Special Report

Best Independent Coffee Shop in Every State

Courtesy of Lodi Coffee Drive-Thru via Facebook

When you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee, what’s your go-to? Do you brew it yourself? Head to your local Starbucks? Grab a cheap cup from the convenience store or gas station? Or do you head over to a local independent coffee shop, where the barista knows your name and regular order? 

A great coffee shop is much more than just a place to grab a cup of joe. The best ones offer great coffee and employ baristas who are passionate about coffee and willing to share their expertise with you. They are also comfortable and inviting places to meet with friends or a date, get some work done, or just sit with your thoughts and a cup of comfort. (These are the best and worst coffee cities in America.)

Many of the best coffee shops source their coffee beans from the world’s best producers, and in many cases the owners will forge relationships with the growers themselves. They might even roast their own beans in-house, and for those who don’t, they purchase theirs from well-regarded (and ideally local) roasteries.  

At some great coffee shops, coffee-lovers can sample a variety of fresh-brewed single-origin coffees, learning about the subtle nuances in the flavors and aromas of each one. Other places get their coffee beans from a single source and turn them into a wide array of drinks that go above and beyond what you’ll find at your local Starbucks. (If that ubiquitous chain is your thing, though, you’ll want to know the Starbucks capitals of America.) 

To determine the best independent coffee shop in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed from articles and rankings on a wide range of websites, including Food & Wine, Fodors, The Culture Trip, Time Out, Eater, and Yelp, as well as numerous state and local coffee shop listings, then used editorial discretion to make our final choice.

Click here to see the best independent coffee shop in every state

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

> Coffee shop: Prevail Union
> Location(s): Montgomery and Birmingham

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 now offer a variety of single origin coffees as well as blends, and each comes with 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

> Coffee shop: Black Cup
> Location(s): 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

> Coffee shop: A.T. Oasis Coffee & Tea Shop
> Location(s): 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

> Coffee shop: Doomsday Coffee & Roasterie
> Location(s): Fayetteville and Siloam Springs

This wouldn’t be a bad place to wait if Doomsday were approaching. Doomsday roasts a variety of coffees, including Guatemala Antigua Carmen and Costa Rica Turrazu El Pastora, and they provide useful info for each, with notes on its 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 Dune Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Dune Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Santa Barbara and Goleta

The folks at Dune Coffee Roasters have worked to create partnerships with sustainable coffee growers around the world, and are committed to integrity and transparency in all their coffee buying practices. At their four spacious, bright, and airy locations, they offer brewed coffee as well as pour-over, French press, cold brew, and custom-made espresso drinks, as well a nice selection of fresh pastries.

Source: Courtesy of Story Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Story Coffee Co.
> Location(s): Colorado Springs

Story Coffee Co. is located inside a charming “tiny house,” and unlike most coffee shops, offers no wifi or places to plug in – so customers are encouraged to engage in conversation instead of burying their faces in a screen. Founded by Don and Carissa Niemyer in 2015 after they visited more than 200 coffee shops in 45 states, Story Coffee roasts all its own coffee and turns it into delicious blends that the locals can’t get enough of. Even better, 5% of all revenues go toward feeding the local homeless population.


Source: Courtesy of Shearwater Coffee Bar via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Shearwater Coffee Bar
> Location(s): Fairfield and Westport

Both sunny Shearwater Coffee Bar locations serve only the freshest house-roasted organic coffee in a variety of classic espresso drinks, including cortados and flat whites, as well as cold brew, pour-over, and a rotating drip selection. They also offer bagels, pastries, and avocado toast on locally-baked bread. Fresh-roasted whole beans are also available for purchase, and the patio is an ideal place to catch up with friends on a pleasant day.

Source: Courtesy of House of Coffi via Facebook

> Coffee shop: The House of Coffi
> Location(s): Dover

Located inside a historic old house in the heart of downtown Dover, The House of Coffi (that’s the Welsh spelling, reflecting the origin of the founder) is a beloved local gathering place with a charming interior and a sunny porch outside. The coffee beans are roasted just hours before brewing, vinyl records are always spinning, and walls are decorated with artwork from local artists. It’s inviting and unpretentious, with a simple lineup of drip and cold brew coffee drinks and teas, along with bagels, pastries, and a rotating selection of sandwiches.

