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Coffee Shops Worth Traveling For

Coffee Shops Worth Traveling For

Roasters and brewers that make you want to book a flight

Area Daily caught up with barista Louis Poore, of Urnex, in search of the country’s perfect cups of coffee. Great coffee starts with fresh, locally roasted, quality beans and some basic gear. Here’s where to recharge when you’re on the road.

Northwestern U.S.: Seattle loves Stumptown Roasters, but we suggest you also try Caffé Vita. In Portland, check out Heart Roasters and Coava Coffee.

California: San Francisco brings you Blue Bottle and Four Barrel, and while in LA, chill out at Intelligentsia.

Midwest: Chicago is home to Intelligenstia, but don’t leave out Metropolis. Grab a cup at MadCap in Michigan, Kaldi’s in St. Louis, and PT’s in Kansas City.

South: Batdorf & Bronson wakes up Atlanta, and Counter Culture keeps Durham, N.C., hopping (they’re also in Atlanta).

New York City: You can find outposts of Stumptown, Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia, and Counter Culture in Manhattan, but don’t miss Joe and Café Grumpy, which are local spots only.

Europe: We chose a few winners throughout Europe that are home to World Barista Champions — Tim Wendelboe in Oslo, Norway; Square Mile and Prufrock in London; and Coffee Collective in Copenhagen.

For more insiders tips on the best in modern travel, head to Area Daily.


The Ultimate Guide to Peruvian Coffee

Hey coffee lover, when you think of your morning cup of coffee, which country comes to mind? Are the bags of coffee in your cupboard emblazoned with flags and symbols of countries like Brazil or Colombia?You may be surprised to know that Peru produces millions of bags of the delicious brew each year, and is the world’s biggest exporter of fair trade coffees.

With excellent altitude to grow, successful co-ops, and precious coffee arabica genetics running in those plants’ veins, Peruvian coffee has peak levels of desirable written all over it.

Props to Starbucks for offering a seasonal Peruvian coffee in 2015 to get the word out and rolling with it from there. We appreciate you. (note: I’m not a fan of the Seattle coffee chain by any means, but we’ll let that one go)


The Four Best Coffee Shops in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Find your home away from home at one of these locally-owned coffee shops.

There’s something soothing about finding some familiarity to our daily lives while traveling. And, for many of us, sitting down for a cup of coffee at our favorite local coffee shop is a part of our weekly or daily routine. In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there are several locally-owned coffee shops to help you find the comfort of home no matter how far away home might be.

The Best Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Coffee Shops

BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

From classic coffees and teas to homemade pastries, simple breakfast plates and lite lunches, BuzzCatz is a cozy café and bakery that offers a little bit of everything. Head Chef and GM Kimberly Asbury is the queen of desserts, having won numerous awards across the country for her delectable delights.

Foam Coffee and Shop

Nestled within the eclectic waterway district community in Gulf Shores is Foam Coffee and Shop. Owners Saidy and Kale strive to give back to the community by providing quality coffee, good conversation and a relaxed atmosphere. At Foam, you’ll find everything from drip coffee and lattes to smoothies, avocado toast and other bakery items. Foam also hosts seasonal markets with local art, jewelry, clothing and food vendors. (Photo credit: Jaylee Dempsey)

Southern Shores Coffee

Looking for locally-roasted coffee? Look no further than Southern Shores Coffee, an independently-owned artisan coffee roaster in the heart of Gulf Shores. You can drop in to pick up a bag of beans or enjoy a warm brew on their porch or indoor space. They also offer a variety of light bites for breakfast and lunch.

The Southern Grind at The Wharf

The Wharf is Orange Beach’s premier entertainment district, so there’s no better place to be a part of the action while also enjoying a cup of joe or a scoop of gelato than Southern Grind. You’ll be dazzled by not only their coffee and cuisine but by their curated collection of coastal-inspired décor. Southern Grind also has another location inside Hotel Indigo in Orange Beach (pictured here).

Next time you’re sipping on a warm or iced cup of coffee along our shores, share a pic with us on social media @VisitALBeaches.


1. Ampersand

For one of the best places to double your pleasure in Fort Worth, come to Ampersand. Grab a coffee here during the day and swing by in the evening for a cocktail or two. But when it comes to coffee and specialty coffees, Ampersand knows how to do it right.

Grab a Latte here in the morning and stop by at night for an adult Latte (with Vanilla Vodka), called A Whole Latte Love.

2. Vaquero Coffee Co.

Vaquero Coffee Co. source their beans from South America and those bold flavours really come to life in their coffees. This shop has only been around for a few years but locals are frequenting this place for some of the best and most bold-flavoured coffees in town.

Try their house blend here and note how much bolder the flavour are compared to other normal-tasting house coffees.

