On the side of one of Gainesville's most bustling streets is a large, glass-front building that you may not even notice on your way to the stores and restaurants. If you do notice it and step inside, you'll find yourself in the doorway of Concord Coffee, Gainesville's newest (and most aesthetic) coffee shop. With the natural sunlight pouring in through its many windows and the voices of students all gathered to study, catch up, or just relax, you may be tempted to stay for a while. Please do.

Since its recent grand opening, I have ventured into Concord Coffee a couple of times to see if their drinks are as good as they look (spoiler: they are) and to find out if the business itself is anything special (double spoiler: it is). On top of reviewing some of their amazing menu items, I'm super thrilled to be able to give you all a little behind-the-scenes look at what really makes Concord tick.

The Scoop On Concord: Meet The Manager

Darya Molibog

Say hi to Nate! He's the super friendly and knowledgeable manager at Concord Coffee's shop in Gainesville, and he was nice enough to sit down with us for a while (over some coffee, of course) and tell us all about Concord, his favorite drinks, and what "coffee culture" means to him.

Nate told us that there are three different waves in the coffee industry, and that Concord Coffee, which has one location in Lakeland, FL and one here in Gainesville, belongs to the "Third Wave". This means that they allow their craft and creativity to truly blossom through their unique process. Their supply is ethically sourced, they pay a premium price to be sure that farmers are getting what they deserve for their hard work and superior product, and they strive for perfection daily. 

It was really impressive just how much Nate knew (and cared) about coffee, the market and industry surrounding it, and Concord's role in that system as a whole. Even their name, Concord, shows the company's commitment to bringing people together, and Nate made sure to really drive that point home.

Now, that's wonderful and all, but how does their coffee actually taste? Do they live up to their own hype? Read on and see for yourself.

Drink #1: Iced Honey and Cinnamon Latte

Darya Molibog

I don't know why honey lattes aren't more popular, but they really should be. This version of my personal favorite latte featured cinnamon and coconut milk, and wow was it great. Sometimes lattes can feel so heavy, but that was just not the case here. This one felt soothing for something so caffeinated and not too sweet at all, considering the honey and coconut milk combo. I'm convinced that this is a drink you could never really get tired of.

Drink #2: Iced Blackberry Hibiscus Tea

Darya Molibog

The beautiful beverage on the left is what one barista described to me as Concord's most refreshing drink, and I have to agree. Besides the vibrant color, this tea manages to be bright, fruity, and just tart enough to quench your thirst while still tasting fantastic. For a hot and humid Gainesville day, I can't recommend this tea enough.

Drink #3: Cortado

Darya Molibog

This is where Nate took the wheel and started making our drinks for us himself -- what service! He started us off with a cortado, his personal favorite, made with his choice of (equal parts) espresso and steamed whole milk, but apparently it's also great with oat milk. I was expecting this drink to be a lot more bitter than it was, considering the even ratio of milk to espresso, but it was actually just full and flavorful. The espresso taste definitely came through pretty heavily, but it wasn't overpowering, and the steamed milk added surprising sweetness and creaminess. It felt like a very mature, adult drink that was made for someone way more sophisticated than me.

Drink #4: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Darya Molibog

I don't even know where to begin here. The smell? Amazing. The flavors? Amazing. The presentation? Amazing. I cannot stress this enough. One of our lovely Spoon University photographers came on this adventure with me, and I described this drink to her as how Mother Nature herself would make a PSL. The pumpkin taste was so natural and not harsh or artificial. Concord makes all of their syrups in-shop, too, so you really get a very special, Concord-only brand of pumpkin spice when you order this latte. It was warm and soft and felt like the best that Autumn has to offer. 10/10 would order again while wearing a sweater or heading to the pumpkin patch.

Drink #5: Pour-Over

Darya Molibog

For our grand coffee finale, Nate treated us to a pour-over, which isn't actually on Concord's menu. It was probably the coolest coffee experience I have ever had. He walked us through the entire process of making this drink, right down to how many grams of coffee and water to use, how long to let the coffee drip, and more. The attention to detail was kind of wild, and it felt a little like watching someone make art. He chose a varietal coffee for us that was honey-processed (can you tell I took notes while he was talking?), and he knew exactly where the beans he used came from, right down to the specific farm in Colombia.

Despite not being a huge fan of black coffee, I fell in love with this. Even though there was a notable acidity to it, this coffee was light, bright, and smooth. It was shockingly refreshing for a black coffee, which usually feel heavy to me. I guess I've been drinking it wrong all these years.

Closing Notes

Darya Molibog

During our coffee talk, Nate insisted that there's no such thing as perfection in their craft, but that they all still strive for it daily. Personally, I think Concord comes pretty close. To find a company that is not only dedicated to creating a quality product but to doing it as ethically as possible is beyond refreshing, to say the least. Concord proves that beautiful, delicious coffee can absolutely come with a conscience and can genuinely make a difference that way.

If you find yourself near West University Ave. in Gainesville, do yourself a favor and stop into Concord Coffee. The atmosphere was amazing and welcoming, the drinks were phenomenal, and just look at that cute merch! Concord Coffee is the total package, and then some.