Source: Courtesy of Wells Coffee Company via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Wells Coffee Company
> Location(s): Fort Lauderdale

The husband and wife duo of Brandon and Nicole Wells grew up loving coffee, and after being gifted with a small coffee roaster, they became obsessed. Coffee boot camp, an origin trip to Colombia, and a successful Kickstarter campaign soon followed, and Wells Coffee Company was born in 2013. They source their beans from the best growing regions on earth, roast them daily on-premises, and sell both single origin coffees and expertly-crafted blends. The café itself is welcoming ,with plenty of seating, and one sip of their coffee will tell you how seriously they take it.


Source: Courtesy of Rev Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Rev Coffee Café and Roastery
> Location(s): Smyrna

Located in a converted garage, Rev Coffee has been sourcing and roasting their own beans since 2010. It’s become a beloved local gathering place since then, serving cult-favorite choices like the best-selling Consensus Blend, a chocolatey, dark-roasted combination of Brazilian Cerrado and Colombian Antioquia. They supply coffee to lots of local cafés and restaurants, and turn them into expertly-crafted coffee drinks in-store. And on a hot day, nothing beats their frozen hot chocolate.

Source: Courtesy of Kai Coffee Hawaii via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Kai Coffee Hawaii
> Location(s): Honolulu

The coffee is Hawaii-grown and hand-crafted at Kai Coffee, a charming spot founded by Sam and Natalie Suiter. Their coffee beans are hand-picked, processed in small batches, and roasted on-site. The baristas are expertly-trained in the specifics of the sourcing and roasting process as well as different brew methods including pour over, Aeropress, French press, and 12-hour cold brew.


Source: Courtesy of Slow by Slow Coffee Bar via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Slow by Slow
> Location(s): Boise

The stylish, retro-inspired Slow by Slow serves coffee from some of the finest small independent roasters in the country, including Proud Hound in Cincinnati, HEX in Charlotte, and Elm Coffee Roasters in Seattle. Their baristas are trained to bring out the very best flavor in each roast (they’re all sold individually as pour-over), and guests who fall in love with a specific roaster can also buy their beans by the bag. It’s a smart and creative way to support small local roasters while introducing Boise to coffees they wouldn’t be able to find otherwise.

Source: Courtesy of Rachel A. via Yelp

> Coffee shop: Two Hearted Queen
> Location(s): Chicago

Making the Windy City swoon since 2015, Two Hearted Queen was founded by Cassandra Andrewson and Cely Garcia on the first floor of an old house. Each room is filled with quirky furniture, making the place fun and comfortable for hanging out. The enterprise was founded with a mission to support sustainable coffee farms, and they roast signature blends in-house with fun names including Love Potion #222 (juicy and velvety) and Witchcraft (dark-chocolatey with a nutty finish). A variety of pastries and teas round out the menu.

Source: Courtesy of Georgia Street Grind via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Georgia Street Grind
> Location(s): Indianapolis

This cozy coffee shop only offers coffee to-go, but it’s worth seeking out while strolling through downtown Indianapolis. Founded by Justin Jones in 2016 (the lines haven’t let up since), Georgia Street Grind serves only coffee from local roasters, blended in-house and turned into some truly stunning creations, including Café Miel (with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla), Blended Caramello (mocha, espresso, and caramel sauce), and honey lavender latte. Justin also recently opened a larger café, Bovaconti Coffee, nearby.


Source: Courtesy of Morning Bell Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Morning Bell Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Ames

At Morning Bell Coffee Roasters, they only purchase Fair Trade and organic-certified green coffee beans, as well as some Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffees, namely from Selva Negra in Nicaragua, and roast it all in-house. The whole operation is computer-free, for a truly “made by humans” coffee experience, and social and environmental sustainability is central to what they do. Founder Nadav Mer recently sold the business, which is transitioning into Iowa’s first workers’ cooperative.

