Special Report

The Best Independent Coffee Shops in America

Source: Courtesy of Deeper Roots Coffee via Facebook

Deeper Roots Coffee
> Location: Cincinnati

After forging a cooperative relationship with a community of coffee farmers in Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala, a group of friends founded Deeper Roots Coffee in Cincinnati in 2011. Since then, they’ve continued to collaborate with like-minded coffee producers from diverse regions, exploring taste, quality, and sustainability. Deeper Roots started as a roastery, but they’ve since opened three coffee bars in town, and each is quaint and charming. For aspiring coffee aficionados, they also offer a variety of classes from cupping to espresso making to manual brewing methods.

Source: Courtesy of Mark Nowell M. via Yelp

> City and state: Brooklyn and New York City, New York

Devoción has two locations in Brooklyn and one in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood, and it stands out from the pack by their unique sourcing and roasting process: all their beans come from more than 1,000 farm partners in Colombia, where they’re processed at Devoción’s own facility in Bogotá. They’re then quickly flown to their Brooklyn roastery, where they’re freshly roasted and served as quickly as possible. The end result is a cup of coffee that’s exceedingly fresh; it can go from farm to cup in as little as ten days, where others can take up to a year. It was launched by Colombian-born Steven Sutton in 2006 on a singular mission to produce the freshest coffee imaginable, and it’s safe to say that he succeeded.

Source: Courtesy of grayson l. via Yelp

East Pole Coffee
> City and state: Atlanta, Georgia

East Pole opened in Atlanta in 2017 with a goal to buck and dispel the unfortunate pretentious norms that so often come with specialty coffee culture and to create a warm, inviting environment. Instead of ordering at the counter, guests order and are served at their seat, and their industrial space is sleek and bright. All drinks are made with care, and they’re roasting single-origins including Cyimbili Reserve from Rwanda, Santiago Atitlán from Oaxaca, Mexico, and their flagship, Traffic, from Honduras. 

Source: Courtesy of Elm Coffee Roasters via Facebook

Elm Coffee Roasters
> City and state: Seattle, Washington

It’s no small feat to be the best coffee shop in a city as coffee-obsessed as Seattle, but Elm Coffee Roasters, going strong in Pioneer Square since it was founded by Brendan Mullally in 2013, has a fair claim to the title. Mullally partners with producers and importers from around the world to source the highest-quality green beans on earth and roasts them on-site. Brewed to order, the results are served with a smile in an inviting, high-ceilinged space. Offerings include Kenya Nyeri Gatugi AB (cranberry, baking spice, molasses), Colombia Adelino Urbano (apple raspberry, dulce de leche), and Guatemala Lazaro Costanza (lemon lime, stone fruit, caramel).

Source: Courtesy of Espresso Fino via Facebook

Espresso Fino
> City and state: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Downtown Albuquerque’s cozy and charming Espresso Fino is an espresso bar serving expertly prepared iced and hot coffee and espresso drinks. All coffee is locally roasted, certified organic, and Fair Trade. Owner Greg Flores can usually be found behind the counter pulling espresso shots himself, and he and his employees are all friendly and knowledgeable.

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