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How to Find a Local Coffee Shop

Visiting a new city and unsure of where to find the hottest coffee spots in the area? This helpful guide will show you how to find the best local coffee shops so you can sample excellent coffee in any location.

The Secret To Finding The Best Coffee Shops In Your Local Area

While a quick Google search can provide you with lots of coffee shop options, it doesn't necessarily speak to the quality of the coffee beans, the state of the coffee equipment, or the process for roasting beans. Don't worry, coffee enthusiasts, we've got you!

There are some telltale signs of an excellent coffee shop that you can find through a little outside research. Whether you're visiting a city looking for new tastes, or a local in search of the best coffee in town, you can use these helpful tips and tricks to find great coffee near you!

Check The Menus

Quality coffee shops know their trade inside and out. If the menu is mainly sugar-fuelled frappes, milkshakes, and Starbucks-style drinks with countless syrups and sizes, they might not be serving the best coffee.

A smaller, more refined menu that serves specialty coffee is a good sign that the coffee shop is centred on quality rather than quantity. When you search for a coffee shop online, see if they are selling one-size coffees and know what beans they are using. These coffee shops may also sell a limited selection of food and nibbles, with their primary focus being on coffee.

This may not be true for every area, however. Independent stores may need to take on a wider selection of syrupy mainstream drinks to survive in a location without a large coffee scene. If you're in a large city with lots of independent coffee shops, then these signs are usually an accurate way of judging the quality of coffee.

Look At The Cafe Interior

Cafes that are modern, clean, and have a good vibe have had love and care put into them. This usually reflects well in the coffee they serve. Good branding that has been well thought out and carefully curated to target avid coffee drinkers is a good sign that they know what they are talking about when it comes to coffee!

While searching for images of a cafe's interior, glance over at the type of equipment they use. Cafes that invest in top-range espresso machines and coffee grinders care about the standard of coffee they produce and won't spare any expense. If nothing else, high-end equipment means you're guaranteed some decent coffee!

Find Images Of The Coffee Served

If there's quality coffee art and beautifully poured espresso, chances are you have found yourself a great coffee shop with a team of baristas that know their stuff! Many coffee enthusiasts know a high-quality coffee when they see one.

Check out customer images on Google reviews to see what coffee they serve. Luxurious latte art is an excellent indicator of coffee that has had great care and skill put into making it.

Talk To The Locals

When visiting a new place, talking with locals is a fantastic way to learn more about the area. If you're in the mood to socialise, strike up a conversation with a friendly local and see which coffee shops they recommend trying!

Grab a few options of local shops to look into further. You never know what you might discover by talking to people that know the area well! The best coffee could be in a small independent shop only frequented by local regulars, and you have just found yourself a hidden gem by asking around!

Look For Local Roasters

A coffee roaster is a heat process that turns green coffee beans brown and brings out the aroma and unique flavours. Most towns and cities have local roasters and often have a coffee shop where you can buy their own brand of artisan coffee beans. Searching for a local roaster instead of a local coffee shop can bring up more places where you can try new coffee roast flavours!

You can also search for coffee shops that source their coffee beans from quality local roasters. Try new beans that offer a unique taste from shops that sell home-roasted coffee. If the coffee shop prides themselves on their beans, it's a good sign that the coffee will be good!

Does the shop provide information about their brew methods, where their beans are sourced from, and how beans are processed and roasted? If staff can answer these questions accurately, you can safely assume you are about to receive some expertly brewed coffee!

Chat With Baristas

Striking a conversation with a local barista could unlock some interesting new coffee shops to try! Baristas that love their job will have a special passion for coffee, and will most likely know the best places to find them.

Coffee shop owners may also know of other local coffee shops to try! If you have a local coffee shop you already love, try asking the owners for some recommendations for coffee shops with similar values and quality to their own.

Refine Your Search

When you know what you're looking for, amazing coffee shops become easier to find! Search for "specialty coffee' on Google to refine your searches just a little further to find high-quality coffee in your local area.

Shops that offer specialty coffee usually sell single-origin coffee, which has a more unique taste compared to the blended coffee from multiple origins that most coffee shops sell. As mentioned earlier, searching for a local coffee roaster can also help refine your search for coffee shops that roast their own coffee beans or sell locally roasted coffee beans.

Read Online Reviews

See what your fellow coffee lovers are saying about the local coffee shops in your area! Find reviews from experienced baristas and coffee experts to discover the best-tasting coffee locally.

Online websites such as Yelp or Google Reviews are a good place to start. Try leaving your own reviews of the coffee you sample to guide others on the same journey!

Check Instagram

Many modern and independent coffee shops will more than likely be advertising on social media platforms such as Instagram.

If you already follow your favourite coffee shops in the area on Instagram, try a reverse search to see who your top-rated coffee shops are following. They will probably only follow similar coffee shops with the same vibe and attention to detail, so this is an effective way to discover a new coffee shop to try!


What Makes A Coffee Unique?

Unique-tasting coffee begins its journey with the type of beans grown and in what region. Expert roasting and brewing can also bring out unique characteristics in the coffee beans that contribute to original flavours.

What Makes A Great Cafe?

A pleasant ambiance, tidy surroundings, and a relaxing atmosphere contributed by careful music choices all contribute to making a cafe great. However, these things all come in second to simply being able to consistently brew a delicious-tasting coffee!

What Is The Difference Between Commercial Coffee And Specialty Coffee?

Commercial coffee is typically roasted and packed in large factories to be supplied in bulk. Specialty coffee is made on smaller roasters with traditional methods, using the highest quality beans, often appearing in delicious and exciting flavours!

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