Source: Courtesy of Reverie Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Reverie Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Wichita, Newton, and North Newton

Reverie roasts a variety of small-batch coffees, under the direction of expert coffee roaster Oscar Pineda. Coffee is sourced from around the world and, after roasting, brewed with care, and served in this delightful 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 LaGrange Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: LaGrange Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): La Grange

Located in the heart of the La Grange Main Street shopping and historic district, LaGrange Coffee Roasters sources specialty coffees from around the world and roasts them fresh. It’s a micro-roastery that specializes in single-origin coffees from Costa Rica, Sumatra, and elsewhere. It’s also a great local hangout – every Monday evening there’s a Bluegrass jam.

Source: Courtesy of Backatown Coffee Parlour via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Backatown Coffee Parlour
> Location(s): New Orleans

The bright, welcoming Backatown Coffee Parlour, located just outside the French Quarter, has ample seating both indoor and outdoor (including some comfortable Chesterfield couches), jazz on the speakers, free wifi, and a great selection of fresh-brewed coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and even larger plates like BBQ crawfish & grits. It’s a true neighborhood gathering place, with a wide variety of coffee drinks ranging from chai lattes to cortados.

> Coffee shop: Bard Coffee
> Location(s): Portland

Located in the heart of downtown Portland’s Old Port neighborhood, Bard Coffee is an airy, inviting coffee house that specializes in single-origin coffees roasted in-house. Opened in 2009, Bard has made it its mission to tell the story of the people and places their coffee comes from in each cup, and they’ve built relationships with each of their growers, including Francisca and Oscar Chacon in Costa Rica and Olvin Rivera in Honduras (their website also offers photos and bios of each). Beans are roasted using a top-of-the-line Loring Smart Roast by head roaster Bill Guddeck.


> Coffee shop: Cannon Coffee
> Location(s): Hagerstown

An easy-going coffee shop in the heart of historic Hagerstown, Cannon Coffee has the distinction of serving homemade baked goods, waffles, and toasts that are completely gluten-free. Coffee drinks include macchiatos, lattes, and nitro cold brew, and a mobile coffee cart allows Cannon to cater events as well.

> Coffee shop: Thinking Cup
> Location(s): Boston

Thinking Cup opened just steps from Boston Common back in 2010, and the attractive shop has racked up countless awards and accolades since then. They source their coffee beans directly from New York’s acclaimed Stumptown, and serve everything from $1.50 cups of straight-ahead coffee to single-origin pour-overs. They also turn out classic espresso-based drinks as well as specialty drinks including mocha with homemade chocolate sauce, hazelnut latte with fresh-roasted hazelnut paste, and hot chocolate made with 64% Tainori Valhrona Drinking Chocolate. There’s also an expansive menu of breakfast items and sandwiches, with plenty of gluten-free options.


Source: Courtesy of Qahwah House via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Qahwah House
> Location(s): Dearborn

“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 Five Watt Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Five Watt Coffee
> Location(s): Minneapolis

Founded by Lee Carter and Caleb Garn in 2014, Five Watt Coffee has four Minneapolis locations, and each has become a beloved local gathering place (one location even has what they call “a rent-by-the-hour unicorn stable”). Their lineup of coffee drinks was inspired by craft cocktails. For example, the Busy Beaver is made with maple syrup, blackstrap bitters, espresso, milk, cinnamon, molasses, and black pepper, and the Big Easy has cold-press coffee, chicory nutmeg syrup, black walnut bitters, and cream. They also sell a wide variety of whole bean blends.

Source: Courtesy of Steampunk Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Steampunk Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Natchez

Natchez’s cozy and laid-back Steampunk Coffee Roasters is a homey café and cigar shop that sources their coffee from reputable growers and roasts them on-site. The coffee menu is small and straightforward, but the coffee and espresso are expertly brewed, and the owner is usually on hand and happy to explain the ins and outs of roasting and brewing the perfect cup of coffee and rolling cigars.


Source: Courtesy of Mudhouse Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Mudhouse Coffee
> Location(s): Springfield and Ozark

Located in the heart of charming downtown Springfield, Mudhouse Coffee roasts all of its beans in-house, fresh weekly. Coffee is made via French press or drip (the drip coffee is generously bottomless), and along with all the classic coffee drinks the baristas also get creative with offerings like blackberry sage lattes, toffee lattes (with vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch), and the Mudskipper (a latte with Ghirardelli chocolate and hazelnut). They also offer plenty of frozen coffee options, smoothies, and killer breakfast burritos and sandwiches.

