Special Report

The Best Independent Coffee Shop in Every State

Courtesy of Cafe Makario

“America runs on Dunkin’,” goes the slogan of the widespread chain formerly called Dunkin’ Donuts (it dropped “Donuts” as of January 2019). That might be exaggerating a little, but it is no exaggeration to say that America runs on coffee, whether from Dunkin’ or Starbucks or anywhere else.

Coffee reached our shores, courtesy of the British, in the mid-17th century, and after the Boston Tea Party of 1773 — protesting a hefty tax on the nearly 1.2 million pounds of tea consumed in the colonies every year — coffee became our go-to beverage.

Espresso, invented in Italy in the late 19th century, first appeared here as early as 1927, but grew popular at least in certain segments of society during the bohemian coffee house era of the 1950s and ‘60s. Fast forward to 1971, when three coffee-loving academics in Seattle opened a coffee store, naming it Starbucks after a character in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”  

Repositioned in the late 1970s as a series of Italian-inspired environments where people could relax, converse, and connect over beverages and light food, Starbucks grew to become the largest coffee chain in the world today, with more than 31,000 outlets around the globe.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there are now almost 33,000 coffee shops in the U.S. That includes both chain stores and independents — the so-called “third wave” coffee emporiums that have redefined the genre and that represent America’s best independent coffee shops. 

To find the best independent coffee shops in every state, 24/7 Tempo collected Yelp user ratings for coffee specialists in the country’s 1,000 most populous cities across all 50 states. We filtered out bakeries, cafés, and other places focused on food, even if their coffee is good, and eliminated drive-thrus and coffee carts. Chains like Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown, even though they are considered third-wave independents, were not included, nor were any smaller independents that have more than five units.

Click here to see the best independent coffee shop in every state
Click here to read our methodology

The independents produce some of the best coffee in America today, and they do much to educate people about coffee’s complexity, helping to build appreciation for the beverage itself and for the people who produce and process it. Independent coffee shop proprietors tend to be passionate about coffee and have strong opinions on how to source and brew it. Some of them travel the world to seek out quality beans from small farmers and promote fair-trade practices. Some of them also invest in state-of-the-art roasting and brewing equipment, sometimes made to their own specifications.

Some of the coffee shops on this list offer wide varieties of beans, made into beverages by a number of different methods (cold brew, pour-over, espresso, etc.). Others keep things simple, settling on a house blend and limiting the variations on the menu. All of them, though, serve first-rate java that will help get you up and running — and that might quite possibly be good for you, too. Some of the coffee shops on this list offer wide varieties of beans, made into beverages by a number of different methods (cold brew, pour-over, espresso, etc.). Others keep things simple, settling on a house blend and limiting the variations on the menu. All of them, though, serve first-rate java that will help get you up and running — and that might quite possibly be good for you, too. Here are 18 reasons to drink coffee for your health.

Alabama: Prevail Union Montgomery
> Location: Montgomery
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

“[A] quaint coffee shop with fast service and great drinks,” though “a little hard to find,” say Yelp reviewers. Taking its name from a William Faulkner quote — “man will not merely endure, he will prevail” — Prevail serves cold brew, espresso, and other coffee drinks using beans from a variety of roasters.

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Alaska: Black Cup
> Location: Anchorage
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Yelp reviewers call this a “[g]reat coffee spot with FREE refills and free WiFi,” and a place that “seriously gets it.” The shop’s “extraordinary coffee best served black” includes house blends and single-origin coffees from Africa, Central America, Mexico, and Sumatra.

Arizona: A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop
> Location: Phoenix
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

The beans used here are sourced exclusively from Ethiopia, the country where the first wild coffee plants apparently grew. Proprietor Aisha Tedros, who comes from Eritrea, just north of Ethiopia, serves conventional espresso, drip, and cold brew coffee as well as a special ginger coffee. The shop also performs the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony — freshly roasted beans are ground to order, brewed in a clay pot, and strained into small cups.

