While likening Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters to mainstream giants such as Starbucks, Zagat has released its list of 10 “coolest” coffee shops in 2011. While the list is sure to irritate many purveyors of specialty coffee, it is a challenge nailing down the coolest in an industry in which cool is part of the business culture.
Said Zagat’s Linnea Covington:
In a lot of areas of the US, coffee flows almost abundantly as water (speaking of which – is it time for a coffee break yet)? While most people know joints like Starbucks, Peaberry, and even Stumptown, lucky for us, a lot of great independent coffee houses still survive in different areas of the country. Mainly these places focus on quality drinks, perfectly-roasted coffee, a variety of beans, hip baristas and an artistic quality lacking from the name-brand chains out there.
Zagat’s list includes:
Coffee By Design — Portland, Maine
El Beit — Brooklyn, N.Y.
Espresso Vivace — Seattle, Wash.
Firestorm Cafe and Books — Asheville, N.C.
Flipnotics Coffeespace — Austin, Texas
Pablos Coffee — Denver, Colo.
Philz Coffee — San Francisco, Calif.
Press — Dayton, Ohio
Ristretto Roasters, Portland, Ore.
Star Lounge — Chicago, Ill.
What did Zagat’s overlook?