Ah, coffee. I’ll take it any way: hot, iced, black, with milk, or even injected straight into my blood stream.
Luckily enough, I live in a city that’s filled with similarly afflicted caffeine addicts. Jacksonville is a massive city whose coffee culture is alive and well, thanks to local entrepreneurs who give the masses what they want. Correction: what they need. And that is a watering whole where locals and visitors can come together and caffeinate in community.
Bold bean, in my not so humble opinion, is one of the best coffee joints that Jacksonville has to offer. They are an all local business who roasts their own delicious blend. There are three locations: one in Murray Hill, Riverside and at the beach. You really can’t go wrong with anything at Bold Bean. If you’re looking for something sweet, but not to sweet, try an iced latte with almond milk and honey. Its refreshing, simple and delicious. But if you’re feeling a little more adventurous definitely try the Ameri-Cola. This different drink is a two ingredient experiment, complete with Mexican Coke poured over a shot of espresso.
This place combines a cool industrial hipster setting with a definite homey vibe. Not only do they have superb coffee, but they also have pretty delicious eats. The bagel sandwich with Boursin cheese with avocados, pickled onions and capers was simply to die for. I paired it with a black panther, which is a cortado with chocolate chips mixed in and melted on the bottom. Let’s just say this was pretty much heaven on earth. This place is a can’t miss in Jacksonville, especially if you’re a local.
This place is the ultimate hipster haven, complete with a record player and records from everything from Madonna to Elvis to Indie tunes only true experts have heard of. There’s a succulent garden on a bar that’s outlooking the streets of Murray Hill. Not only is this just a cool place to be, the coffee is seriously amazing. The almond milk agave shortie is perfect for espresso lovers as well as low-key coffee drinkers. It’s sweet, strong, bold and easy to drink. There’s nothing else you could ask for from a cup coffee. Vagabond’s tea is also amazing, if you’re not as partial to coffee as you should be. I would recommend their green mint iced tea. It’s flavorful, caffeinated and not too sweet. Coffee fanatics and tea snobs alike will love this drink. Between the excellent beverages, tasty pastries and friendly employees, Vagabond is simply kick ass.
Forget everything else I’ve said. This place is heaven on earth. Not only does this place a great coffee joint, but its also a local watering hole for those who love another kind of brew. That’s right, I mean beer. Take it from a girl who is a beer fanatic, this place it amazing. And for those of us who can’t choose between getting an ice cold pint or shot of espresso, they have a remedy: a hipster speedball. This coffee cocktail is craft lager with a shot of espresso. But if you’re unlike me and noon is too early for a cocktail, the sparkling americano and iced lattes are legendary. There’s nothing about this place that isn’t amazing. Between the coffee, beer, atmosphere and artwork, Brew is a true Jacksonville gem.
This place is crazy cool. Similar to other shops, everything here is organic, homemade and locally sourced. Its got the laid back vibe of the beach combined with hipster industrial chic. But what really makes this place special is not their artisian coffee (which is still amazing), but their homemade kimchi. What’s kimchi, you may ask. Well, its a Korean condiment made out of mostly pickled cabbage, vegetables and spices. But Delicomb puts their own original spin on it.
Okay, okay. I have to be honest. I didn’t want to like this place because it replaced one of my all time favorite coffee joints: Lillie’s Coffee Bar. But even the most devout Lillie’s customer could deny that this place is amazing. This place is all about coffee and community. Most of the seating are long tables or counters in an attempt to bring people together. Not only is their black cold brew amazing, but they have wonderful salads. If you’re a curry fan you have to try the roasted vegetable masala. But, if your just in the mood for a sweet treat, you can’t go wrong with the chocolate croissant. Bottom line: This is the perfect place for a well-versed socializer with amazing taste in grub and grounds.
Even though each of these coffee shops are in different places and specialties, they are all amazing in their own way. That’s one of the things I love about my city. There are amazing things around every corner. If there’s one thing I can guarantee, its that you’ll find something wonderful in each of these places.