Arkansas: Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie
> Location: Fayetteville
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Veteran-owned and specializing in “high intensity coffee,” Doomsday works directly with non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting veterans with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury). They also serve “GREAT coffee” that’s “better in all ways” than what you get at the big chains, say Yelpers. And when it comes to food, almost everybody praises the breakfast tacos and burritos.

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California: Phin Smith
> Location: Garden Grove
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Vietnamese-style coffee drinks are the specialty at this hip coffee shop in an Orange County community southeast of Los Angeles. Customers love the service as well as the java. This Yelp comment says it all: “When a barista says, ‘Let me make your beverage and then you can try it, to make sure it’s to your liking, or we can re-do it,’ that’s my kind of coffee shop.”

Colorado: Story Coffee
> Location: Colorado Springs
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Story Coffee, which is situated in a “tiny house” less than 400 square feet in size, roasts its own beans for use in a variety of coffee drinks. The shop also donates 5% of every dollar spent (not 5% of the profits) to The Marian House, a Catholic charity that feeds the hungry and helps struggling families.

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Connecticut: Lorca
> Location: Stamford
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Serious coffee is the focus here, including a single-origin direct-trade coffee of the day and various artisan pour-over options, as well as espresso and espresso variations and an unusual Lorchata (cold brew coffee with horchata). The main Stamford location is temporarily closed (it’s set to reopen on March 20), but a satellite in nearby Cos Cob is open for business.

Delaware: House of Coffi
> Location: Dover
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The owner of this coffee shop is Welsh, hence the name “Coffi” — Welsh for our favorite morning beverage. Described on Yelp as being “truly a nice little coffee shop with a beautiful setting” and a “must go” with an “incredibly friendly” staff and “delicious […] strong and robust” coffee, it frequently is hailed as the best coffee shop in the Dover area.

Florida: Brewing Buddha Cafe & Arthouse
> Location: Miami
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Among the choices here are espresso, pour-over coffee, Cuban coffee (de rigueur in Miami), and an array of imaginative lattes, including wild rose, lavender, sweet plantain, and campfire s’mores variations.

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Georgia: Rev Coffee
> Location: Smyrna
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Drip, pour-over, and espresso are available here, along with “traditional cappuccino,” latte, mocha, and more. This “cute, hip space selling a variety of coffee house favorites” and “cool spot and a great relief from the typical chain coffee shops” (according to Yelp) also offers a modest menu of breakfast and lunch fare.

Hawaii: Ali’i Coffee
> Location: Honolulu
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Roasting “fresh green beans from different countries and local farms,” Ali’i offers an imaginative menu of cold-brew- and espresso-based drinks and a range of “coff-tails” and a few sandwiches and breakfast items.

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Idaho: Slow By Slow Coffee Bar
> Location: Boise
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This “great place to get coffee and hang out with friends, or do some work” serves “the best coffee in town!” with “an approachable chic, hipster vibe” (according to Yelp reviewers). A typical coffee selection might include pour-overs from Kenya, Tanzania, and Colombia, espresso from Costa Rica, plus the house Acid Test Espresso Blend.

Illinois: Two Hearted Queen
> Location: Chicago
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Besides serving good coffee and serving as a kind of community center, Two Hearted Queen helps fund land ownership by coffee growers in various parts of the world. Pour-over, cold brew, espresso, and a number of Royal Signature coffee drinks are among the choices here.

Indiana: Georgia Street Grind
> Location: Indianapolis
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Coffees here, purchased exclusively from local roasters, include single-origin choices as well as a signature Grindhouse blend. The atmosphere gets high marks, too, with one Yelp commentator enthusing that “you can’t walk into this place in a bad mood and walk back out feeling horrible because well it’s not allowed.”