3. Avoca Coffee Roasters

Avoca Coffee have made a big impact in the Fort Worth coffee-drinking community. Not only are their coffees some of the best in town, but their beans are highly sought after and are available for sale in grocery stores and local restaurants.

We recommend having a cup of joe at their one of their two stores however. Try their New Orleans Ice Coffee on a hot day in Fort Worth.

4. Sons of Liberty Coffee

Sons of Liberty Coffee is a contemporary coffee shop that is a hipster’s paradise in Fort Worth. The space in the shop is big and the lounge area makes it great for students to come here and study for a bit with a nice view of Fort Worth in the background.

The drinks here are pretty strong but they’re known for their Lattes so give that a go while you’re at Sons of Liberty.

5. World Blend Coffee

World Blend Coffee is a great spot in Fort Worth to grab a cup of strong coffee and a bite as well. With quaint indoor setting to enjoy your coffee, the vibe here at World Blend is welcoming and hip.

Give their Ice Coffee a try while you’re here.

6. Craftwork Coffee Co.

Craftwork Coffee Co. is a coffee shop that is specifically catered to working professionals without traditional work offices. This coffee shop offers work spaces (individual tables or a private office) for anyone who wants to come by for some coffee.

This is the perfect spot for freelancers in Fort Worth to come to for some java and a solo table to get some work done.

7. Buon Giorno Coffee

Buon Giorno Coffee is an Italian-style coffee shop with a heavy focus on specialty coffees, especially their espressos. The flavours here are unique and bold and the coffees themselves are perfectly handcrafted.

Try a delicious cup of espresso or cappuccino here.

Looking for somewhere to live in the area? Check out these properties in Dallas & Fort-Worth.

James Wan

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, James has always had an inquisitive nature and traveling is now his biggest passion. His biggest thrills are visiting places he's never been to and exploring different cultures. James counts Athens, Tokyo, and Rome as the top three places he's visited.


Java Jones

Founded by a former Upjohn exec whose passion is coffee roasting, Java Jones has an unusual method of roasting coffee – over a hardwood fire! Find Java Jones at local farmer’s markets year round.

Beans: The beans are sold in a variety of single origin and blended roasts, from light to dark, as well as decaf and those with natural organic flavoring.

Beverages: coffee for sale on site as beans or brewed.

Taste: smoky, delicious.

Quirks: the taste! It’s unique and worth trying.


Nearly all the dalgona coffee videos that I've watched call for two tablespoons of instant coffee crystals. Seeing as I have had many fiascos in the kitchen, I decided to follow their instructions to a T.

There was a box of Domino Sugar packets lying around my apartment, which I decided to use for the taste test.

But it wasn't until I ripped through six individual packets to fill up my two-tablespoon measuring cup that I realized just how much sugar I was about to consume.


Where do you find green coffee beans?

Online is the best place to find them. Sweet Maria’s is famous for its high-quality green coffee beans and roasting tips. And you can find other great green coffee bean companies in our guide.

You can also look for local coffee roasters and cafés that may be willing to sell their green coffee beans to you. If you want to go that route, you’ll need to scout it out for yourself. It’s always handy to make connections with your community to maximize your coffee knowledge.

Buying Tip: Buy double the green coffee beans you think you need. Roasting removes water from the beans, so one pound of green beans will turn into half a pound of roasted beans. If you want one pound of roasted coffee, get two pounds of green beans.

Make sure you get a bean that you like! Green coffee beans smell grassy, so it’s difficult to tell by the raw smell what the aroma and taste will be like after roasting.

As a consumer, the solution is to pay attention to the origin and base flavors of the bean, as well as if it is Arabica or Robusta. Don’t worry, though: online green coffee bean vendors have descriptions that give you details like this. Choose beans you know you’ll love, or try something new!

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1. Coffee Island

Coffee Island has become one of Santorini’s most popular coffee shops. Their knowledgeable baristas coupled with their wide range of coffees that are perfectly made, have given them a great reputation on this island.

Whatever your coffee fancy, ask for it here and they will make it exactly to your liking.

2. 218 cafe

Perched on a cliff, overlooking the volcanic caldera, 218 Cafe has one of the best views in Santorini. Known mostly for its colourful variety of food, this pretty spot also serves up some really good coffee. Enjoy a world-famous sunset view while sipping on your beverage.

3. Melenio Cafe

Melenio Cafe has made a name for itself on Santorini as a go-to place for their sweets as well as their coffee. Start your day with both on their terrace and make sure you come with someone since their sign proudly says, “No, we don’t have Wi-Fi, talk to each other!”

Start your day off right at Melenio Cafe with a Greek coffee and a Greek treat, Baklava.

