> Fort Wayne, Indiana
Mocha Lounge has been serving top-notch coffee and espresso drinks since first opening its doors in 2004, and nowadays it’s a Fort Wayne institution. There’s a huge selection of hot, cold, and blended drinks on offer, including house specialties like Snickers mocha, graham cracker chai, and cinnamon honey latte, and there’s also plenty to eat, including cake pops, scones, quiche, made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, and gluten-free cookies.
Mom ‘n ‘Em Coffee & Wine
> Cincinnati, Ohio
Founded in Cincinnati by brothers Tony and Austin Ferrari in 2015 and dedicated to their mother, Theresa, Mom ‘n ‘Em Coffee & Wine is a neighborhood café located inside an old brick-walled house. It serves great coffee drinks and pastries as well as high-end teas, wines by the glass or bottle, sandwiches, fresh-baked bread, and tinned fish. Coffee comes from Ferrari Bros., which (as the name might imply) is also in the family – Tony and Austin are roasting it in-house and also selling it to local cafés and restaurants. The duo also owns a popular farm-to-table restaurant, Fausto, at the city’s Contemporary Arts Center.
> Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City’s bright and inviting Monarch Coffee was opened by husband and wife Tyler and Jaime Rovenstine in 2017 inside the historic Ambassador Building. Tyler has more than 10 years of coffee experience, is Q-grader-certified (kind of like being a sommelier for coffee), and is a national barista competition finalist; Jamie oversees the creative direction. They’re roasting their own coffee and brewing a simple menu of coffee and espresso drinks, all made to order, along with cocktail-inspired seasonal specials like The Alexandria, made with coffee, cranberry, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, and aromatic bitters and served in a coupe.
Morning Bell Coffee Roasters
> Ames, Iowa
Morning Bell Coffee Roasters buys only Fair Trade and organic-certified green coffee beans, as well as some Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffees from Selva Negra in Nicaragua – and roasting them all in-house. The whole operation is computer-free, for a truly “made by humans” coffee experience, and social and environmental sustainability is central to what they do. Founder Nadav Mer recently sold the business, which is transitioning into Iowa’s first workers’ cooperative.
> Springfield, Missouri
Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mudhouse Coffee roasts all of its beans in-house, fresh weekly. Coffee is made via French press or drip (the drip coffee is generously bottomless), and along with all the classic coffee drinks they’re also getting creative with offerings like blackberry sage lattes, toffee lattes (with vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch), and the Mudskipper (a latte with Ghirardelli chocolate and hazelnut). They also offer plenty of fun frozen coffee options, smoothies, and killer breakfast burritos and sandwiches.