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Iowa: Morning Bell Coffee Roasters
> Location: Ames
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Advertising “specialty coffee the way we like it,” Morning Bell adds, “We select and roast truly outstanding coffees […] Fresh-roasted coffees are always available, along with pourover service, nitro cold brew and espresso bar options.” Morning Bell is “worth making a special trip for,” one Yelper says.

Kansas: Reverie Coffee Roasters
> Location: Wichita
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

“We make coffee for everyone,” says Reverie. The shop’s head roaster and “director of coffee,” Beau Harris, explains “I roast coffee to modify the unique origin characteristics, attempting to highlight flavors I find interesting.” This philosophy obviously pays off. As one Yelp reviewer put it, “The coffee is outstanding (even the decaf)” at this “little gem.”

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Kentucky: Carabello Coffee
> Location: Newport
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This coffee shop could just as easily be listed under Ohio, since it serves the Cincinnati area, but it’s actually located across from that city on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, just over the Taylor Southgate Bridge. Besides offering (according to Yelp) a “chill atmosphere and amazing coffee selection,” Carabello supports coffee-related social programs in Kenya, Rwanda, Nicaragua, and other coffee-producing places.

Louisiana: Spitfire Coffee
> Location: New Orleans
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

One of the Crescent City’s first specialty coffee shops when it opened in 2013, Spitfire serves what it calls “a smattering of the greatest coffees the country has to offer.” The selection is “seriously epic,” says one Yelp reviewer, who singled out the vanilla lavender latte with rose petals and the brown butter mocha. According to another reviewer, “they make world class cappuccinos and other specialty coffee creations including a great flat white.”

Maine: Bard Coffee
> Location: Portland
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Bard showcases Central American coffee farmers as among its favorite regular sources and utilizes “the best technology available to ensure best practices” when roasting the beans. This “really great coffee shop nestled into downtown Portland” serves brews that are “smokey and deep” in flavor, says one Yelper.

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Maryland: Vigilante Coffee
> Location: Hyattsville
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Some Yelp comments on this Maryland favorite: “Such a pleasant environment!,” “Great coffee and great ambiance,” “I love that they bring the coffee to you with an index card of the region, varietals, and processing method,” and “Giving Starbucks a run for its money!!!” On the food side, the açaí­ bowl gets frequent praise.

Massachusetts: Thinking Cup
> Location: Boston
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Sourcing its beans from Seattle’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Chicago’s Third Wave Coffee House & Roasters, Thinking Cup is also “very welcoming.” It serves drip coffee that’s “fresh and very good on its own” (per Yelp), as well as numerous other coffee choices, including a vanilla ginger latte with homemade syrup. Breakfast items, some of them gluten-free, and a few sandwiches fill out the menu.

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Michigan: Qahwah House
> Location: Dearborn
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

“Qahwah” is the Arabic word for “coffee,” and the Yemeni owners of this coffee shop cite Yemen as the birthplace of the drink. (While most authorities give credit to Ethiopia, on the other side of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, it is generally agreed that the first place coffee was exported to — and is eventually from — was the Yemeni port of Mocha.) Yemeni beans are the basis for the selection here, which includes espresso, Yemeni latte, traditional Yemeni flavored coffee variations (one with cardamom and another with ginger, for instance), and both Turkish and Saudi interpretations of the drink.

Minnesota: Five Watt Coffee
> Location: Minneapolis
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Five Watt has been described on Yelp as “a great coffee shop” with employees who are “incredibly friendly but in a very unassuming way,” serving “very good brewed coffee.” That coffee can be “strong and does the job but [with] subtle flavors that are game changing.” There are also “specialty drinks [that] are so inventive and better yet scrumptious” — including those flavored with lavender, grapefruit bitters, coriander, or honey.

Mississippi: M7 Coffeehouse
> Location: Ridgeland
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

A range of espresso-based drinks, specialty lattes (for instance a Spanish version with sweet condensed milk and a Hazy Baby, made with Nutella), and several kinds of brewed coffee (including nitro draft and pour-over) are on the menu at this coffee house in the Jackson metropolitan area. “This place is 5 star indeed!” according to one reviewer on Yelp.

