Special Report

The Best Coffee Shops in the West

Source: Courtesy of Marian M. via Yelp

Aloha Roastery
> Location: Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Founded by Ed Pawlak in Lihue, a community on Hawaii’s island of Kauai that’s also home to the island’s only airport, Aloha Roastery is a small local roastery and coffee shop that’s bright, clean, and full of Hawaii’s signature low-key, laid back spirit.

The coffee shop roasts its own beans from El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere, and serves them in a classic lineup of drinks, including Americano, cortado, mocha, pour over, iced beige, and macadamia nut latte. A nice selection of pastries is also available.

Source: Courtesy of Collin A. via Yelp

Alpha Coffee
> Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon and Legacy West Jordan, Utah

Alpha Coffee was founded in 2011 by Carl Churchill, a 21-year combat veteran, and his wife Lori. The company started out as Lock-n-Load Java, selling exclusively online. In 2016, the company rebranded as Alpha Coffee, and the following year it opened its first coffee shop.

Supporting the armed forces is a core part of the coffee shop’s mission. With each batch of coffee roasted, the shop automatically sets aside a portion to send to deployed troops. A portion of the profits also goes to charities that give to the military community. The shop offers a wide variety of single origins as well as blends with military-inspired names like Dawn Patrol, Task Force Zulu, and Charlie Don’t Surf.

Source: Courtesy of Paul S. via Yelp

Arcade Coffee Roasters
> Location: Riverside, California

Founded in 2017 by Shane Levario and Stevie Hasemeyer inside a roll-up gate in an office park on a quiet corner of sunny Riverside, California, Arcade Coffee Roasters has since become one of the region’s most beloved roasteries.

If you can find it amongst the industrial businesses and warehouses, you’ll discover a chill, relaxed space with coffees roasted in-house as well as a wide variety of pastries and breakfast and brunch items like grain bowls, creamy cheese grits with bacon and eggs, breakfast burritos, and a cult-favorite sandwich with espresso-rubbed tri-tip, whole grain mustard aioli, American cheese, pickles, pickled onions, and arugula.

Source: Courtesy of Kyle F. via Yelp

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

A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop 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. Aisha 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 Johnny W. via Yelp

Black Cup
> Location: Anchorage, Alaska

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.

Perry 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.

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