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whampa
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2005
Posts: 42
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Ibrik
Posted Mon Dec 18, 2006, 10:07am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

I have a few lists to pop up...

Asheville:
  1. Biltmore Coffee Traders
    - The coffee isn't the best or perhaps they need some more training, but the atmosphere is great.  They do their own roasting in the shop.  The owner is incredibly nice and is big into aroma therapy, so don't be turned off by the lavender smell when you walk in.  When I was there, there was a nice discussion about traveling, and I even met someone else who had been to Puno, Peru.  Basically, the owner was very interested in traveling and there were four of us who were very well travelled all talking about trips and volunteering, etc.  It has been the only communal feeling in a coffee house that I've been at in a long time.
    2. Izzy Coffee
    - The owner is quite nice again and the atmosphere is what you think of when you think coffeehouse.  The clientele is an odd mix of skaters, people reminiscent of rocky horror, business women.  My latest experience was a little subpar due to a new employee (I hope) making my espresso since they were busy.  But it is still highly worth a visit.
    3. Dripolator
    - The coffee is decent, there are some interesting seating options, wireless, etc.  I haven't made up my mind about the place yet, but I'd still go again.  They have an extra bonus of being open late (at least by Asheville standards).
    4. World Coffee
    - The capps are ok.  The real surprise is that the food is good.  So if you want a little snack (I recommend the spanikopita or personal pizza), highly worth a visit.
    5. Kismet Cafe
    - Again, the capps are ok.  You're basically only going to have breakfast because their breakfast burritos are huge and affordable.  Bowls of egg/sausage/cheese looked good on the way out.  There is also a nice selection of games.

And if you can find time to visit the Asheville Community Theatre while you're there, you definately should.

Then there are a few places I'd like to mention to avoid...Malaprops (definately go, but go for the books, not the espresso).  Port City Java (may as well just go to Starbucks).  

Atlanta:
1) Joe's (Flat Shoals and Moreland) - A wonderful place, great coffee, good servers, nice people, comfortable places to sit.  The only downside is it can run out of seating room on weekends.  They use intelligensia.  This place far outclasses all the others I've had in atlanta.

2) San Francisco Coffee (downtown) - okay, so, I'm torn.  I've enjoyed all the coffee I've had here.  I particularly like their "cake in a cup"/cafe cubano breve.  Their baristas are semi-decently trained.  My main concern is their disgusting habit of leaving 4 crusty pitchers out  next to the espresso machine and just refrothing the milk, pouring your drink, filling the pitcher if it needs it, and placing it back on the counter.  They roast their on coffee though.  Plus they have a very nice back deck that's nice hen it's not too cold outside.  However, I've never had a cup that I haven't enjoyed, so despite the pitcher fiasco, I still recommend the place.

I personally have just had horrible experience with Java Monkey but people seem to defend it, so you may want to go.  I just have had a plethora of bad experiences.

Athens
1) Hot Corner Coffee - Since it's run primarily by students, the turnover of employees is high.  And thus the quality you get there varies greatly.  It's still my place to go just to relax for a few hours since it's open 24 hours a day.  However, it gets quite busy on weekend nights, so you may want to avoid some of the more popular hours.

2) Jittery Joes - There are now several locations although I'd recommend the original at 5 points or the one in east athens.  They both can be good, busy and have better atmospheres than the one in Alps which seems preppy.

--

On another note, does anyone know if Bean Street in Asheville went out of business or just moved?
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dankbean
Senior Member
dankbean
Joined: 8 Jun 2005
Posts: 886
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: mine
Roaster: self
Posted Tue Dec 19, 2006, 7:16am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

Kudu Coffee in Charleston is one i'd recommend.
the owner is one of the baristas, and his coffee story is a good one....i'll let him tell it.
they specialize in all African coffees and blends, which makes for some pretty interesting drip brews.
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MonkeyClaw
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Asheville
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Buon Caffe 360
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Dec 20, 2006, 5:39pm
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

whampa Said:

I have a few lists to pop up...