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Missouri: Thou Mayest – River Quay
> Location: Kansas City
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

According to this coffee shop’s website, “Thou Mayest means ‘the way is open’ and is seeing your life as a vast, glowing, empty page.” Well, all right. Luckily, the site goes on to propose that “The first and most important thing we can do is get a most excellent drink into your hands.” They apparently succeed, according to Yelp reviews like “one of those places that serves REALLY good coffee and in any form” and “Amazing coffee found here!”

Montana: Ebon Coffee Collective
> Location: Billings
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Using coffees from various Montana roasters and offering homemade pastries to go with the brews, Ebon describes itself as “A hub for rad people to collaborate, pushing the edge for both coffee quality and socially responsible operations.” A visiting Californian took to Yelp to report, “Their single origin coffees are super tasty […] The espresso is always well balanced,” while Ebon serves the “best latte in Billings.”

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Nebraska: Howlin’ Hounds Coffee
> Location: Omaha
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

The coffee here, roasted by Gimme! Coffee in New York state, is available simply brewed, as espresso (and its elaborations), or made Kalita Wave-style pour-over (named for the highly regarded apparatus used) or with a French press. Local art is always on display.

Nevada: Clyde’s Coffee Roasting
> Location: Stateline
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This Lake Tahoe area coffee shop roasts beans daily, sourced from farmers all over the coffee-growing world via the socially and environmentally responsible California-based distributor Vournas Coffee Trading. The place has a cozy Western mountain vibe and a menu ranging from cappuccino to fresh brew to blended mocha.

New Hampshire: Adelle’s Coffeehouse
> Location: Dover
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Specialty drinks and breakfast foods fill out a menu offering. There is drip coffee hot or iced, espresso drinks, and organic Mexican coffee cold brew, including a 24-ounce version called A Darkness, consisting of concentrated cold brew cut with iced coffee with two shots of espresso, described as “more caffeine than you can handle.” The coffee is sourced from Seacoast Coffee Company, a small-batch artisan roaster from Portland, Maine.

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New Jersey: Roast’d Coffee
> Location: Hasbrouck Heights
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Formerly known as Koffeewagon Roasters (confusingly, since it was a brick-and-mortar shop and not a truck or wagon), Roast’d serves a selection of pour-over, cold brew, and espresso coffees. A variety of beans is available. The selection changes periodically but might include choices from Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, among other places. Beans are roasted in-house.

New Mexico: Espresso Fino
> Location: Albuquerque
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This espresso bar uses only certified organic fair trade coffee. Beans are roasted in nearby Santa Fe. As its name suggests, while drip coffee and a selection of teas are available, espresso and espresso-based drinks are the specialty.

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New York: Urban Backyard
> Location: New York City
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

The order of business at this coffee shop in Lower Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, according to its website, is “coffee. tea. treats. sustainability.” Besides the usual espresso and drip coffee, there are a number of latte, mocha, and chai specials, including ube (purple yam) latte and peppermint mocha. One Yelp reviewer calls the place “Earthy and hippy” and the “yummy bites” that are “cute as hell, but even better is the pricing and the taste.”

North Carolina: The Beehive Coffee Bar
> Location: Arden
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

In addition to “almost any standard coffee or espresso creation,” promises the Beehive’s website, the other possibilities include everything from European-style macchiato to a Hot Hive Latte (blended with local honey, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper). Baked goods are made daily in-house. “Kudos to the owner!,” wrote one Yelper. “Sometimes in life you just get it right.”

North Dakota: Young Blood Coffee
> Location: Fargo
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

In bright, minimalist surroundings, this West Coast-inspired coffee shop brews a variety of beans, including those sourced from Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Peru. The shop gets high marks on Yelp for baking its own bread — the toast variations are popular — and for playing music on vinyl.

