Category Archives: News

Orlando Named #1 Coffee City in U.S.

Well, color me surprised!

The city of Orlando was named the #1 coffee city in the United States by This was a bit of a surprise, because when I think coffee cities, I usually think of Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington.

Except they’ve been unseated by Central Florida and currently sit at numbers 4 and 8, respectively.

latte-4271716_640SimpleTexting did some rather extensive research into what makes a good coffee city, as well as how much coffee people drink in those cities, how much they spend, and what their favorite drinks are.

1) The number of coffee shops per 100k people 2) The average Yelp rating of coffee shops, and 3) The average Yelp price level of coffee stores. We then rated each of the eight components on a 5-point scale, with a score of 5 indicating the most positive coffee conditions. Each city received an overall score based on the total of each one’s individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their significance for coffee drinkers. The highest possible score for a city was 25 points.

The results are as follows:

  1. Orlando, FL – 20.4
  2. Tampa, FL – 18.4
  3. Pittsburgh, PA – 17.4
  4. Portland, OR – 15.8
  5. Washington, DC – 15.0
  6. St. Louis, MO – 14.9
  7. Miami, FL – 14.4
  8. Seattle, WA – 14.3
  9. Denver, CO – 14.1
  10. Atlanta, GA – 14.0
  11. Minneapolis, MN – 13.3
  12. San Diego, CA – 12.9
  13. Detroit, MI – 12.9
  14. Phoenix, AZ – 12.5
  15. Philadelphia, PA – 11.9
  16. Dallas, TX – 11.3
  17. Charlotte, NC – 10.9
  18. Houston, TX – 10.8
  19. New York, NY – 10.5
  20. San Antonio, TX – 10.2
  21. Chicago, IL – 9.8
  22. San Francisco, CA – 9.6
  23. Los Angeles, CA – 8.9
  24. Baltimore, MD – 8.5

Coffee Cities Map from SimpleTexting

A few things that surprised me.

First, I was very pleased that Orlando made the top of the list. Hell, I would have been happy with a Top 5 finish, but this shows me that the coffee culture in this city is really growing.

Second, I was disappointed that Indianapolis was on the list at all. I don’t know if it’s because they didn’t make the cut, or if SimpleTexting just didn’t consider them.

Third, I think New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles’ overall size lowered their ranking since it’s hard to have one coffee shop for every 100,000 residents. The city of Orlando has close to 280,000 residents, while the Central Florida area — Seminole, Orange, and Osceola Counties — has 2.1 million. That means you only need 2.8 shops in Orlando and 21 in Central Florida.

But New York City’s 8+ million means you need at least 80 coffee shops in the city, which is a little more difficult. They probably have them, but it’s much harder to achieve.

Finally, they didn’t specify what kinds of coffee shops they counted, so I couldn’t tell if they were only counting independent coffee shops or if they were including the big corporate chains as well. Still, Orlando has plenty of excellent indie coffee shops which no doubt helped it achieve it’s #1 ranking.

As the weather gets colder, there’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee to warm you up. So visit your favorite independent coffee shop this week and see why indie coffee is always better than corporate coffee.

Photo credit: Engin_Akyurt (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)
Best Cities for Coffee Graphic by SimpleTexting (Used with permission)

Map of Fort Worth Independent Coffee Shops

If you’ve ever wanted to find an independent coffee shop around the Fort Worth, Texas area, you’re in luck! Now we have a map that shows them all.

Chuck Bouligny loves independent coffee shops and was inspired by #IndieCoffeeShopDay to create one of his own. Chuck is the president of Elkhorn Union, a real estate investment group, and the co-founder of Wivot, an axe-throwing group!

Do you want to be a part of #IndieCoffeeShopDay? Build a Google Map of all the independent coffee shops in your city or part of the world, and we’ll post it here.

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10 Things to Do in an Independent Coffee Shop on #IndieCoffeeShopDay

It’s here! It’s here! It’s Indie Coffee Shop Day 2019! Time to visit your favorite independent coffee shop and support your local business owners and local economy.

The Bridge Cafe 04If you’re wondering what you can do while you’re at an independent coffee shop, here are 10 things you can do while you enjoy a hand-crafted beverage.

  1. Visit with a friend.
  2. Sit silently and ruminate on the wonders of life.
  3. Write in a notebook.
  4. Read a book.
  5. Write a book.
  6. Plan your visit for Record Store Day tomorrow.
  7. Get pissed and grouse about how they moved Record Store Day to last week, and you didn’t hear about it because you were on the road. (Am I the only one who did this? Really? Just me? Okay, then.)
  8. Get some work done.
  9. Pretend you’re getting some work done. (We all know you’re cruising Facebook.)
  10. Seriously, no one thought to tell me about Record Store Day? I was really looking forward to it!

Z Beans Coffee

It’s a magical time to go into an independent coffee shop near a college when it’s empty, and you pretty much have to do it first thing in the morning.

Z Beans coffee on a Sunday morning. Thinking about Indie Coffee Shop Day. I found myself at Z Beans coffee in Macon, Georgia, early Sunday morning on my way home from speaking tour in Indiana. (That’s where I found the bridge in Upland.)

Z Beans is located near Mercer university, and it’s difficult to get to. Not impossible, but this isn’t your right-off-the-exit Starbucks. It’s definitely your destination points, not a quick stop.