Source: Courtesy of Ebon Coffee Collective

> Coffee shop: Ebon Coffee Collective
> Location(s): Billings

Ebon Coffee Collective, which has a cool, mellow vibe with white walls and plenty of greenery, it sources its coffee exclusively from Montana-based roasters. The place also bakes a lineup of pastries, including plenty of gluten-free options. Other scratch-made offerings include homemade kombucha, hibiscus lime iced tea, and espresso and elderflower tonic, and there are weekly and monthly coffee bean subscriptions.


Source: Courtesy of Ryan M. via Yelp

> Coffee shop: Howlin’ Hounds Coffee
> Location(s): Omaha

Howlin’ Hounds proudly claims to serve “the best cup of coffee in Omaha,” and it’s hard to argue with that. Owned and operated by Greg Sechser and named after his two dogs (with whom he lives upstairs), the cozy shop boasts hardwood floors, brick walls, and a long bar with soda fountain stools. Sechser brews coffee from Gimme! Coffee, based near Ithaca, New York. If a coffee drink exists, they’ll make it; their offerings are expansive and each is made with care. Oatmeal and pastries from local bakeries are also offered, and art from local artists lines the walls.

Source: Courtesy of Clyde's Coffee Roasting Company via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Clyde’s Coffee Roasting Company
> Location(s): Stateline

This Lake Tahoe favorite, founded by Craig & Marlo Quillin and named after their son Clyde, is on a mission to provide the highest quality coffee available, from farm to cup. They’ve partnered with Vournas Coffee Trading, a boutique coffee firm, in order to provide direct-sourced, hand-picked organic and fair-trade coffee beans from fine specialty estates and co-ops. Their website goes into exquisite detail on each type of coffee they offer, from growing region to bean type to processing technique to tasting notes, and single estate coffees include Costa Rica “El Tigre,” Guatemala Huehuetenango SHB “Dulce Leonarda,” and Mexico Rancho San Francisco. You might have heard that drinking a good cup of coffee is like sipping a fine wine, and after a visit to Clyde’s, you’ll understand why.

Source: Courtesy of Breaking New Grounds, Durham via Facebook

New Hampshire
> Coffee shop: Breaking New Grounds
> Location(s): Durham

Founded in Portsmouth in 1993, Breaking New Grounds is today based out of Durham. The owners source coffee straight from the farm, buy it green, then roast it in small batches – only as much as is needed to ensure that it’s always fresh. The shop may be small and unassuming, but when it comes to well-courced, fresh-roasted coffee, locals know this is the place to go.


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

New Jersey
> Coffee shop: Roast’d
> Location(s): Hasbrouck Heights, Fort Lee, and Franklin Lakes

Roast’d sources the finest beans from around the world, roasting them on-site in small batches, and serving them in a warm and pleasant 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.

Source: Courtesy of Sky Coffee via Facebook]

New Mexico
> Coffee shop: Sky Coffee
> Location(s): Santa Fe

Located in Santa Fe’s Railyard District, near the train station, the spacious, industrial-inspired, adobe-walled Sky Coffee was designed to inspire a zen sense of calm in its patrons. Instead of roasting its own beans or depending on one roaster, it buys beans from one roaster at a time as part of its rotating guest roasting program, so guests may try a different roastery’s beans every time they visit. They also source artisan, organic teas from Samovar and Teance.


Source: Courtesy of Caffe Ammi Roasting Co. via Facebook

New York
> Coffee shop: Café Ammi Roasting Co.
> Location(s): Pelham

If you’re looking for some of the best coffee in New York, head just north of New York City to the Pelham, where you’ll find Café Ammi Roasting Co. The founder’s grandfather, Dominic Ammirati, started importing espresso roasters to America in 1963, so you can say that coffee is in his blood. The shop sources the finest 100% Arabica coffee beans from all over the world, roasts them in small batches in state-of-the-art equipment, and serves it in a comfortable tasting room.