Asheville:
Biltmore Coffee Traders
- The coffee isn't the best or perhaps they need some more training, but the atmosphere is great.  They do their own roasting in the shop.  The owner is incredibly nice and is big into aroma therapy, so don't be turned off by the lavender smell when you walk in.  When I was there, there was a nice discussion about traveling, and I even met someone else who had been to Puno, Peru.  Basically, the owner was very interested in traveling and there were four of us who were very well travelled all talking about trips and volunteering, etc.  It has been the only communal feeling in a coffee house that I've been at in a long time.
2. Izzy Coffee
- The owner is quite nice again and the atmosphere is what you think of when you think coffeehouse.  The clientele is an odd mix of skaters, people reminiscent of rocky horror, business women.  My latest experience was a little subpar due to a new employee (I hope) making my espresso since they were busy.  But it is still highly worth a visit.
3. Dripolator
- The coffee is decent, there are some interesting seating options, wireless, etc.  I haven't made up my mind about the place yet, but I'd still go again.  They have an extra bonus of being open late (at least by Asheville standards).
4. World Coffee
- The capps are ok.  The real surprise is that the food is good.  So if you want a little snack (I recommend the spanikopita or personal pizza), highly worth a visit.
5. Kismet Cafe
- Again, the capps are ok.  You're basically only going to have breakfast because their breakfast burritos are huge and affordable.  Bowls of egg/sausage/cheese looked good on the way out.  There is also a nice selection of games.

And if you can find time to visit the Asheville Community Theatre while you're there, you definately should.

Then there are a few places I'd like to mention to avoid...Malaprops (definately go, but go for the books, not the espresso).  Port City Java (may as well just go to Starbucks).  

On another note, does anyone know if Bean Street in Asheville went out of business or just moved?

Posted December 18, 2006 link

Yea Izzy's is awesome when some of the more experienced staff is working behind the bar, I go there like once a week as its a nice bike ride from the UNCA campus.  As for poor bean street, they went out of business.  Rumor has it that the owner was dealing cocaine so the place was shut down and has since reopened as an Asian Bistro.

 
"Sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally
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IronBarista
Senior Member
IronBarista
Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 711
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ginsu Silvia
Grinder: Ginsu Super Jolly & Rocky
Vac Pot: Ginsu Nada
Drip: Ginsu Melitta (pourover)
Roaster: Ginsu Behmor
Posted Mon Mar 19, 2007, 10:44am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

dankbean Said:

Kudu Coffee in Charleston is one i'd recommend.
the owner is one of the baristas, and his coffee story is a good one....i'll let him tell it.
they specialize in all African coffees and blends, which makes for some pretty interesting drip brews.

Posted December 19, 2006 link

I'm here in Charleston doing a C17 school.  I was stoked when I saw this thread because all I've been doing so far is going to the bookstore cafes (been here for a week).  I just wanted to say thanks to Dank for this hook-up.  Kudu Coffee is pretty good.  All I had was straight espresso and was quite impressed.  The shop has a nice decor.  They have a 2 group Astoria lever and a 2 or 3 group Linea.  Also 2 Mazzer Jollys.  The lever is down for maintence right now.  The best part about all the shiny equipment is they clean the wands and they know how to use them.

 
I drink espresso so I can work longer,
so I can make more money,
so I can drink more espresso,
so I can work longer,
so I can make more money,
so I can drink more espresso...
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Platypi007
Senior Member
Platypi007
Joined: 6 Jul 2004
Posts: 22
Location: North Augusta, SC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Oh I wish.
Grinder: Haha, I own a blade grinder,...
Vac Pot: They're pretty, but I don't...
Drip: Nope, I got a press.
Roaster: Bread machine/Heat gun
Posted Fri Mar 23, 2007, 7:53am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

I live in Augusta and work for a local coffee "chain".  We have two locations right now.  The original location is on the corner of Davis Road and Washington Road out in Martinez near the K-mart.  If you get off the interstate at Washington Road and make a right it's about a mile and half or two down on the left.  

Our other location is inside one of the VA hospitals and is where I work a couple of days a week.

