Special Report

Best Independent Coffee Shop in Every State

Source: Courtesy of Prevail Union MGM (Prevail Union MGM) via Facebook

Alabama: Prevail Union
> Location: Montgomery

Megan and Wade Preston had spent time working in the non-profit sector and were looking for a way to create a space that cultivated an authentic and diverse community while also improving the lives of their friends in the developing world, and they realized that coffee was the perfect solution. They opened Prevail Union in 2014 and it was such a success that they soon began roasting their own beans. They’re roasting up a variety of single origin coffees as well as blends, and each has handy tasting notes (like “strawberry, vanilla, walnut” for their Ethiopian Sidama Legend). They also offer a wide variety of gift subscriptions. They work closely with each of their coffee farmers, and the coffee shop itself is sleek and comfortable.

Source: Courtesy of Black Cup - Cafe Del Mundo via Facebook

Alaska: Black Cup
> Location: Anchorage

Going strong since 1975 (making it a true pioneer in the world of craft coffee), Black Cup was founded as café Del Mundo by Perry Merkel after traveling through Central America touring coffee farms. He started roasting his own coffee in a small shed, and as word got out and more people stopped by to get their first taste of fresh roasted coffee, business exploded. Merkel retired in 2011, and the new owners renamed it Black Cup, on a mission to serve “Extraordinary Coffee Best Served Black.” Their emphasis has always been on farm-to-cup transparency, roasting to promote origin characteristics, coffee education, and delivering the world’s finest coffees to Alaskans.

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

Arizona: A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop
> Location: Phoenix

A.T. Oasis imports Ethiopian specialty coffee exclusively, sourcing it from the Sidamo and Yirgacheffe regions, where the beans are grown at elevations between 4,600 and 7,000 feet. Founded in 2013 by Eritrean-born Aisha Tedros and her husband, Abdul, A.T. Oasis starts with all-natural green coffee beans bought directly from farmers by Aisha, who then roasts them in small batches; it’s then served in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. She also serves traditional Ethiopian snacks as well as a wide variety of teas, including chai made with all-natural spices imported from Eritrea.

Source: Courtesy of Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie via Facebook

Arkansas: Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie
> Location: Fayetteville and Siloam Springs

This wouldn’t be a bad place to wait if Doomsday were approaching. Doomsday is roasting up a variety of coffees including Guatemala Antigua Carmen and Costa Rica Turrazu El Pastora, and they provide useful info for each like the region, growing altitude, and even the milling process. There are also plenty of iced drinks available (try the iced white mocha.) as well as some of the best breakfast tacos in town.

Source: Courtesy of Phin Smith via Facebook

California: Phin Smith
> Location: Garden Grove

Phil Smith is a warm and welcoming Garden Grove coffee shop that specializes in Vietnamese coffee. Offerings include the District 1 Roast, made with Robusta beans grown in the central highlands of Vietnam, and the Saigon Blend, made with Central Highland Robusta balanced with Arabica. There are also lots of specialty coffees and teas, including a lavender latte, English-style iced milk tea, and ice-blended coconut coffee. Their Taiwanese sea salt coffee is also worth seeking out for those looking for something a little different.

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