4. Skiza Cafe

Skiza Cafe is a two-floor cafeteria type of cafe in Santorini that offers great patio seating on either floor. The lower floor sells Greek treats such as pastries, desserts and great coffees.

Grab your Greek coffee along with a snack and make your way upstairs to have a seat on their outdoor patio, as you enjoy the view with your coffee.

5. “Chocolat” Creperie – Pasteria – Cafe

Chocolat Creperie is known for exactly just that, their chocolate crepes. But they also make some delicious coffees to go with that crepe and they do it with one of the best views in town: on the beach.

If you have a sweet tooth, start your day off with a chocolate Nutella crepe and wash it down with your favourite cup of coffee here.

6. Lila Cafe

Lila Cafe is a cosy and friendly cafe located in central Santorini, Fira. It too, is also known for their coffee and sweet Greek treats.

Order one of their crepes or cakes and pair it with a Greek coffee in the morning. Coffee here is rich and strong. The perfect way to start your day in Santorini!

7. Akrothiri (Bistro Cafe & Cocktail Bar)

Akrothiri Cafe is located all the way at the southern tip of Santorini and this part is often overlooked. But it shouldn’t, because they make some of the best coffees at this charming cafe that turns into a cocktail bar at night.

If you’re starting your day in Akrotiri, come for an espresso and enjoy it outside on their cute patio area.

James Wan

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, James has always had an inquisitive nature and traveling is now his biggest passion. His biggest thrills are visiting places he's never been to and exploring different cultures. James counts Athens, Tokyo, and Rome as the top three places he's visited.


Best for Cold Brew: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold brew coffee is its own beast. While iced coffee simply refers to hot coffee that has been poured over ice, cold brew is made by soaking coffee beans or grounds in cold water — it&aposs never heated. Cold brew is twice as caffeinated as regular coffee, and it tends to have a smoother, less bitter taste than traditional coffee. So you can see why it has more than a few fans.

Every cold brew enthusiast should invest in this coffee maker. The BPA-Free, Tritan pitcher has a nonstick handle for easy pouring. Inside, the fine-mesh filter will hold up to 16 tablespoons of your favorite ground coffee.

To brew, simply fill the filter with grounds, add 32 ounces of cold, filtered water to the pitcher, and lower the filter into the water. Seal the lid airtight and store in the fridge overnight or up to 36 hours. When you&aposre ready to enjoy, simply remove the filter and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. It&aposs a whole lot more economical than buying the expensive, pre-made cold brew from the grocery store.

Not feeling like cold brew? The Tritan plastic can withstand hot temperatures so you can also use it to brew hot coffee. With over 30,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it&aposs safe to say people are pleased with the result, like this reviewer who says: "Easy to clean and use, coffee tastes great, not going back to buying pre-made!"

Buy It: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, $25 Amazon or Walmart


2. Fuglen Specialty Coffee

Fuglen is the coolest café/bar/furniture store combo that you’ve ever seen. And it’s been on the cutting edge of coffee all along.

Until recently they imported their beans from Oslo, but now they’ve begun their own roasting operation in Tokyo. Light-roasted citrusy beans are the name of the game here, and boy do they do it well. Fuglen manages to get all the acidic and fruity flavour profiles from a bean without even a hint of sourness.

Unlike other specialty coffee shops, they sell vintage Norwegian furniture and offer an imaginative cocktail menu. It’s a great place to wake up with a bright shot of espresso – or wind down with a carefully crafted cocktail. Grab a spot on the couch if you can: surrounded by vintage goods, the mid-century vibe will make you feel extra classy as you sip.

Espresso or, if you feel like a cocktail, The Scandinavian Negroni

Relax in the sun at Fuglen. Credit: Eric S.Tessier


Julia's Cafe & Books

Leila R./Yelp

1133 North Wendover Road, Charlotte, NC 28211

Julia's Cafe & Books is a charming literary oasis tucked away in Charlotte's Cotswold neighborhood. But as much as this brick and mortar was built on love for caffeine and books, it was also created to help support the Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. The space is named after Julia Maulden, who worked on the first Habitat Charlotte home and helped found the Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte way back when. It's also connected to a Habitat community store, where volunteer workers are more than welcome.

Julia's is a feel-good sanctuary that serves good coffee—really good coffee. The craft-roasted beans come from Magnolia Coffee Co., a local Charlotte roaster that's beloved by anyone who's taken a sip of their brew. The snacking options are also flawless and even include a few select gluten-free treats and gourmet popcorn.

As for the books, the thrifty deals are pretty solid. Plus, if you live in the area (or plan to pass through), you can donate books, VHS tapes, DVDs, vinyl records, video games, and more to the Habitat store.

Whether you're a local or just planning a trip to the Southern city, these spots are worth adding to your itinerary.