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Ohio: Cafe de Nook
> Location: Columbus
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Meant to evoke a 1920s-style Parisian café, this downtown Columbus establishment — also known as Hemingway’s Coffee Nook — uses beans sourced from Ohio’s Luck Bros. Coffee, roasted in small batches. As befits its theme, the place features Paris-themed specialty drinks with names like the Gertrude Stein, the Eiffel Tower, and the Café Bon Bon. All the usual regular coffee shop options are available too.

Oklahoma: Hoboken Coffee Roasters
> Location: Guthrie
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Occupying a repurposed old garage in this community north of Oklahoma City, Hoboken serves espresso and its offshoots, plus coffee made by the drip, French press, Chemex, pour-over, and siphon methods. Yelp commentators praise the friendly baristas, the “awesome” atmosphere, and the “tasty brews,” including coffee that is “is very clean tasting and has almost a woody taste, which is refreshing.”

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Oregon: Kiosko
> Location: Portland
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This freestanding contemporary-rustic coffee shop is slightly more than a kiosk, but it’s tiny, with only six seats and a single small counter. The specialty here is single-origin Mexican coffees brewed by six different methods, including espresso and via a custom-designed “copper flower” pour-over apparatus. The proprietors roast their own beans at their Smalltime Roasters company. Their most popular beverage is True Mexican Mocha, a blend of espresso, milk, house-made Mexican hot chocolate powder, cocoa nibs, freeze-dried raspberry dust, and dark chocolate shavings.

Pennsylvania: Chapterhouse Café & Gallery
> Location: Philadelphia
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Chapterhouse brews organic and fair trade coffee sourced from Equal Exchange, an importer and distributor of farmer-friendly coffee, tea, and chocolate. This “great place to hang out” (per Yelp) serves “so many coffee and bakery options that are absolutely delicious.” Almost everybody comments on how spacious the place is and about the art shows, which change regularly and are a major feature here.

Rhode Island: Dave’s Coffee
> Location: Providence
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Drip, pour-over, espresso, cold brew and nitro cold brew, honey and vanilla bourbon lattes, café cubano, and of course that Rhode Island specialty coffee milk (sweet coffee syrup stirred into milk) …Dave’s covers a lot of bases. Enthusiasts on Yelp call it “a hidden gem,” “a super quality place,” and “a really great little locally owned coffeehouse tucked neatly away from the hustle and bustle of Downcity Providence.”

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South Carolina: Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
> Location: Charleston
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This Charleston offshoot of the original Bitty & Beau’s in Wilmington, North Carolina, offers a classic coffee shop menu of items, including latte, cappuccino, Americano, chai, and tea (plus iced versions), as well as frappes and smoothies. The emphasis isn’t on exotically sourced beans but on the Bitty & Beau’s policy of staffing its shops with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

South Dakota: Pure Bean
> Location: Rapid City
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

“We take only the best beans from around the globe, air roast to perfection, and brew amazing coffee drinks,” brags Pure Bean’s website. The shop also donates all profits from its single-origin beans to designated charities or ministries. A visitor from California told Yelp that one sip of the shop’s latte transported him back to San Francisco: “The espresso was smooth, and the flavors were subtle.”

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Tennessee: CREMA
> Location: Nashville
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Espresso drinks and a daily selection of drip coffees come quickly at this socially conscious place that likes to say “Coffee is our one thing.” On the other hand, be prepared to wait 10 to 15 minutes for the single-origin pour-overs (the choice currently includes offerings from Sumatra, Burundi, Costa Rica, and Colombia). Specialty drinks include Kashmiri or masala chai and the Zenzero — latte with a ginger and molasses reduction.

Texas: LDU Coffee
> Location: Dallas
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Strong Australian-style coffee and the grilled sandwiches known as toasties are the draw at this coffee shop owned by a couple of Aussie transplants. Some paeans from Yelp: “Best coffee in Dallas by far!” “Let me just say — wow.” “The best coffee I’ve had since I left Kona last spring.” “They really set the bar high for checking all the essential boxes to a visit-worthy coffee shop!!”

