Maybe your basic Starbucks cup is starting to bum you out, or maybe you’ve resolved to try
for better things in 2016. Whatever the case, it’s important to get a good start to the day — and for many people, that means a quality cup of coffee.
Coffee shops are reportedly the fastest-growing segment of the American restaurant industry, with a recent Gallup poll showing that 64% of Americans drink at least one cup of the good stuff daily.
So it makes sense that we’re finding our caffeine fix in more places than ever before, with new brands popping up left and right to serve every taste.
Small batch? Locally sourced? Community-oriented? Socially responsible? Check, check, check, and check. Here’s a crop of the up-and-coming coffee chains to hit up next time you need your morning joe.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Stumptown is an indie coffee darling hailing from Portland, Oregon. Recently acquired by coffee juggernaut JAB, Stumptown has a fantastic cold brew that is about to get a lot more popular. Stumptown has locations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, or New York City.
The iced mint mojito latte at Philz is a cult favorite for a reason. With locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, Philz is a tech world-fueling shop that’s poised to keep its popularity on the upswing — as long as they don’t run out of fresh mint anytime soon.
Peet’s is one of the bigger coffee players, but it always comes through with a solid latte. This California-based company has expansion on the horizon: its holding company, JAB, recently acquired up-and-comers Caribou, Stumptown, and Keurig Green Mountain, turning it into a serious coffee conglomerate.
Not just any pretentious-sounding coffee chain, Intelligentsia is known for its precision pour-overs and strong brews, and it distributes its beans to smaller coffee counters around the country. With only a few storefronts (in New York City and Chicago, its home base), Intelligentsia makes flavor its priority. Spring for an espresso.
Australian-style Bluestone Lane is just getting started — it has 7 locations in New York City and Philadelphia and plans to open a high-traffic spot on Manhattan’s Astor Place this year. Keep an eye out for its signature blue coffee cups and popular avocado toast.
Joe Coffee keeps it local. While the chain is currently limited to 10 locations in New York City and Philadelphia, Joe roasts 100% of its own single-origin and blended offerings in its roastery in Brooklyn. It’s a popular brew backed by a community-focused philosophy.
Need free, fast Wi-Fi and a grilled cheese to go with your cup of joe? Then look no further than Think — if you’re near one of its eight (soon to be nine) New York City or five South Korea locations, that is. Think is a go-to for laptop lovers, late-night studiers, and anyone seeking a spot to camp out over coffee. You can even feel good about your purchase, as Think is known for giving back to the farming communities it works with, and for donating 10% of profits to local nonprofits near its store locations.
Real rebels go to Tully’s. It’s the original Starbucks competitor — both brands were founded in Seattle at the start of the coffee revolution, though while Starbucks has succeeded at world domination, Tully’s can still only be found scattered across the American West. Diehard fans will insist that Tully’s is the better option, though, with locally roasted hot brews and a signature “Bellaccino” that makes a Frappuccino look like a diet drink.
Like your coffee served Nordic-style? Fika — which is the Swedish word for the tradition of taking a coffee break — should satisfy all your Scandinavian cravings, with cafes scattered across New York City that will transport you to Stockholm with their muted, minimalist decor and precise coffee preparation. Don’t miss their super-dark chocolate truffles.
Continuing in the tradition of trendy San-Francisco-based coffee chains, Blue Bottle has expanded to Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo while maintaining its signature promise: to serve coffee that is responsibly sourced and especially fresh, having spent no more than 48 hours out of the roaster. When in doubt, spring for an espresso.
Not in New York or on the West Coast? Then chances are good you can hit up a Caribou Coffee, with branches all across the Midwest and parts of the South. It’s a big chain with a small-batch feel and a commitment to social responsibility and ethical sourcing.
Toby’s Estate Coffee
A small-batch roaster hailing from Brooklyn, Toby’s Estate Coffee has a bright, minimalist aesthetic and a wide selection of single-origin beans. For now, its only locations are in New York, but they’re always buzzing, and some locations even offer coffee tastings, if you want to get really serious about your morning joe.
Originally posted in Business Insider by Raisa Bruner