I have as of yet to find anywhere worth going in Columbia.  I started graduate school there three months ago.  There are a very few local places and of course Starbucks and Atlanta Bread Co. and I haven't been impressed at all.  If anyone has any suggestions I'd be happy.  :)
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e61brewski
Senior Member
e61brewski
Joined: 7 Dec 2004
Posts: 131
Location: greenville, sc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: isomac tea, riviera lever
Grinder: mazzer major, isomac gran...
Vac Pot: dirt devil lx
Drip: wouldn't dare
Roaster: i-roast
Posted Sun Mar 25, 2007, 5:07am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

more than two years after my first post here, scrubbing the state, attending barista competitions and blogging all the escapades, i can say with much more confidence:

the only place in greenville where i, personally, will buy espresso is liquid highway. they have a location on halton road (address above) and another one at the corner of east north street and pleasantburg drive. both drive-thrus. they use counter culture coffee, but the quality of your shots depends on who is working the bar. i'd suggest going in the morning, since they seem to staff the best baristi for the early rush.

there are other places in town with nice ambience. but nothing for truly good coffee. coffee underground on coffee street in downtown greenville is one. hot java (if it's still there) in downtown greer is another one.

the next closest options for the good stuff are in atlanta (octane) and charleston (muddy water). seriously. nothing in columbia. nothing in the college towns. the only place in asheville where the espresso used to be truly good (gold hill) has gone downhill. again, there are places with a nice atmosphere, but the brew just doesn't cut it. beyond these places, i go to chapel hill.

which, when you come right down to it, is about the best reason for hard-core home-junkieism i can think of. ;)

one caveat: i don't have knowledge of the augusta shop discussed here. nor have i been to kudu coffee in charleston.

if you travel at all, i would recommend espressomap, which is a nice resource and doesn't mess around with mediocre coffee. for expanded accounts of my hits on some of these joints, visit the blog and click the category "mad jaunts."

edit: turns out i might have missed a recent greenville addition.

 
the blog: http://ben.szobody.com
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e61brewski
Senior Member
e61brewski
Joined: 7 Dec 2004
Posts: 131
Location: greenville, sc
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: isomac tea, riviera lever
Grinder: mazzer major, isomac gran...
Vac Pot: dirt devil lx
Drip: wouldn't dare
Roaster: i-roast
Posted Thu Mar 29, 2007, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

folks:

to my shock and amazement as a lifelong greenville resident, there is now eminently drinkable espresso in town.

which leaves this short list within three hours or less of driving: coffee & crema (greenville), muddy waters (charleston), and octane (atlanta).

 
the blog: http://ben.szobody.com
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Perpetual_Buzz
Senior Member
Perpetual_Buzz
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 330
Location: Charlotte, NC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pimped Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: No drip, French Press
Roaster: Whirley Pop/Char-Broil Grill
Posted Sat Mar 31, 2007, 3:02pm
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

Here's a little more Muddy Waters love.  We were just down there last weekend.  Those guys are seriously doing it right.  Real cups, fantastic coffee and great atmosphere!  If you're in that area show these guys some love.  Here's a picture of what we had.

Perpetual_Buzz: muddywaters.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Everybody needs an addiction.

I'm not addicted to coffee, I just have to have a cup EVERY morning.
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IronBarista
Senior Member
IronBarista
Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 711
Location: Rapid City, SD
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ginsu Silvia
Grinder: Ginsu Super Jolly & Rocky
Vac Pot: Ginsu Nada
Drip: Ginsu Melitta (pourover)
Roaster: Ginsu Behmor
Posted Sun Apr 1, 2007, 9:48am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

I went to Muddy Waters yesterday.  It wasn't on the menu but I asked if he could make me a double ristretto.  He said sure and hooked me up.  It was pretty good.  The barista was friendly too.  I'd definitely recommend this place.  Matter of fact, I'll probably hit it up today.

 
I drink espresso so I can work longer,
so I can make more money,
so I can drink more espresso,
so I can work longer,
so I can make more money,
so I can drink more espresso...
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NewEnglandCliff
Senior Member
NewEnglandCliff
Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 92
Location: New England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1, Salvatore,...
Grinder: Macap, Innova, Solis
Vac Pot: Hario Nouveau, Sunbeam C20B,...
Roaster: Hearthware I-Roast
Posted Fri Mar 7, 2008, 11:46am
Subject: Re: good brew in the atlanta-charlotte-charleston triangle
 

Isn't there anything worthwhile in Athens?
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