Just as cars depend on gasoline, many of us rely on coffee to get moving in the morning. It picks you up, shakes off the cobwebs, and sharpens the mind in a way that breakfast and a shower simply can’t match.
But did you know that Raleigh has coffee shops that offer a much better cup than the freeze-dried Folger’s instant of the past? You might have grown up seeing commercials for Maxwell House and Juan Valdez, but we’ve come a long way since then.
Here is where—if you really want to enjoy it—you should go for coffee in Raleigh this year.
BREW – This newish shop is located in Seaboard Station off Peace Street. It’s a modest space with dark, blockish tables and an austere, almost Scandinavian feel to the décor. They approach coffee seriously with a thorough understanding of the entire process, from bean to cup, so you can be assured that nothing will be rushed or subpar. We highly recommend their cappuccino and any of their sandwiches for a quick snack.
Jubala – Although they’ve only been in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village, their second location is set to open soon on Hillsborough St below the new Aloft Hotel. Thanks to their use of Durham-based Counter Culture coffee, we always leave with a serious buzz that simultaneously worries and enlivens us—you don’t get this from Mr. Coffee.
Morning Times – This fixture on Hargett Street can instantly be spotted for its bright red “COFFEE” electric letters above the main doors. The coffee is well treated, the upstairs seating is cozy with large wooden table to encourage community seating or board game playing, and we’ve heard lavender mochas ordered off-menu before. Our only suggestion would be to upgrade the baked goods—Boulted Bread would be a killer replacement.
Joule – It can be hard to find seating in the unique U-shaped window bars up front, but if you can score a stool, you won’t be disappointed by the coffee. The tea is also excellent and quite ceremonial with individual ramekins of green sugar cubes. Plus, you can always order food from their competent, if a tad over-ambitious, kitchen. Altogether it’s an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon.
And of course, an excellent cup can always be had in your own kitchen. Buy a stainless steel French press (they don’t shatter as easily as glass carafes), and you’ll be enjoying smooth, bite-free cups of energy every day.
Have a suggestion? A fan of Starbucks? Tell us on Facebook if you still are after trying some of the above.