Locally roasted beans, homey couches, and buttery baked goods abound at these top shops.
When you’re jonesing for a cup of joe, not any bean or brew will do. The ideal pick-me-up has got to be made with care from the roasting to the pouring. These favorite coffee places in the West are sure to perk anyone up.
Operating inside a 1904 historic Roosevelt Row house in downtown Phoenix, Songbird Coffee & Tea House invites folks to kick back on a porch swing or cozy sofa. It proudly serves beans from Cortez Coffee Roasters in Tempe, as well as teas from Maya Tea Company in Tucson and kombucha from Fermented Tea Company in Tucson. Enjoy a cold brew on tap or a vegan pastry from Treehouse Bakery while poets or musicians entertain.
Faebrew in Richmond offers coffee not simply as a drink but as an experience. There is no menu here. Instead the barista will ask you a series of questions including what types of flavors you prefer and how your day is going in order to assess not only what variety of coffee to make, but how to brew it (Chemex, V60, Siphon, or French press) and what type of cup to serve it in. Talk about personalized customization. Price per cup starts at $12.50.
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When Blue Bottle was founded in Oakland in the early 2000s, the specialty coffee roaster elevated pour-over coffee to high art. So much so that customers stifled any impatience and actually were willing to wait minutes on end for the more complex, less bitter cup that resulted. They still do—even more so now that Blue Bottle has expanded with cafes not only throughout the Bay Area and country, but even in Japan.
If you’re a total grump who eschews human contact before you’ve had that first morning cup, Café X comes to the rescue. Billed as the first robotic café in the United States when it opened in San Francisco’s Metreon in 2017, it is manned by “Gordon,’’ the nickname for the Mitsubishi assembly-line robot arm that can prepare everything from an espresso macchiato to a flat white—all with premium, fresh-ground beans. Use the app to place your order, and it will be ready within 10 seconds of your arrival. Just don’t expect any foam art, as Gordon hasn’t mastered that yet.
There are many reasons to love Kona Coffee Purveyors. First, it specializes in roasting single-estate, high-elevation premium Kona coffee beans. Second, its café is conveniently located at the front of the International Market Place in Waikiki in Honolulu. Third, its café opened in partnership with San Francisco’s B. Patisserie. That means you can enjoy that nutty, smooth cup of java with a freshly baked, flaky kouign-amann. Nirvana.
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You can feel oh so good about a steaming Cuban latte or cup of frothy matcha at District Coffee House, a non-profit coffeehouse that supports 12 orphanages across India. Add on a sweet treat like a carrot cake muffin or pay it forward—spread the love right in Boise with a donation to the “pending coffee” tally to anonymously pick up the tab for someone else.
In the beach town of Yachats, Green Salmon Coffee is sure to make you feel good inside and out. Socially and environmentally conscious, it composts all coffee and tea waste and sends it to local farms to enrich their soil; it collects rainwater to mop its floors; and it uses solar energy to power its lights, register, and music system. Moreover, part of the proceeds from the sale of certain coffee blends is donated to organizations—sip on Campfire Blend (Colombian and Guatemalan beans) and help support the endeavors of Oregon Wild, which works to restore wildlands, wildlife, and waters.
It doesn't get much hipper than Portland's Tov, an Egyptian coffeehouse inside a vintage double-decker bus, which appeals with cardamom-scented Turkish coffee and falafel croissants. Get it "for here" and lounge on the tented rooftop that is set up to feel like an inviting living room with rugs and miniature succulents perched on the coffee tables.
Makers & Finders takes its coffee seriously. This vibrant Latin coffee bar and restaurant in the Arts District of trendy downtown Las Vegas offers seven different brew styles, five single-origin coffee beans, and a variety of handcrafted syrups. Choose from a café con leche (pour over Columbian coffee with condensed milk), coconut turmeric latte with a touch of cinnamon, salted caramel latte, and many more creations.
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Husband and wife Jeff and Beth Furton opened Daily Rise Coffee, their upbeat coffee drive-through, in Ogden in 2004 with the motto, “Promoting Positive Energy.’’ Since 2012, they’ve also been roasting their own organic coffee, upwards of 500 pounds per day. Motor through for a classic pulled espresso, drip coffee, or icy mountain chiller mocha.
Information found here was accurate at the time of publication in October 2018.
Interested in visiting any of these destinations? Talk with a AAA Travel counselor about planning your next vacation.