Special Report

The Best Independent Coffee Shop in Every State

Colman Andrews
Source: Courtesy of Prevail Union Montgomery via Facebook

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.

Source: Courtesy of Johnny W. via Yelp

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.

Source: Courtesy of A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop via Facebook

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.

Source: Courtesy of Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie via Facebook

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.

Source: Courtesy of Phin Smith via Facebook

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.”