World Coffee Series: The Best Coffee Spot in Each US State


what is the best coffee in the US
The Waka Life Blog

World Coffee Series: The Best Coffee Spot in Each US State [Updated 2021]

As we take a trip around the world and talk about coffee culture in different countries, we can’t leave out the United States!

Here are how Americans drink their coffee and the best coffee spots in each state.

History of Coffee in America

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Coffee first arrived to North America in the mid-17th century by the British. Its popularity soared after the 1773 Boston Tea Party incidents, as drinking tea became unpatriotic. The switch to coffee over tea was made even more popular during the Civil War and World Wars. Coffee was drank frequently by American soldiers to help them stay motivated in the midst of a war.

During the westward expansion and Gold Rush era of the United States, the consumption of coffee increased further as it became a popular drink among gold miners as well.

The American Coffee Culture

A unique part of United States’ coffee culture is that it is made up of two completely different ways of consuming coffee. One big part of American coffee culture is the dominance of large coffee chains that are available everywhere in the U.S. They are prevalent in everyday life, where you are likely to see at least one person holding a branded cup of coffee no matter gender, age, or even time of day.

These chains are the creators of the big size coffee cups that Europeans would be horrified to see. In America, not only can a person get a cup of coffee just by saying what he or she wants, but some stores even have drive thrus for those who don’t even have time to get out of their cars. Another factor that makes these shops so popular is that some places are known for their customizable drinks, where the customers can essentially order whatever they want and create their own drink to their personal preferences.

The second part of American coffee culture is the growing specialty coffee culture sector. More and more people, especially the younger generation, are becoming interested in the processes of coffee creation. This includes not only the final product of the coffee beverage, but how the beans were grown, where they originated, how the beans were roasted, and which beans were chosen for a particular blend and why. This specialty coffee trend is made up of small roasters and independently owned coffee shops that provide a coffee experience on a more personal level. This sector of American coffee culture is seen as a type of coffee expertise and the created coffee blends as an artistic craft.

Instant Coffee in United States

When talking about American coffee history and culture, we can't left out instant coffee. Instant coffee was first introduced during the 1851 Civil War and became a popular beverage among U.S. soldiers. This habit of drinking instant coffee daily was continued once the fights ended and soldiers returned to their daily life.

Even though Americans embrace the idea of quick and convenient coffee, the majority of people turn to big coffee chains for their quick caffeine fix rather than instant. This negative stigma is largely due to previous inferior methods of making instant coffee, which caused the harsh and bitter brew. According to Experian, only 27% of Americans stock instant coffee in their household compared to a 60% that stocks whole or ground coffee beans.

This number is expected to grow as new methods of preparation have contributed to better tasting instant coffee in the US market. One such company that is on a mission to bring the instant back is Waka Coffee. Our quality instant coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and freeze dried to preserve the original flavor of the beans. 

How People in the United States Drink Their Coffee

Americans drink coffee in a variety of ways from both large chain coffee shops and smaller independently owned cafes. According to E-Imports, approximately 150 million Americans drink coffee daily and 30 million of them consume specialty coffees like mocha, cappuccino, espresso, latte, or iced coffee beverages. Out of these coffee drinkers, 65% prefer their coffee with cream and/or sugar and 35% prefer their coffee black. 

The Best Coffee Shop in Each State

Now that we know all about United States’ coffee history and American drink preferences and culture, you must be wondering: “So what is the best coffee in America?” 

Check out out our Best Coffee Shops list for 2019 to know what is the best coffee place in your state. We chose only the most unique coffee spots we could find. Have an idea for more locations? Leave a comment. 

Alabama - Turbo Coffee

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This is a small coffee shop tucked away behind a barber’s shop. Its focus is on their unique coffee and the specialty roaster that changes every three months.

Alaska - The Green Coffee Bean Company

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This is a cozy coffee shop and roastery that features coffee and coffee beans from all over the world. They have light, medium, and dark roasts available year long.

Arizona - Regroup Coffee and Bicycles

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This is a unique coffee spot that features an espresso bar and high end bicycle shop with repair store in one!

