Five Lovely Coffee Shops Around America

Colombian & Ethiopian pourovers, respectively, at Theory Coffee Roasters.

Across 35 days & 28 states via a whiny Toyota Yaris, I finally stopped worrying and fell in love with coffee. Here were a few of my favorite affairs on the road:

Theory Coffee Roasters, Redding, CA: We didn’t expect much from Redding, a city that had become a family punchline. But this time around, we uncovered its magic. On the final day of our trip, we enjoyed Ethiopian and Colombian pourovers that made us want to stay in Redding forever.

Iconik Coffee Roasters, Santa Fe, NM: An afternoon in need of a pick-me-up resulted in this discovery. Our initial choice had been closed, proving one always ends up where they’re supposed to be. Iconik’s washed Mexican roast from Chiapas, the site of many past digestive travails, proved to be a reassuring pat on the back.

Dogwood Coffee, Minneapolis, MN: Dogwood felt like what Google wishes their corporate coffeeshop would be. I wanted to work here, ready to apartment hunt while relishing their Colombian Nodier Andrade pourover. Bonus points for giving us the extra coffee in the Chemex. Bonus-er points for the music on loop in their bathrooms (“Eye of the Tiger” & “My Adidas”), thematically matched by its decor.

Overwinter Coffee, Buffalo, NY: The colorful neighborhood joint you dream of actually exists. A melange of tourists, locals and Buffalo Bills jerseys poured in and out of this tiny spot, everyone talkative and friendly. When Anastasia from Anastasia’s Artisan Bread arrived with fresh baguettes and pastries, we had no choice but to fortify our Honduran pourover with some bread ecstasy. The future in Buffalo is bright.

The iced Costa Rican Las Lajas pourover from Brandywine blessed with “Halloween candy” notes.

Constellation Coffee, Pittsburgh, PA: On one magical morning, I met Cliff and Amy, my coffee shamans and the owners of Constellation. Recognizing one of his own kind, Cliff proceeded to ply me with samples of pourovers from their insane bean stores (Little Waves, Mother Tongue & MáQuina), telling me he wouldn’t stop as long as I stayed. He was true to his word. The iced Costa Rican Las Lajas pourover from Brandywine was my favorite coffee on the entire journey. While I love Cliff for his honesty when he urged us, “Don’t move to Pittsburgh,” our experience at Constellation made us want to.

What’s your favorite coffee shop?

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Andrew Greene

Andrew Greene

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A writer & traveler when his cat allows, located in glittering Glendale, CA.