Nashville Coffee Round Up
Nashville is growing so quickly, it seems like new restaurants and coffee shops pop up every day! With so many great options it’s becoming more and more difficult to choose where to get your morning cup of joe. I decided to take matters into my own hands and share some of my favorite coffeehouses to make your choice a little easier. Here you’ll find coffee shops in The Gulch, East Nashville, 12 South, and Wedgewood Houston to get handcrafted espresso drinks or drip coffee. I even included my favorite tearoom and liquid apothecary for those willing to brave the withdrawal symptoms of their caffeine addiction. Hold your mug a little closer and read on!
For years, I have driven past the kooky Koffee sign on 8th Avenue, but I never had the chance to pop in until this week. (See, I told you I would stay true to my mission of crossing places off my “Must See” list!) Since I went midday on a Monday, I am not entirely sure I got the whole experience, but it was so good. First off, they have a 10% discount if you bring your own coffee cup so major props to them for helping to save the environment! Or double props if they just don’t like to do extra dishes because I can also get behind the initiative to do less work.
For some reason, I never realized that the shop was connected to Jackalope Brewing on the inside. I always thought they were just separate entities sharing a building. Coffee and beer don’t usually mix, but they have done a great job combining the two. The interior decorator deserves a raise because the space really feels like both a chill place to sit alone and blog midday and an upbeat atmosphere to grab a beer with friends later at night.
Kettner Coffee Supply:
I have been to a lot of coffee shops, but I think this is my new favorite. Before I even get into how amazing the shop is itself, I have to talk about the perfect location. It is right in East Nashville by some of my other favorite places, five minutes from Slow Hand Bakeshop, East Park Donuts and Brightside Bakeshop. Anyone who knows me knows that I love sugar. I work at a bakery, it’s basically a requirement. Kettner has me covered, adding to my impending diabetic coma by serving soft serve ice cream along with its amazing coffee.
Connected to a bookstore on one side, it is very easy to get distracted and accidentally spend an extra hour in the shop. But it will be an hour well spent. Is there anything better than sitting on soft blue loveseats in a coffeehouse, reading a new book with a coffee by your side?
The high ceilings and white walls make the otherwise small rooms feel massive and welcoming, even if you’re not one of the cool, artsy, East Nashvillians that lives nearby. The décor is my favorite part of this shop, filled with sassy, feminist, beautiful art all around. The coffee bar features a line work woman on aqua blue. The wall to the right has a huge, abstract mural with women’s legs and colorful shapes. Every detail of the store is perfect, even the designs on the carboard cups are beautiful. The ice cream bowls say, “I dare you to lick it” with a woman’s face. Instagram adores the coffee cups that say “high standards, low morals” and “will trade cold heart for hot coffee.” After all, we eat with our eyes, but we drink with our Instagram.
On warm days, you can sit out front at the metal picnic tables. Enjoy watching the 12 South tourists as you sit back on a sunny day, reminiscing about the rainy weather you left back home in the Pacific Northwest.
The warm browns and café tones indoors create a welcoming, cozy environment. Filled with leather couches, white concrete walls and red brick accents it’s everything you want in a coffee shop. The Portland Brew logo is embossed on every wooden table. This is mainly to save you from suffering short-term memory loss and forgetting where you are. It also helps when people post pictures on Insta, but the main goal is definitely to avoid confusion. The walls are filled with photographs and artwork that make you feel comfortable, but remind you that you’re not at home. Please keep your shoes on and your voices low.
Hipster, hipsters all around, in Portland brew they can be found! I am sorry to anyone from Washington or Oregon, tired of being called hipsters, but there is no other title quite as fitting. With a name like Portland Brew, this is the home away from home for many Northwesterners. It also explains the six beanies I counted as I walked in. Don’t worry though, these customers are the real deal, they know their coffee as well as they know their style. Their presence alone proves how great lattes are at this shop.
In some ways, it is like Frothy Monkey, the famous coffee house just a few blocks down the road. They both share the classic coffee shop aesthetic, but Portland Brew is far better. Here you can get the same quality lattes, without the hour-long wait beginning before you step through the door.
Humphreys Street Coffee Shop:
In combination with their normal chairs, you can find a row of church pews to sit on at Humphreys, building a community environment. In adulthood, I have come to realize that stranger danger is very real. No longer afraid that someone will lure me to their van with candy, I fear the emotional danger of awkward social encounters. Somehow the pew seating at Humphreys doesn’t feel uncomfortable though. The pews are relaxed to the point that people can sit and interact with one another if they want. However, it is also acceptable to sit in silence, sip a coffee and get work done.
These pews work to promote their overall ethos and remind you of their non-profit mission. The shop’s profits are reinvested into the employees as much as they are into the business. More than just your average barista, the employees are students taught by the business. They can enroll in training programs for life skills like financial literacy, and apply for scholarships. Humphreys is a force creating positive change. They keep true to the motto painted on the walls “Drink Good Coffee for a Change.”
Pro tip: Try their matcha latte, it is the best in town.
Although they don’t serve coffee, High Garden had to make my list. This is probably my favorite place in Nashville, period. The owners spent over a decade studying herbalism, then began making tea for other restaurants in town. When they finally opened their own shop, they made a paradise for tea lovers. The back of the store is a tap room for Kombucha and other fermented options. In front, you’ll find hundreds of options for teas by the pot. You won’t find better tea anywhere else, I guarantee it!
Stepping into High Garden is like stepping into another world. It feels like a magical land, home to good witches and fairies. I am constantly in awe of the earthy décor. Dried herbs and flowers hang from the ceiling in front of windows covered in antique lace. Teas sit in glass jars and paper bags, each labeled with a handwritten note explaining what treasure’s inside. It is an apothecary with herbs and teas to help rid you of any ailment.
The second room has benches and tables each with a wooden canopy above them and murals painted on the walls. It is the perfect place to sit with friends and share a pot. The one downside is that this is a no-tech zone, no wifi, and no laptops. The goal is to create a space that encourages you to interact with everyone around you. In the center of the room, you will find games, books and tarot cards available in to. Unlike other shops, you will never feel rushed as it is a place to relax and put yourself first. But if you plan to visit on a busy day, they ask that you are mindful of other customers. You could even invite them to sit with you.
If you’re looking for another great tearoom, I mentioned one in my Rainy Day post so be sure to check it out!
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