A cup named Joe has captured our palate’s imagination (not to mention our flextime) with delicious sips in reimagined spaces.
An increasingly independent workforce coupled with purveyors—in old and developing neighborhoods alike—has immersed the Upstate in a coffee culture that feels newly notable. From ground-up roasters to independent coffeehouses, we offer this round-up of the coffee you’ll crave this season, in its many quaffable variations.
COFFEE UNDER GROUND | COFFEE STREET, GREENVILLE
The godmother of Greenville’s coffee scene, Coffee Underground has been perking us up since 1995 in the basement of the Cauble Building on Coffee Street. Fair trade remains front and center at CU, who roasts their own beans.
ORDER THIS: The CU Cortadito will have you firing on all cylinders with its four shots of espresso and four raw sugars blended with half-and-half.
WHAT’S NEW: A second location opening early next year on West Stone Avenue with not one, but two connected restaurant concepts.
THE FOREST COFFEEHOUSE | MAIN STREET, TRAVELERS REST
Farm-to-table coffee is a reality at The Forest Coffeehouse in the heart of downtown TR. Beans are grown at Leopard Forest’s own farm in Zimbabwe, though they also source from single-origin farms in South America.
ORDER THIS: The Snow Leopard is a luscious latte with caramel and white chocolate syrups, both made in house.
WHAT’S NEW: Expanded interiors to hang out (and spread out) with lots of sunlight spilling through plate-glass windows.
METHODICAL COFFEE | ONE CITY PLAZA, GREENVILLE
The Vagabond Barista Will Shurtz took Greenville by storm when he opened a brick and mortar coffeehouse along with David Baker and Marco Suarez, with floor-to-ceiling windows and industrial accents in the newly minted ONE City Plaza. Apron-clad baristas deliver deftly crafted drinks in blue and white china, set atop cloth napkins.
ORDER THIS: A single-origin pour over or the sweet milky Tres Leches.
WHAT’S NEW: Evening hours with select wines by the glass and small tapas.
DUE SOUTH COFFEE ROASTERS | TAYLORS MILL, TAYLORS, SC
The acclaimed roasting house was the first tenant in Bay 3 at the redeveloping Taylors Mill. Authenticity is the word at Due South— even their sipping chocolate is made from scratch. Drink coffee from just-roasted beans and make a stop into 13 Stripes Brewery now open next door.
ORDER THIS: The best Caffé Mocha you’ve guzzled (maybe ever).
WHAT’S NEW: A second location next year at the Feed & Seed development adjacent to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
LITTLE RIVER ROASTING CO. | DOWNTOWN SPARTANBURG, SC
The epicenter of Spartanburg’s coffee culture is Little River Roasting Co. in the historic Masonic Temple Building. LRR— as locals refer to it—shares space with Cakehead Bake Shop and Hub City Bookshop, creating one trifecta of a destination.
ORDER THIS: A French Toast Latte shaped with maple syrup and brown sugar cinnamon (it’s not pumpkin spice).
WHAT’S NEW: A new second roaster means more than double the production of finished beans, so bring a bag home.
THE VILLAGE GRIND | VILLAGE OF WEST GREENVILLE
Before agencies and restaurants peopled the Village of West Greenville, this pert coffee shop opened with friendly service, delicious sips, and wow-worthy baked goods. A shared space with Golden Brown & Delicious (GB&D) offers lots of room for your morning meet-ups.
ORDER THIS: The Rose Cardamom Latte for a thoughtful fall sip.
WHAT’S NEW: GB&D is now open for dinner with beer and wine service.
GRATEFUL BREW | PLEASANTBURG/GREENVILLE TECH
Gratefully serving Counter Culture coffee by only certified baristas, Grateful
Brew is your coffee/beer bar oasis near Pita House. The vintage light fixtures alone will make you smile, and the mid-mod upfit feels right at home.
ORDER THIS: A perfect Lavender Latte utilizing local lavender-infused honey.
WHAT’S NEW: More food trucks, more take-home beer offerings, and more tables with the ubiquitous yellow chairs.
BEX CAFÉ AND JUICE BAR | WEST END, GREENVILLE
Organic beans are the name of the game at this smart coffee bar in the West End of Greenville. Don’t miss the stellar fresh juice blends like the Glowing Garden, a pineapple-mint-cucumber dream.
ORDER THIS: An extra-dry almond milk cappuccino.
WHAT’S NEW: The neighborhood is growing up around the ballpark district with Otto Izakaya and HUSK opening soon.
ESPRESSO 101 | WADE HAMPTON BOULEVARD, GREENVILLE
The indie newbie of our list is Espresso 101, perking up the redeveloping corridor of Stone Avenue/Wade Hampton Boulevard. The tiny flatiron building—built in the 1950s as a liquor store—is today the muse of proprietors Patrick Franzen and his sister Kimberly Petromichelis.
ORDER THIS: Espresso (of course) brewed into double-wall glass cups.
WHAT’S NEW: A Greek frappe and expanded take-away items.
Home Brew: Methodical, The Forest, Little River Roasting Co., and Due South offer custom roasts to take home so that you can extend your java time in the comfort of your own space.