Whether you’re pre-gaming for a long day of shopping or grabbing a midday pick-me-up, nothing beats a perfect cup of coffee. But since everybody’s coffee preferences are different, perfect for one person isn’t necessarily perfect for another. Fortunately, Miami is one of the world’s great coffee capitals, with coffee shops to fit every personality. Artsy? Try a small-batch roaster. Type A? Go for a precision-focused chain. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find just the java to juice you up at these three deliciously different coffee shops.
Best Place to Learn Hip Coffee Lingo: Panther Coffee
Before a busy day of gallery-hopping in Wynwood with your friends, pop into one of the Panther Coffee shops for an artisanal boost. Line up behind the neighborhood fashionistas flipping through magazines and the doctors already wearing scrubs on their way into work. The husband-and-wife team behind Panther roasts all of the company’s beans in small batches on the premises and has attracted quite a local following.
If this is your first visit, order a glass of their specialty cold brew. They soak their grounds in cold water until a smooth, delicious beverage is born. This chilly revitalizer is so popular that they keep it on tap. Pair that with even more coffee: Each month the roaster offers a special espresso tasting, and in January, it’s a flight of east and west coast blends. Analyze the design of the industrial furniture outside, critiquing its nuances as you pass the java around. It’s great practice for the day of art appreciation ahead.
Best Place to Glimpse the Future: Nespresso Boutique Bar
Escape the afternoon Lincoln Road shopping madness in the Nespresso Boutique Bar. Settle into a neon-pink chair in the space-age-chic shop and admire the floor-to-ceiling wall of rainbow-colored Nespresso coffee capsules. Try to decide among the dozens of perfectly measured espresso varieties, which are served as straight shots – with Nespresso’s trademark thick crema head – or as a component of a frothy milk drink, such as a decadent hazelnut latte. The chain of coffee shops sells Nespresso machines and all of its coveted capsules, so convince your girlfriends to help you sample an assortment of the company’s newest flavors, so you know what to restock your kitchen cabinet with. Guess you can’t really escape shopping on Lincoln Road after all.
Best Place to Become a Coffee Nerd: Eternity Coffee Roasters
After grabbing lunch downtown at one of Brickell’s hip restaurants, stop into Eternity Coffee Roasters to avoid the curse of the afternoon slump. Your eyes will widen when you walk into what looks like a science lab: Glistening glass beakers line the counter, ready for a revolutionary coffee experiment. Order a cup of pour-over, single-origin coffee – some of which comes from the owner’s family coffee farm in Colombia – and smell all of the warm aromas as the barista grinds the beans. Next, she’ll situate them in a funnel over one of the glass beakers and then slowly pour hot water over them, meticulously crafting a complex cup of joe as she explains what flavors – from cherry to lemon to chocolate – are being released. This brew may be labor-intensive, but the first sip is worth every second. We doubt you’ll make it a foot away from the counter before slurping down the whole cup.