Utah: Alpha Coffee
> Location: Cottonwood Heights
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Run by combat veteran Carl Churchill and his wife, Lori, Alpha offers a straightforward menu of coffee and specialty drinks. The Churchills send a portion of every batch of coffee they roast to deployed troops, and they offer veterans a 10% discount on all coffee and cocoa products. The shop’s mission statement is “Awesome coffee. Be a warrior. Have fun. Give back.”

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Vermont: Onyx Tonics
> Location: Burlington
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

A self-described “specialty coffee tasting bar in downtown Burlington […] with an ever-changing menu of single-origin coffees,” this husband and wife-owned establishment sources beans from a variety of roasters around the U.S. and Canada. The coffee menu might include espresso from El Salvador, drip coffee from Costa Rica, and hand-brewed java from Ethiopia. There are also seasonal specials, like New Orleans cold brew (with chicory, milk, and simply syrup) or Cascara lavender limeade (coffee fruit tea with lime and lavender).

Virginia: Idido Coffee and Social House
> Location: Arlington
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This place offers “an endless variety of perfectly brewed and crafted coffee,” along with light meals. This is a “[v]ery cozy hipster coffee shop run by Ethiopians” with “great customer service. […] Imagine coming to a friend of a friend’s house party,” according to reports on Yelp. One visitor tried the draft latte, which turned out to be “super fantastic […] Creamy, dreamy and you could still taste the espresso in it.

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Washington: Cafe Makario
> Location: Everett
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

“Makario” is Greek for “blessed,” and this coffee shop’s proprietor, David Jung, is Korean, but the specialty here is Dutch coffee, made through a kind of cold-brewing method dating back 300 years or so, and available here in 10 variations. Also on the menu, such specialties as Einspänner, a Viennese favorite of espresso with lots of whipped cream, and a dozen variations on latte.

West Virginia: Mea Cuppa Coffeebar
> Location: Charleston
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

This “nice modern coffee bar with friendly staff and good coffee,” as a Yelp reviewer put it, has been hailed by more than one visitor for having the best coffee in Charleston. The variety of coffees available, from roasters like Intelligentsia and Klatch, has been praised, and one Yelper calls the house coffee “fresh and well-brewed” and the cappuccino “well-made and delicious.”

Wisconsin: Wilson’s Coffee & Tea
> Location: Racine
> Yelp Rating: 5 out of 5

Wilson’s buys beans from all over the coffee-growing world and roasts them on-site. The shop’s current list includes four choices each from Africa and the Pacific, nine from the Americas (including decafs from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico), and nine house blends and roasts. “If I lived here,” Yelped one Illinois resident, “this might be the only coffee shop I’d visit on the regular.”

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Wyoming: Paramount Cafe
> Location: Cheyenne
> Yelp Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Paramount owners describe this as a “Locally owned and operated coffee shop featuring coffee, espresso, lattes, teas including chai and mate […] Only place in Cheyenne to get a bubble tea!” Besides the usual coffee drinks, signature coffee-based beverages include the Casa Bonita (a honey, cinnamon, and vanilla latte) and the Mary Poppins (flavored with white chocolate, salted caramel, almond, and “a spoonful of sugar”).

Methodology

To determine America’s best independent coffee shops, 24/7 Tempo created a weighted average of user ratings from Yelp covering all the coffee shops included in that site’s “Coffee & Tea” category in the thousand largest cities in America by population.

We eliminated bakeries and cafés with extensive food menus from the results, as well as establishments that are primarily devoted to sandwiches, ice cream, doughnuts, or juice, even if they serve good coffee. Places that serve a selection of breakfast foods and a few other food items remained on the list, as long as their coffee program took precedence. We also filtered out drive-thrus and coffee carts.

The majority of these coffee shops are one-of-a-kind operations, but a handful have more than one location; we’ve limited our choices to those that have no more than five.

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