When you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee, what’s your go-to? Do you brew it yourself? Head to your local Starbucks? Grab a cheap cup from the convenience store or gas station? Or do you head over to a local independent coffee shop, where the barista knows your name and regular order?
A great coffee shop is much more than just a place to grab a cup of joe. The best ones offer great coffee and employ baristas who are passionate about coffee and willing to share their expertise with you. They are also comfortable and inviting places to meet with friends or a date, get some work done, or just sit with your thoughts and a cup of comfort. (These are the best and worst coffee cities in America.)
Many of the best coffee shops source their coffee beans from the world’s best producers, and in many cases the owners will forge relationships with the growers themselves. They might even roast their own beans in-house, and for those who don’t, they purchase theirs from well-regarded (and ideally local) roasteries.
At some great coffee shops, coffee-lovers can sample a variety of fresh-brewed single-origin coffees, learning about the subtle nuances in the flavors and aromas of each one. Other places get their coffee beans from a single source and turn them into a wide array of drinks that go above and beyond what you’ll find at your local Starbucks. (If that ubiquitous chain is your thing, though, you’ll want to know the Starbucks capitals of America.)
To determine the best independent coffee shop in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed from articles and rankings on a wide range of websites, including Food & Wine, Fodors, The Culture Trip, Time Out, Eater, and Yelp, as well as numerous state and local coffee shop listings, then used editorial discretion to make our final choice.
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