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Your Favorite Local Coffee

CafeLatte.jpgKris and I were visiting Lukas and Annika recently and we frequented Sapore, the local coffee shop. Sitting there got me to thinking about all the good coffee shops — not chains — local folks visit, and how hard those baristas work to produce a nice cup of latte or coffee for us. 

Who wants to comment about their favorite? Which of their coffees do you like? Why? What has that coffee shop meant to you? Have you ever been traveling, found a local cafe, and said, “Wow, what a good coffee shop?” (We sure have.)
At times we have been sent coffees and we’ve talked about them here, but what always impresses me is the quality of coffees that most folks don’t even know about.
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posted October 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm

This isn’t a coffee shop, but there’s a guy here in New England who has some great coffee. I’m not a coffee expert or anything, but I think it’s worth trying out. Here’s the website (no, I don’t work for this guy):

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posted October 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm
This is a coffee shop run by the orthodox church in Colorado Springs. The service is very slow as there is usually only one person behind the counter taking orders and making everything but somehow you don’t mind waiting 7 minutes for a latte and a bagel because the atmosphere is so relaxing. It is in a historical building and occasionally you see a priest in full garb walk behind the counter and pull a shot, how cool is that.
Also my wife’s favorite drink is the Berry White Chocolate

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Steve S

posted October 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm

John W 2

posted October 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

(‘John W 2′ because apparently there is another John W posting…)
There’s a shop near me in ‘downtown quaint-ville’. The thing I like about it is that the coffee is good tasting and Fair Trade. Fair Trade is very important to me as I see buying Fair Trade products as a way of living out being a good steward.
This coffee shop gets their beans from Dean’s Beans. The coffee is Starbuck’s-like without being extra caffeinated or being franchised.
This shop’s “sit down” mugs are a hodge podge (like what most people would have in their cabinets) and their take-out cups are 100% recyclable. They even give a discount if you bring your own (travel) mug.

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Ryan Boyls

posted October 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm

In Tulsa, I drink anything that comes from Topeca or Doubleshots. When I lived in San Antonio, my wife and I found a coffee dive away from the chaos of the Riverwalk called, Ruta Maya. Still miss that place.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I miss good local coffee shops. When I lived in Portland, Oregon, there was a number of wonderful local shops. Now I live in Upland, California, and there are very few local shops at all, and those that are local (that I’ve found) are rather lacking in the areas of good coffee and atmosphere. Cherish your local shops if you have them!

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posted October 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm Bakafe (Bake Cafe) has some great coffee. I believe they buy direct from growers, not 100% sure. Blue Lion goes for a European feel. Roast their own. Good stuff!
I must confess that McDonald’s now has good coffee and their prices fit a students’ budget much more nicely than the real stuff, though.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I have read that you can buy “green” beans and roast them yourself in a popcorn popper. Does anyone here have experience with doing this?

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posted October 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Yes, my brother-in-law brings green beans from Honduras and we roast them in a popcorn popper. This is the best coffee I’ve ever had. It works great.

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Travis Mamone

posted October 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Mine is Coffee Cat in Easton, MD. Great place to hang out and write. Plus they have live music every weekend.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 4:18 pm

There is a place lived above briefly here in San Francisco called Philz. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted. Legend has it Phil spent seven years experimenting with different beans and roasting them to perfect his first blend. Now he has around 20. Everything is a family secret – even the bean-to-water ratio. And they grind the beans and brew one cup at a time. If you’re ever in SF you have to stop by, and you’ll probably see him in there talking to the customers about his coffee.
I like the “Tantalizing Arabic” blend myself, but the one I mentioned he spent seven years on, which everyone should try first, is called the “Tesoro”.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

As a barista at a large chain coffee shop where I often have to wear the color green (hint, hint) I’m not sure I’m allowed to comment.
But, hypothetically, I would say when I have a day off work and want to study over a nice latte, I head to Small World Coffee, which has two locations in Princeton.
It is a great coffee shop. They serve all fair trade coffee that is roasted in small batches. Their baristas are great and the lattes are always really, really good. The espresso blend they use is unique to me. It has a nice, sweet finish…almost like a ristretto shot that you can ask for at large chains…only better.
I’m still a sucker for Chestnut Hill Coffee Company in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. I really miss studying there and especially miss their amazing coffee that is all roasted on site.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I recently moved to Seattle for grad school at Mars Hill and Seattle is full of local coffee shops. I haven’t touched Starbucks since I arrived because there are so many different places to visit.
My favorites:
Green Bean in Seattle suburb of Greenwood.
Quest Cafe in Ballard. The environment is really open and the people are always welcoming.
Bauhaus in Capitol Hill. Great view of the city, open till 1 am, two stories of seating and ceiling high bookshelves. Beautiful location.
Caffe Fiore in Sunset Hill. Small shop on a street corner but well designed for a relaxing, unique environment.

