I have a confession to make: I love coffee.
In fact, I may have been coffee in another life. I’m talking Lorelei Gilmore levels of coffee dependency.
If I go back to pinpoint the moment my coffee obsession began, it’s probably later than most others. On sort of a whim in my early twenties, I decided to pack up and move halfway around the world to Hawaii. It was my Eat, Pray, Love moment. While I was there, I had local access to some of the best coffee in the world and it stuck with me.
When I came back to Ohio, I was looking for any job whatsoever, and a friend of mine suggested that I apply at the Starbucks where she worked. I know what you coffee elitists are thinking. How can your love of coffee be nurtured by a mega-corporation? Well, the response is easy. It was a surprisingly great company to work for and it taught me the ins and outs of coffee. The green monster showed me the process of coffee, from the farmers who grow it to the people who roast it.
Luckily for us, Columbus has some AMAZING independent and local coffee shops to choose from. Fairtrade and sustainability are “musts” for these companies, which makes it even easier to enjoy their delicious brews.
Located in Old Town East, Upper Cup offers in-house roasting of the best beans in the world along with hand-crafted beverages. Owner Michael Habte, originally from Africa, began selling Upper Cup beans in 2010, and the space on Parson’s opened in 2011. It has a modern but cozy atmosphere that lends itself to both meet-ups with old friends and romantic dates, making it a “go-to” location for just about anybody. The service is friendly and the vibe is chill. What more could you ask for before you’ve had your coffee?
Location: 9 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Upper Cup Coffee
If you’ve ever had a deep desire for coffee knowledge, then you may want to hit up Mission Coffee Co. Not only do they offer amazing, in-house roasted beans, but they also offer tons of education opportunities. Coffee is so much more than beans and water, and Mission Coffee proves that the more devotion you put into the process, the better the coffee tastes.
Location: 2050 South High Street Suite A.1.1.5, Columbus, OH 43207
Website: Mission Coffee Co.
Originally started in 2001, Brioso is all about sharing the love. Brioso Coffee, like many of the great local coffee shops in our city, offers not only the chance to drink great coffee but to learn about the process as well. Brioso offers 1 hr classes, teaching you about the history of coffee as well as the labor of love that is making an espresso beverage.
Location: 329 E Long St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: Brioso Coffee
Stauf’s is a personal favorite of mine. If you’re looking for the perfect cozy spot to snuggle up with a good book, I highly recommend their Victorian Village location. It’s located inside of an old church and it has tons of comfy seating and gorgeous midday light.
Location: 1334 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43201
One Line Coffee focuses on ethical growing and sustainability. After owning different businesses, the owners realized that they had no idea where the coffee they were serving was coming from. That inspired the journey that led to One Line Coffee. Knowing who is growing your coffee, what conditions it’s being grown in, where it’s being grown is becoming more and more important to consumers. Luckily, One Line decided it was important to them as business owners as well. So go in for a cup or maybe a bag of whole beans, and feel like you’re part of a global experience you can feel great about.
Location: 745 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Website: One Line Coffee
If you’re looking for a side of fun with your morning java, you should definitely check out Emmet’s Cafe. Not only does Emmett’s specialize in Australian-style coffee, but they also have an absolutely killer breakfast sandwich. It’s a one-stop shop that will start your day off right.
Location: 744 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206
Website: Emmett’s Cafe
There are days when the only combination of food and beverage that makes sense is coffee and chocolate. And there’s literally nowhere better to combine those two than at Winans. Their handmade chocolates and hand-sourced coffee pair perfectly together for the extra edge you may need on a bad day.
Location: Various locations
Art. Coffee. Free Wifi. These are the staples of any artist’s life, and they can all be found in one convenient place called the Global Gallery Coffee Shop. Started in the Short North in 1991 as a sort of marketplace for underserved artists, the Gallery has grown over the years. It now calls Clintonville home and supports more than 1,500 artists and producers from around Ohio and the world. And of course, their coffee is sourced from fair trade farms.
Location: 3535 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Website: Global Gallery Coffee Shop