Arkansas - Onyx Coffee Lab

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There are multiple locations of this cafe in Arkansas, which features coffee and delicious pastries to go with them. They also have brewing classes to teach customers all about coffee and brews.

California - LAMILL Coffee

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This is a specialty coffee roaster with multiple locations in California and the Los Angeles area. They take great care in producing the best cup of coffee by using their Coffee Care program.

Colorado - Everyday Joe’s Coffee House

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This unique cafe is run by volunteers and not only that it serves great coffee, but also the neighborhood and community. It hosts a variety of events such as community events, concerts, and art installations.

Connecticut - Espresso NEAT

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This is an artisan coffee bar and roaster that serves single origin coffee beans that are in season.

Delaware - Brewed Awakenings

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This coffee house is frequented by mostly a younger crowd and offers a variety of coffees. It also has seasonal drinks during the holidays. It is a nice, quiet, and cozy place to relax or get some work done.

Florida - Downtown Credo

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There are three locations of this non-profit cafe which features a unique donation based pay system as well as quality sourced coffee beans.

Georgia - Independent Grounds Cafe

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Not only does this cafe serves delicious coffee and pastries, but it mostly employs people with special needs and disabilities.

Hawaii - Brue Bar

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This contemporary designed cafe features single origin beans and hand-crafted beverages. They also have these fun emoji sleeves with each of their to-go coffees.

Idaho - Slow By Slow Coffee Bar

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Just as the name suggests, the motto of this coffee shop is that everything should be done with the time and care it deserves… such as coffee! Its coffee shop features beautiful patterned and textured designs and espresso-based drinks.

Illinois - Oromo Cafe

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This is no ordinary coffee shop. It features coffee, teas, and foods that are infused with superfoods and nutrients. Get a caffeine kick and immune booster with one stop!

Indiana - Bind Cafe

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This is a coffee shop and community space all in one. It features a bookstore that includes books that features social issues and others for language learning. Bind Cafe isn’t just a place for coffee, but a place where people connect and cultures are shared.

Iowa - High Ground Cafe

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This cafe features a variety of organic coffees and teas. They also serve wine and beer along with food and delicious desserts and pastries.

Kansas - Black Dog Coffeehouse

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This coffeehouse is a great place to hang out with friends. They serve flavorful coffee and smoothies along with tasty meals, pastries, and breads from local bakeries.

Kentucky - Broomwagon Coffee

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This unique coffee shop also includes a bike shop, beer garden, and cafe all in one! It is a great place to hang out and come for the coffee and leave with a bike. :)

Louisiana - Cafe Du Monde

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Via @cafedumonde

This is an original french market coffee stand that features coffee and beignets. Even better, they’re open 24 hours for all your cravings no matter what time of day or night.

Maine - Lil’s Cafe

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This cafe is a place that brings the local community together. They have a variety of coffees that are best enjoyed with their fresh baked goodies.

Maryland - Artifact Coffee

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This coffee shop features an espresso bar, coffee bar, tea bar, and kitchen for all your needs! They even hold coffee cupping sessions for those who want to participate.

Massachusetts - Thinking Cup

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Along with a cozy cafe environment, this coffee shop uses quality beans from around the world. They also donate to charity organizations to give back to the community.

Michigan - Mighty Good Coffee

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This coffee shop chain is located in four different locations in Michigan. They not only feature fresh roasts, but are also involved in community events and projects.

Minnesota - Five Watt Coffee

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The owners of this coffee shop (multiple locations in MN) are deeply involved in the coffee they serve and also connecting with customers on a more personal level.

Mississippi - Fusion Coffee House

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This coffee house sets itself apart from big coffee chains through fresh local coffee and live entertainment for customers.

Missouri - Foundation Grounds Coffee House & Cafe

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This is a green cafe where their coffee beans are organic and fair trade while the produce are locally sourced. They even have eco-friendly to-go boxes and packaging.

Montana - Press Coffee House

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This particular coffee house features a great environment for customers to enjoy their coffee with pastry or food. It is located in a historic greenhouse that features greenery and nature colors.

