Bean Counters

brew coffee

Bold Bean
869 Stockton St., Riverside; 1179 Edgewood Ave. S., Murray Hill; 2400 3rd St. S., Jax Beach
Waiting for Bold Bean’s freshly roasted and individually cupped coffees may add a few extra minutes to your daily commute, but it’s worth it. The rustic-meets-industrial interior of the shop is always buzzing with hipsters, young professionals talking business and students hunched over laptops—a creative space if ever there was one.

1024 Park St., Five Points
Take a seat at one of BREW’s community tables and you might be rubbing elbows with some trendy-looking characters drinking beer cocktails such as the hipster speedball or brewmosa, but if it’s coffee you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. The baristas here take as much care with espresso as they do maintaining their beards.

The Coffee Grinder
9834 Old Baymeadows Rd., Southside
“European vibes” is really the only way to sum up the Coffee Grinder. Electronic music thumps from DJ tables until after midnight, and the outdoor tables are almost always full of locals chatting with a beer or cup of one of the shop’s more than 30 types of coffee.

Crucial Coffee Cafe
26 Charlotte St., St. Augustine
Across from the Castillo in a little wooden shack sits Crucial Coffee Cafe, where one can find some of the most inventive drinks around. Snickers cappuccino, spiced Thai iced latte, mojito mint lemonade, thin mint hot chocolate—the list goes on. Crucial’s got all the usual espresso drinks too, of course, but trying one of the specials at least once is, well, crucial.

Dos Coffee & Wine
300 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine
Comfy couches, wood paneling and rustic details make Dos Coffee and Wine feel cozy as can be. Pair that with a cappuccino and a cheese board or Creme de la Cocoa dessert, and one might be inclined to stay here forever.

The Kookaburra
24 Cathedral Pl. and Seabridge Square Plaza, St. Augustine; 101 F St., St. Augustine Beach
“Aussie-American espresso bar” The Kookaburra serves Bold Bean coffee alongside its flaky, savory meat pies and homemade pastries. First opened in Downtown St. Augustine (it may be the only thing on the Plaza open at 7:30 AM—you’ll need that info someday) “the Kook” now has three locations and a loyal following.

Pura Bean Coffee Company
14286 Beach Blvd., Intracoastal West (opening in March)
The first Pura Bean coffee was roasted in the owners’ garage in a popcorn popper. Today, the Jacksonville roasting company makes its small-batch Arabica bean coffees from beans grown around the world. We recommend trying the Tanzanian Peaberry blend, a medium blend with orange notes. Get it online or at the Riverside Arts Market.

Sippers Coffeehouse
7643 Gate Pkwy., Southside
This homey little shop might make one of the tastiest chai lattes in Jacksonville. It’s homemade, as are the cookies and muffins in family-owned Sippers—a rarity in a Gate Parkway neighborhood not known for its local flair. Crunched for time? Hit the drive-through and say hi to owner Ms. Marcy (pictured above).

Southern Roots Filling Station
1275 King St., Riverside
This crunchy little shop offers strong shots of Panther coffee (a Miami roaster), a mostly vegan menu and organic bulk dry goods. The place is always buzzing with locals around lunchtime looking for a healthy meal and a pick-me-up “black panther”—a Cortado (Spanish espresso) poured over dark chocolate.

The Urban Bean Coffeehouse Cafe
2023 Park Ave., Orange Park
The Urban Bean injects a little Five Points into Orange Park—the industrial feel of the interior space is an indie oasis in a largely corporate town. There’s a drive-through, but to get the cool vibes, you’ll have to go inside. With live music some evenings and a full menu including pastries, paninis, flatbreads and waffle boats, Urban Bean is not just for morning coffee runs.

The Urban Grind
50 N. Laura St. and 45 W. Bay St., Downtown
In the Urban Core, there’s only one brick-and-mortar place to get a good, local latte: The Urban Grind. The hip standalone location on Bay Street opened last year, but the shop has been giving corporate types a caffeine buzz in the bright lobby of the Bank of America tower since 2010.

Vagabond Coffee
934 Edgewood Ave. S., Murray Hill
Vagabond Coffee owners Will and Samantha Morgan started out making coffee in a camper, turning bleary zombies into humans one Chemex brew at a time, and now they’ve graduated to cute Murray Hill digs. The bright, eclectic décor—cheerful pennants, faded wood and colorful tiles—and warm, homemade pop-tarts speak to our childhoods and make it a fun spot to sit and watch the baristas work their magic.

Volcanista Coffee Co.
Roaster & supplier only
Volcanista Coffee sources specialty beans from places like Bali, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Costa Rica, brings them back home to Northeast Florida, roasts them and sells the finished product in area shops. Order a bag of beans online or find it at Grassroots Market, Hash House and The Loving Cup Mobile Shop.