Why wait in line at Starbucks when there are dozens of incredibly delicious local coffee roasters sprinkled throughout the state? Next time you need that caffeine jolt, head to one of our favorite Georgia roasters:
Photo courtesy of Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters
Batdorf & Bronson (Atlanta): Though this company originated in Washington, they’ve been roasting coffee from around the world on Atlanta’s Westside for more than 25 years—you may recognize their coffee if you’ve been into their sister coffee bars, Dancing Goats, which has locations around the country, including two in Atlanta. With sustainability top of mind, B&B offers Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Bird-Friendly and Shade Grown coffees, available in more than 25 different blends, including many single origin coffees from hotspots like Costa Rica, Peru and Guatemala.
Photo courtesy of Swift & Finch Coffee
Swift & Finch (Rome): This fun, artsy coffee shop located on Broad Street in downtown Rome has become a popular hangout for locals. With more than 10 different blends, it’s easy to see why. Though their Peruvian beans, like Peru Zacarais Neira (a single farmer microlot coffee with a raisin-like sweetness and notes of cinnamon), are most popular, we recommend one of the complex Ethiopian blends done in the pourover method for the ultimate complex coffee.
Photo courtesy of 1000 Faces Coffee
1000 Faces (Athens): Jittery Joe’s has long had a stronghold on the Athens’ coffee scene—they’ve been roasting the top 1 percent of beans from 18 different countries since 1994, after all. But they’ve gotten some friendly competition ever since 1000 Faces opened up in 2006. The eco-friendly roaster offers 10 different blends, including Suke Quto, which comes from a certified organic coffee farm in Ethiopia and was awarded with a 2014 Good Food Award.
Photo courtesy of Blackbird Coffee
Blackbird Coffee (Milledgeville): If you time it right, you can walk down Main Street and take in the intoxicating aroma wafting from this downtown shop when their coffee is being roasted. Beloved for their unique coffee drinks, like Honey-Nut Soy, Vanilla-Caramel, and Coca Mocha Nut, this café micro-roasts premium coffee on-site, and serves everything within a week to ensure freshness. Coffee selections rotate, but Colombia Excelsio and Guatemala Huehuetango are always crowd pleasers as they’re mild to medium flavor profile is easy to drink. Robust coffee lovers will revel in their Ethiopia and Sumatra blends.
Photo courtesy of Wanderlust Coffee
Wanderlust (Atlanta): Iced coffee drinkers rejoice! Atlanta now has their very own ready-to-drink cold brew coffee, Wanderlust. Brewed with beans from local coffee shop Octane Coffee, this incredibly smooth sipper comes in three options: 10-ounce ready-to-drink and 16-ounce cold brew concentrate bottles can be found on shelves and behind counters throughout town (or online), while nitro cold brew coffee is available on draft at Porter Beer Bar.
Photo courtesy of Grassroots Coffee
Grassroots Coffee (Thomasville and Valdosta): Since 2009, this artisanal roaster has been offering small batch coffee with unparalleled freshness, alongside delicious breakfast and lunch items in their Thomasville café. They opened their second location in Valdosta just last year, bringing their intoxicating blends—there are nearly two dozen to choose from—to the city. Be sure to try one of their single origin offerings, like Bali Kintimani, an Organic Certified, Fair Trade Certified blend with notes of chocolate and strawberry. The Beanery Coffee Roasters is another Valdosta roaster worth checking out—there’s a reason shops and restaurants all over South Georgia and North Florida use their coffee: it’s as delicious as it is sustainable!
Kate is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and a freelance food and travel writer for more than 100 publications. Click here to read more culinary content from Kate.