Nebraska - Archetype Coffee

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This coffee shop pays close attention to the little details of their roast, coffee beans, and brewing process to produce the best cup of coffee. The combine the quality of coffee with the sense of community.

Nevada - Cafe Darak

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This cute cafe features retro decor ranging from an old Volkswagen bus to vintage film cameras, and vintage furniture.

New Hampshire - The Coffee Factory

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This is a family owned and operated coffee shop that has fresh roasted coffee along with community events such as open mic nights.

New Jersey - The Fine Grind

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This coffee bar features plenty of coffee options along with vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. They also host plenty of free events such as live music and display art from local artists.

New Mexico - Enchanted Grounds Espresso Bar and Cafe

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This is a small, locally owned cafe that has regionally sourced coffee and delicious food and desserts. They also have an interesting drink called the snickers latte.

New York - Spreadhouse Cafe

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This is a unique cafe in that it is a coffeehouse, bar, creative agency, and event space all in one. Not to mention it is extremely aesthetic and picture worthy.

North Carolina - Smelly Cat Coffeehouse and Roastery

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The motto of this coffee shop is “one coffee style does not fit all.” Also, can we talk about the Friends references?! That got us sold.

North Dakota - The Ember Coffeehouse and Creative Venue

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They are a non-profit coffee shop, art space, and music venue that focuses on building the community and supporting local artists.

Ohio - One Line Coffee

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This coffee shop features home roasted coffee and even have weekly brewing workshops.

Oklahoma - Coffee Slingers Roasters

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This is just one of three flavorful roasters found in Oklahoma. They also support local artists by showcasing artwork and commissioning local artists for their decor.

Oregon - Never Coffee Lab

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This is a colorful cafe that creates their own unique drinks and blends. The cafe features a beautifully decorated space that contains splashes of color you wouldn’t see at other normal brown color based coffeeshops.

Pennsylvania - Square One Coffee Roasters

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This cafe is a family owned roaster that has multiple locations in Pennsylvania. All their coffee beans are “responsibly farmed, sustainably sourced, and honestly traded”.

Rhode Island - The Shop

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This aesthetically pleasing cafe features single origin coffee and pastries along with a comfortable place to sit and do your work.

South Carolina - Due South Coffee Roasters

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Via @duesouthcoffee

Enjoy your coffee and pastries in this industrial designed cafe with brick walls that were originally part of an old mill.

South Dakota - Josiah’s Coffehouse, Cafe, & Bakery

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This is a comfortable cafe for friends, families, and even large parties. It has espresso-based drinks along with fresh pastries and cakes.

Tennessee - Frothy Monkey

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There are five different locations of this cafe in Tennessee. All serve locally roasted coffee along with food and dessert. They also hold weekly coffee cupping sessions at their roasting facility.

Texas - Coffee Waves

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Not only do they serve various coffee drinks, but also make different flavors of gelato. They also have live music performances for their customers to enjoy while sipping their cup of joe!

Utah - Salt Lake Roasting Co

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They are the oldest coffee roasting company in Utah. Its cafe has gourmet coffee from around the world and handmade desserts.

Vermont - Nomad Coffee

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This is a mobile coffee shop and espresso bar... essentially a coffee shop on wheels!

Virginia - Busboys and Poets

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This is a restaurant, cafe, and bookstore all in one. It hosts a variety of events such as open mic nights, poetry slam, art exhibitions, etc.

Washington - La Marzocco Cafe

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This cafe feature specialty roasts that rotate every few months. These roasts come from four different PNW roasters.

West Virginia - Joe N’ Throw

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This unique set up is a coffee shop and pottery studio in one.

Wisconsin - The Coffee House at Chestnut and Pine

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This open coffee house has a stage for hosting plenty of open mic and live music nights.

Wyoming - Paramount Cafe

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Along with the usual coffee drinks, this cafe offers a few unique drinks such as the Butter Beer, Mary Poppins, and Super Sayian. They also support local artists and musicians and host an open mic nights once a month.

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