Special Report

The Best Independent Coffee Shop in Every State

Colman Andrews

Source: Courtesy of Pure Bean via Facebook

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.”

Source: Courtesy of Crema, Coffee Roasters via Instagram

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.

Source: Courtesy of Ai Vy N. via Yelp

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!!”

Source: Courtesy of Alpha Coffee

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.”

Source: Courtesy of Onyx Tonics Specialty Coffee via Facebook

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).