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Mike M

posted October 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm

First: anywhere I can get a free cup.
Second: Alterra in Grafton, WI. Great selection of Fair Trade coffess.

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ron cole

posted October 7, 2009 at 9:20 pm

On an island just off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada…this is the place…

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posted October 7, 2009 at 9:53 pm

The Global Bean in Silverdale WA is where our women’s Bible study group meets and where we read the Blue Parakeet. AND the coffee is good too.

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Adam Back

posted October 7, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Props to quirkzoo (2) for getting the first plug in about Agia Sophia in Colorado Springs. Father Anthony has made many a Chai Latte or Americano for me while providing some theological background to Orthodoxy. And the bookstore they run through there is supplied by 8th Day Books – quite the combination.

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posted October 7, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Pot of Gold Coffee… fresh roasted weekly on Thetis Island, British Columbia and rush delivered (free delivery) to your door within a couple of days. Yum!

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posted October 7, 2009 at 10:44 pm

My favorite local coffee shop is Java’s Brewin’ in suburban Philly (the shop is independently owned; no longer part of a chain). They serve a great organic Mexican dark roast, and its a favorite gathering place in our community.
I also really like Kaylani Coffee Company in San Clemente CA. Great coffee, and an incredible ocean view from their patio.

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posted October 8, 2009 at 3:53 am

Does Intelligentsia still count here? I mean, there are 3 stores – one in L.A.
It was by far my favorite coffee place while I was in Chicago, and now that I’ve just moved out to SoCA I have to say that it is still the best!
However, Coffee Klatch is a good one! Their Belle espresso is ridiculously good (coffeereview gives it amazing scores), and their WBC Gold Medal Espresso is worth the price as well. These are the only two espressos I’ve had which I can say rival the almighty Black Cat.

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posted October 8, 2009 at 6:36 am

I’m fortunate enough to live (since last weekend!) within 5 minutes walk of London’s best Coffee! Monmouth’s in Borough Market. It’s joyous, and they do a flat-white (an antipodean speciality). God bless Monmouths!

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Anan E. Maus

posted October 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

I’ve always found that hot drinks remind me of the hearth. And they connect me with a kind of peace that breeds gratitude for God’s gifts in my life.

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Your Name

posted October 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

In Charlotte, there’s Amelie’s French Bakery, where the local emergent cohort meets monthly. Good coffee, and great pastries.
Here in Rock Hill, I like Durango Bagels for coffee and bagels. Especially on Sunday morning when our church meets together there.

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John Hardy

posted October 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I admit,I am biased. I used to be employed by a coffee shop that had only two stores and was owned by a married couple. They were one of the best in the city of Boston even better than a couple of large chains that are big. Unfortunately, the owner eas not able to afford the increase in rent for the space, so we needed to go out of business. Our loyal clientele was upset to see them go. We made whatever you asked for, we even had stuff that the chains did not have.

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Jim Martin

posted October 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I’ve learned to keep my eyes open for independent coffee shops. A couple of years ago, I spent a week at Regent College (Vancouver). Most of the week, I spent time at a Starbucks across the street from the school.
The last day I was there, I was walking toward the University of British Columbia (next door to Regent) when I smelled the most delicious aroma. I was standing in front of The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. The coffee was unbelievable. No comparison to what I had been drinking all week.
I now look for the independents.

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Andrea B

posted October 8, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I’ll put in a plug for Peregrine Espresso on Capital Hill in DC, owned by good friends of ours, Ryan and Jill Jensen. A champion barista himself, Ryan knows his coffee! They go the extra mile to make sure the coffee is always great—like making individual cups of drip coffee during off-peak times so it is always fresh.

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