Source: Courtesy of Panacea Coffeehouse, Cafe, and Roastery via Facebook

North Carolina
> Coffee shop: Panacea Coffee Co.
> Location(s): Waynesville

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 Youngblood Coffee Roasters via Facebook

North Dakota
> Coffee shop: Youngblood Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Fargo

Youngblood was founded as a grassroots operation in 2016, serving house-roasted coffee in a cool, modern, white-walled space. They offer ethically-sourced, fully-washed Arabica beans, which are roasted in a top-of-the-line Probat roaster to accentuate each coffee’s unique character and flavor. Coffees on offer include Cajamarca from Peru, Yirgacheffe Adado from Ethiopia, and San Agustín from Colombia.


> Coffee shop: Deeper Roots Coffee
> Location(s): Cincinnati

After forging a cooperative relationship with a community of coffee farmers in Santa María de Jesús, 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 Hoboken Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Hoboken Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Guthrie

A labor of love for founders Trey and Mallory Woods, Hoboken Coffee Roasters opened its doors inside an abandoned old garage in 2012. The Woods spent years converting it into one of the most welcoming spaces in the historic town of Guthrie, and the daily crowds imply that they must be doing something right. They roast single-origin coffees from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Sumatra, and also craft several blends.


Source: Courtesy of Kiosko via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Kiosko
> Location(s): Portland

At the small, proudly Mexican-owned Kiosko, Lucy Alvarez and Angel Medina only serve coffee that they’ve personally sourced from Mexican coffee farms. Founded in 2017 on a mission to infuse some Mexican flavor into Portland’s booming coffee scene, Kiosko has succeeded with flying colors. Be sure to sample their fresh-roasted pour-over coffee, but don’t miss the top-selling True Mexican Mocha, with espresso, milk, house-made Mexican hot chocolate powder, cocoa nibs, freeze-dried raspberry dust, and dark chocolate shavings.

Source: Courtesy of Function Coffee Labs via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Function Coffee Labs
> Location(s): Philadelphia

Function Coffee Labs was founded by the husband and wife duo of Ross Nickerson and Megan McCusker in 2015, after time spent traveling through Europe and discovering its best coffee bars. They returned with a desire to open Philly’s finest coffee shop, and succeeded. Their house coffee is a rotating single origin from their sister company, Vibrant Coffee Roasters; they offer three higher quality, more complex, and dynamic single origin “Lab Line” coffees prepared via Hario V60 pour-over, and they’re known for their super-concentrated single-origin espresso. They’re also baking cinnamon buns, croissants, and more from scratch.

Rhode Island
> Coffee shop: Coffee Exchange
> Location(s): Providence

All of the coffee is fair-trade, organic, and responsibly-sourced at Coffee Exchange, where it’s roasted daily in small batches. Going strong since 1984, they’ve also partnered with The Coffee Trust, which supports indigenous coffee farmers. Long with the fresh-brewed coffee sold on-site, they also sell a huge array of beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Peru, Sumatra, Congo, and more, along with a variety of blends.


Source: Courtesy of Lodi Coffee Drive-Thru via Facebook

South Carolina
> Coffee shop: Lodi Coffee
> Location(s): North Charleston

At Lodi Coffee, the coffee is fresh-roasted daily in downtown Charleston, the organic matcha is organic and ceremonial-grade, the syrups are homemade, the food is made using all-natural ingredients, and the cold brew is made in small batches daily. The end result? One of the finest coffee shop experiences you’ll find anywhere, with a truly expansive menu boasting dozens of delicious drinks from caramel apple lattes to Nutella cream cold brew to Cinnamon Toast Crunch Frapp.

Source: Courtesy of The Breaks Coffee Roasting Co. via Facebook

South Dakota
> Coffee shop: The Breaks Coffee Roasting Co.
> Location(s): Sioux Falls

The Breaks sources top-quality Arabica beans from El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, and Peru and turns them into spectacular single-origin coffees and versatile blends. Visitors to the roastery-cafe can expect a comfortable, inviting space and the opportunity to learn a whole lot about the sourcing, roasting, and brewing process.


