Special Report

The Best Independent Coffee Shops in America

Source: Courtesy of Panacea Coffee Co. via Facebook

Panacea Coffee Co.
> City and state: Waynesville, North Carolina

With exposed brick walls, plenty of seating, and a back deck overlooking a scenic creek, Panacea Coffee Co. is a great place to while away an afternoon over conversation or with a good book. Opened in a historic warehouse building in 2001, it’s a full-service espresso bar and roastery roasting specialty-grade beans in-house and serving a variety of coffee drinks. They also sell many single-origin whole-bean coffee, and there’s a full menu of sandwiches and salads.

Source: Courtesy of Dolores D. via Yelp

Peixoto Coffee Roasters
> City and state: Chandler, Arizona

“Beyond fair trade and direct trade… we are family trade,” proudly proclaims Peixoto Coffee Roasters. And indeed, the Peixoto family has been growing and harvesting coffee for at least 100 years on the family farm in Brazil, and today the farm is run by third-generation grower José Augusto Peixoto. They roast a variety of coffees from their own farm as well as from partners in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Colombia, and at the shop they sell them by the bag and serve them in expertly-made espresso drinks, pour-over and drip coffee, and seasonal specials. Be sure to enjoy yours with a fresh locally-made cinnamon roll. 

Source: Courtesy of Qahwah House via Facebook

Qahwah House
> City and state: Dearborn, Michigan

“Qahwah” is the Arabic word for coffee – which reportedly originated in Yemen in the 14th century. The founder, Ibrahim Alhasbani, also hails from Yemen, and that’s where he’s sourcing all his coffee from; in fact, his family owns the coffee farm. His shop is spacious and decorated with Yemeni relics, and the coffee is available in custom blends as well as medium, dark, and espresso roast. If you stop in, be sure to try the sabaya, a flaky, layered traditional Yemeni pastry.

Source: Courtesy of Reverie Coffee Roasters

Reverie Coffee Roasters
> City and state: Wichita, Kansas

Reverie roasts a variety of small-batch coffees, led by expert coffee roaster Oscar Pineda. Coffee is sourced from around the world and, after roasting, brewed with care, and served in this charming coffee bar or sold wholesale to local businesses and restaurants. Popular blends include Bone Shaker (orange zest, chocolate, and caramel notes), Moonless Midnight (dark chocolate, dates, and pecan notes), and 24K Goat (with notes of chocolate, baking spices, and nuts), and lots of single-origin options are available, too.

Source: Courtesy of Roast'd Coffee (Fort Lee, NJ) via Facebook

> City and state: Hasbrouck Heights, Fort Lee, and Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

Roast’d sources the finest beans from around the world, roasting them on-site in small batches, and serving them in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The well-trained baristas measure out exactly the right amount of beans for each serving, grind them fresh, and brew each cup to order. It takes a little extra time, but the end result is a cup of coffee that’s essentially perfect. Eight to ten single-origin coffees are on offer at any time, with something for everyone; the baristas will be happy to talk you through their selection, like sommeliers.

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