Angeles in fall 2019.
Photo courtesy of Storyville Coffee Company
Storyville Coffee Company | Seattle, Washington
Forget the original Starbucks location at Pike Place Market. Just a couple of blocks away is the charming Storyville Coffee Company on the top floor of the Corner Market building at First & Pike. Storyville makes just one signature blend (and a decaf blend), sourced from three continents, with each varietal roasted separately before being combined for a more complex flavor profile. The best surprise of all? If you're visiting at the right time, every day they bring out Theo Chocolate cake fresh from the oven and offer full slices to all guests. This heavenly cake is simple but divine, and it's not even available for purchase, only offered as a gift.