Source: Courtesy of Bongo Java via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Bongo Java
> Location(s): Nashville

At Nashville’s Bongo Java Roasting Co, a local must-visit for coffee lovers since 1993, all of their coffee is 100% organic and purchased directly from small-scale farmer cooperatives at prices above the Fair Trade minimum. Bongo’s staff experiments with time and temperature to find the perfect roast technique for each of its coffees, and their lineup of single origins and blends – as well as two bourbon-barrel-aged coffees – are worth seeking out.

Source: Courtesy of Try Hard Coffee Roasters via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Try Hard Coffee Roasters
> Location(s): Austin

The perfect local coffee shop, Austin’s Try Hard roasts their own coffee in-house and serves it in lively surroundings. Their drip coffee rotates regularly (it’s currently their Mainstay Central South American Blend), and they also offer classic coffee and espresso drinks including cold brew and macchiatos as well as signature drinks including Die Spitz – housemade coffee cola with cherry and coconut cream foam.

Source: Courtesy of Alpha Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Alpha Coffee
> Location(s): Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, and Legacy East Jordan

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 they rebranded as Alpha Coffee, and the following year they opened their first coffee shop. Supporting the armed forces is a core part of their mission; with each batch of coffee they roast, they automatically set aside a portion to send to deployed troops, and a portion of the profits goes to charities that give to the military community. They offer 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 Onyx Tonics Specialty Coffee via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Onyx Tonics
> Location(s): Burlington

Onyx Tonics operates under the philosophy that coffee is a living, breathing thing, and that the “terroir” of coffee, much like that of wine, affects its flavor but is usually blended and roasted away. At Onyx, their intention is to tease out the unique flavors of high quality coffees from around the world, and they offer a weekly rotating menu of at least six single-origin examples from high-end roasters, many of them local including, Carrier, Vivid, and Brio. Run by husband and wife Jason Gonzalez and Tiffany Farrant-Gonzalez, the modern and charming coffee bar provides the perfect opportunity to discover just how varied coffee can be.

Source: Courtesy of Idido Coffee & Social House

> Coffee shop: Idido Coffee & Social House
> Location(s): Arlington

Located in northern Virginia’s Arlington Village, Idido serves top-notch coffee from Philadelphia-based La Colombe, along with tea, breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads in a warm and inviting atmosphere. All the classic coffee and espresso drinks are made with care, and they also offer nitro cold brew and lattes on tap.


> Coffee shop: Elm Coffee Roasters Café
> Location(s): Seattle

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 Mea Cuppa Coffee Lounge via Facebook

West Virginia
> Coffee shop: Mea Cuppa Coffee Lounge
> Location(s): Charleston

Located inside Charleston’s historic Capitol Market, the low-key, cosmopolitan Mea Cuppa is about as unpretentious a coffee shop as you’ll find anywhere, with knowledgeable baristas more than happy to guide customers through their wide variety of coffee drinks and brew methods. Their coffees are natural, organic, and directly traded whenever possible, and they also offer Charleston’s widest selection of whole bean coffee sourced from five to eight premier small-batch roasters. All their coffees are grown on small, fair-trade farms and arrive within two to three days of being craft-roasted in small batches.

Source: Courtesy of Wilson's Coffee & Tea via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Wilson’s Coffee & Tea
> Location(s): Racine

Wilson’s sources the best coffee from around the world and experiments with a variety of roasting techniques before settling on the perfect style that brings out the best characteristics of each. All of their coffees are sold by the pound or the cup, and there’s also a full espresso bar serving cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas, blended drinks, and more, along with fresh, made-from-scratch baked goods. The coffee selection is massive, with more than 20 single-origins and custom blends usually available at any time.


Source: Courtesy of Buckin' Brew Espresso via Facebook

> Coffee shop: Buckin’ Brew Espresso
> Location(s): Casper and Mills

Founded by the mother-daughter team of Kendra Chorniak and Abby VanValkenburg in 2017 inside a former gas station just outside Casper, Buckin’ Brew Espresso serves a full menu of hot, iced, and frozen espresso drinks, iced coffee and tea, cold-brewed coffee, hot chocolate, fruit smoothies, and other custom drinks (including the popular white chocolate mocha with caramel drizzle), as well as baked goods from a local bakery. For those really looking for a caffeine kick, there are also several specialty drinks made with Red Bull and flavored syrups.

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3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

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