• The best coffee destinations in the US, outside the usual spots

    2014-05-19

    Coffee lovers on vacation know to work a pilgrimage to the West Coast into their United States travel plans. Between San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, the region boasts some of the country's best brews. But that doesn't mean that you can't get a great cup if you're travelling to other parts of the country. A high quality coffee shop can spring up in any place with enough people to support it. Here are some of the best coffee shops from the Southeast and Midwest.

    Southern flavor
    New Orleans was ranked the third-best U.S. city for coffee by Travel and Leisure readers, just behind Seattle and Portland. Antoine's Restaurant starts this list off with a bang, or at least a flame. According to New Orleans On-line, the restaurant is the birthplace of the Cafe Brulot Diabolique, or "Devilishly Burned Coffee." The drink is a mixture of coffee, brandy and spices and is served after being set ablaze. Prohibition-era coffee drinkers supposedly preferred the drink as a method of concealing alcohol, but today it's anything but secretive.

    Also in the Southeast is Raleigh, North Carolina's, Joule Coffee. The shop is run by nationally renowned chef Ashley Christensen, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. Joule offers impressive food options, as would be expected from a chef like Christensen, and it puts as much care into its coffee. Customers get to choose from a variety of beans and brewing methods to find the cup that's right for them.

    Fox News quoted Park Brennan, Northeast division winner of the 2014 U.S. Barista Championship, as saying, "This is perhaps my favorite place to eat and drink coffee in the country."

    Cold weather, hot coffee
    A Milwaukee institution, Colectivo Coffee has 12 locations throughout the city, according to Epicurious. The shop takes its coffee seriously, sometimes even sending baristas to the farms in Central America that supply Colectivo's beans. Offering free tastings and brewing demonstrations, Colectivo wants to keep Milwaukee's coffee drinkers both educated and caffeinated. Free performances by musicians Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra are common occurrences here as well.

    Canton, Ohio, a declining industrial town outside Akron, is not a place most would expect to find great coffee. But those who have been to Muggswiggz, which appeared on USA Today's list of best coffee shops, know better. Operating for just over 10 years, the shop has recently drawn a lot of attention from the coffee industry. Winner of numerous awards, including the best score in Ohio from Ken David's Coffee Review, the shop is one of a core of holdout restaurants keeping the downtown area alive.

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