The great thing about being at a coffee shop near a university is that it’s nearly empty on a Sunday morning. So I was able to easily find a seat, get my coffee quickly, and rest a little bit. I imagine this place gets pretty noisy when it’s filled with college to study for class, but there are plenty of outlets and plenty of seats.

We’re less than a week from #IndieCoffeeShopDay, so I wanted to discover one last independent coffee shop on my trip. Remember to visit your favorite independent coffee shop with a friend, and ponder what you’re going to get at Record Store Day the next day.

Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company — Indianapolis, IN

Special article by my friend and Indianapolis resident, Lisa Marchal.

Calvin Fletcher Coffee Company - Fountain SquareIt’s unoriginal to talk about how Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company in Indianapolis is really a place that sells community, but the triteness of the phrase doesn’t make it any less true in this case.

Close to celebrating its 10-year anniversary, this family-owned establishment serves as the heartbeat of the Fletcher Place neighborhood in which it sits.

A handmade sign proclaiming that all are welcome sets the tone, but the place really starts to show its depth when you notice the owner mingling with customers most days of the week, the manager roasting custom blends in the back, baristas crafting drinks in mismatched cupware, and neighborhood regulars mixing with business customers and one-time visitors.

Lisa Marchal, Methodist Minister, Coffee LoverThe shop’s Instagram page regularly captures both the appeal of the products offered and the shop-runners’ love of the neighborhood. The mildly famous, mildly spicy Calvin Pepper. The managers’ special mocha powder recipe. The house-made syrups. The carefully sourced beans and in-house roasting.

But it all sits second fiddle to the warmth and connection within.

Lisa Marchal

Article about C&P Coffee in Seattle

The folks in Seattle sound like they have a much-loved coffee shop on the west side of town. The Westside Seattle newspaper/blog has a great story about how C & P Coffee was able to raise enough money to buy the property rather than losing their place if the then-current owners sold the place.

Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar, Lakeville, MN

From author and Minneapolis/St. Paul resident Michael Miller:

Up here in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, my go-to coffeehouse is Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar in downtown Lakeville (20790 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044).

It’s a small place, just four tables on the coffeeshop side (and another dozen on the wine bar side). The tables are square and spacious and close to electrical outlets. The Wi-Fi is generally strong.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do like their chai, which is my favorite Big Train variety. They have wide variety of coffee and non-coffee drinks, and a surprisingly good lunch menu of sandwiches, wraps, and soups. Also very good scones in the morning, before they run out. Nice friendly people, never too crowded (although the line for takeout at lunch can get long), just a great local joint.

Mainstreet Coffee & Wine Bar, Lakeville, MN.png

Celebrate Independent Coffee Shops with Indie Coffee Shop Day

For Immediate Release

We’ve developed such a coffee culture in North America that the coffee shop is becoming the home-away-from-home and office-away-from-office for many entrepreneurs, aspiring writers, and friends who just want to meet for something other than lunch or drinks in the evening.

One coffee shop-loving entrepreneur is encouraging everyone to observe Indie Coffee Shop Day on April 19, 2019, the day before Record Store Day.

“Indie Coffee Shop Day is on the third Friday in April,” said Erik Deckers, creator of Indie Coffee Shop Day. “I wanted to celebrate the different non-corporate, non-chain coffee shops that have become a community touchpoint for friends and small businesspeople around the country.”

Local coffee shops are a great way to get to know a community and what they value, because they’re often a central meeting point for many of the people who live there.

Duo 58 in Oviedo Florida.jpg“Local coffee shops have an important presence in the community because of the way we connect with everyone,” said Sam Veatch, manager at Duo58 Coffee Shop in Oviedo, Florida. “Here, we have everyone from college students to grandparents to business meetings. We see a lot of people from the community and it’s a natural meeting place for other local entrepreneurs. You can get a real sense for what the community is because of the array of customers.”

Shopping locally can have a big boost on a city’s economy: Nearly $.45 of every dollar spent at a locally-owned business stays in the local community, with another 9% being spent in the state. But that same dollar spent at a chain store only sees $.14 staying locally.

Most independent coffee shops encourage people to sit and spend time reading, working, writing, meeting friends, and just relaxing with your favorite beverage. Some will feature musicians in the evenings, or host comedy and literary open mics. Many independent coffee shops will even display and sell art from local artists, changing art and artists every month.

Deckers says one of his favorite coffee shops in Central Florida even sells used books, and another favorite in Louisville used to share space with an independent bookstore before both places grew too big, and had to separate.

To commemorate Indie Coffee Shop Day, people should visit their favorite local coffee house for a quick drink and bite to eat. You’re encouraged sit for a while, relax, and enjoy yourself.

“And then plan out which record store you want to visit the next day,” said Deckers.

Independent coffee shops and their customers are encouraged to spread the word about Indie Coffee Shop day by tweeting and Instagramming photos with the hashtag #IndieCoffeeShopDay.


Indie Coffee Shop Day 2019 is April 19

Indie Coffee Shop Day 2019 is coming up, and I would love to feature different non-chain coffee shops on this site. So, send any write ups or reviews (at least 150 words, no more than 700!), photos and videos, or favorite recipes to me at erik at problogservice dot com. I’ll post them here and promote them in the run-up to the new holiday.

indie coffee shop day 2018 at duo 58

Erik Deckers