Plenty of people drink coffee.
The National Coffee Association says 64 percent of Americans aged 18 or older consume at least a cup a day. About 79 percent enjoy a cup at home, and 36 percent drink their coffee out and about.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association, 41 percent of Americans drink specialty coffee daily, way up from 14 percent in 2001. Translation: A growing number of people are no longer settling for gas-station sludge that’s been sitting there for days or whatever coffee is served off menus.
So what exactly makes a cup of joe a “specialty coffee”? In a nutshell, it means using the highest-quality beans, roasted to their greatest flavor and then brewed to perfection using everything from batch-brew equipment to popular pour-over brewers such as the Hario V60, Kalita Wave, AeroPress, and Chemex.
In layman’s terms: It’s good coffee brewed by people who care about the entire process, from plant to cup.
The best way to understand specialty coffee isn’t to read about it — it’s to get out there and drink it. Try different beans from different places made via different brewing methods.
Whether you're a coffee aficionado or a novice who wants to experience a genuine coffee “wow" moment, here are five South Florida spots that will always serve you a memorable cup:
1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami
This downtown spot doesn't roast its own beans, but it sources some of the absolutely finest coffees from around the world. On any given day, you can find fruity Ethiopian or caramel-sweet Colombian single-origin coffees and blend selections from the likes of Ruby Coffee Roasters (Nelsonville, Wisconsin) and Little Amps Coffee Roasters (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). The beans are brewed via a Kalita Wave, and your cup of joe ($5) is served on a gold platter. Each week, the All Day crew blind-tastes coffees from all kinds of roasters and selects the top brews to ultimately purchase and deliver to the people. All Day also offers a coffee taste test, called “cupping,” so you can try three of their offerings for ten bucks.
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Wells Coffee Co.
737 NE Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale
The booming Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale is being called the next Wynwood. The cozy, beloved roastery fueling that buzz is Wells Coffee. Its partnerships in the community are growing — the shop provides roasted beans to the likes of nearby Brew Urban Café. But before you venture out to enjoy Wells’ goods elsewhere, enjoy the experience at the HQ. Pour-over offerings ($4.50) typically include a mind-blowing, naturally washed Ethiopia Hambela, Horizon Handcrafted blend (with beans from Indonesia and East Africa), or whatever the Wells crew has recently sourced and roasted. Bring home a bag of beans, starting at $15.
House of Per'La
2626 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables