The Gainesville Coffee Manifesto
This article was originally written by Luke Sipka. The GainesvilleScene team has since added new spots to his list.
I’ve developed quite a relationship with coffee.
We go on dates together, we study together, sometimes when I’m feeling blue, I call up coffee just to chat. I have more money in my budget devoted to coffee than I do to entertainment (who has a budget these days, what is this 1993?). You could say I’m a fan. In developing my relationship with coffee (we’ve been FBO for 8 months now), I’ve also built a relationship with the wonderful Gainesville locations that serve up the best joe. I’d like to tell you all about them.
Located on 13th Street, Coffee Culture is lovely, little spot. The culture behind the coffee becomes evident after a few visits. Whether you’re looking for a open-mic night or a chess club, check out the Coffee Culture board and I guarantee you’ll find the hipster pulse you’ve been dying for. Or if you’re just looking for a great place to study, Coffee Culture has you covered. I’d recommend trying any of their specials. They always come up with some interesting concoctions.
Know Where Coffee
Nestled just on the non-campus side of 13th Street on W. University Avenue, Know Where Coffee is a quaint little spot with incredible brews and a serene atmosphere. You can get your coffee brewed in just about any fashion imaginable and taste a slew of different coffee varieties. It’s a place to relax, get some work done or simply hone your inner coffee connoisseur. They play some pretty solid music as well.
I want to say one thing about this place: they have iced coffee, with coffee ice cubes. I don’t know if that’s common or not, but when I first discovered this hidden fact, my brain exploded. Not only do I get to sip on my favorite addiction, when I’m done, I get a sweet little frozen treat to remind me of the coffee adventure I’ve just taken. Bright colored interiors and a wide assortment of dairy and vegan ice cream will keep you entertained for days. I’d recommend studying or just hanging out here. Get some iced coffee with coffee ice cubes and you won’t be disappointed.
Located in the charming center of downtown Gainesville, Maude’s provides an atmosphere that will leave you feeling a little European. With lights dangling above you and the hustle and bustle of the Hippodrome, I’ve yet to find a better date location. A little bit of culture and a lot of romance can go a long way. The Maude’s iced coffee has become my staple. An interesting blend of cinnamon and other spices I’ve yet to deduce in my coffee studies, it provides a great coffee experience. Check it out whether you’re looking for a date or an interesting conversation. The regulars always seem down for an interesting chat.
Volta holds strong as the coffee shop for the connoisseur. Boasting a large menu of different brews and interesting drinks, you’re sure to find something you’ve never tried. The vibe in here is unlike any place I’ve been. Art hanging on the walls and a handwritten glass menu give Volta a modern feel with a taste of retro. If you’re looking to expand your coffee knowledge, they also offer tastings. Every time I’ve gone, I’ve asked the cashier their favorite drink and I’ve yet to be disappointed. I learned the wonders of a Ginger Plumb Oolong and discovered that Starbuck’s doesn’t make real macchiatos.
Curia on the Drag
Built in a sort of art commune on NW 6th St., Curia on the Drag is quirky and enticing. Part bar, part coffee shop. The building is hugged by a wrap-around porch or you can plop yourself down inside on old airport-like benches, a table or at either of its two bars. The shelves are decorated with knick knacks and fun, funky decor. The ambiance of the shop only enhances its drink selection. They serve a variety of libations, including soda, beer, wine, tea and specialty coffee drinks. I opt for the cold brew coffee with soy milk, a strong and revitalizing refreshment.
You won’t be disappointed at any of these places. Coffee holds a special place in my heart. Not only because it gets you high and makes you live longer, but because of the places that serve it. It’s the most widely consumed psychoactive in the world, and I think there’s a reason for it. So go out and explore the Gainesville world of coffee. You’ll be energized and might even make some friends.