Autumn-lovers rejoice! It’s officially fall, which means cozy sweaters, colorful leaves, and of course, the pumpkin spice latte. The glorious PSL has become one of the most controversial food topics, topping the list along with the pineapple on pizza debate. As an ode to fall, Atlanta PlanIt has curated a guide to a few local coffee shops that tread waters deeper than the Starbucks basics.
Whether you proudly sip that PSL or prefer a simple dark roast, there’s no doubt that coffee is best served in the colder months. And according to E-Imports, coffee sales are increasing by 20 percent each year with the average consumption in America at 3.1 cups per day — a caffeination sensation, if you would.
As calming as it is delicious, East Pole’s new Fig & Honey Latte is available now. The seasonal sip can be enjoyed hot or iced and is made with espresso, steamed milk, house-made fig and honey syrup and topped with a dash of cinnamon. In 2017, East Pole Coffee Co. opened a brick-and-mortar coffee shop and roastery at Armour Yards, a loft-office development between Atlanta’s Buckhead and Midtown neighborhoods. The shop is “a local, wholesale coffee roaster offering single-origin coffees, including the always-present “Traffic,” a playful nod to its hometown.” Founded by Matt Chesla, Jared Karr and Jules Tompkins, the coffee shop also serves as a cafe — embracing the open-kitchen restaurant concept. Beyond the typical serve-and-go style, the team also leads wholesale trainings and other coffee education classes.
The shop is open seven days a week: Monday-Tuesday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday-Friday 7 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Located in Little 5 Points, the good folks at Java Lords offer fresh, smooth espresso and other coffee drinks without snobbery. Not to mention, they are also a bar and offer alcoholic beverages. This fall, the shop is taking their own alcoholic twist to the pumpkin spice latte, doing what they refer to as the pumpkin smash latte. Java Lords roasts all the coffee in-shop and welcomes guests to a comforting, unpretentious space.
Stroll on in Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday-Saturday 7 a.m.- 2 a.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m.-11:45 p.m.
EAV’s mom-and-pop-style coffee shop — Joe’s — offers specialty drinks to keep ATL warm for the long, cold months to come. For Autumn, the shop offers the classics: Pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice flavored lattes, chai, toasted marshmallow (think s’mores), and hot apple cider. The winter line-up includes candy cane lattes, peppermint mochas, gingerbread lattes, and more to come. The shop “loves the community and strives to be welcoming as well as conscientious.” Not to mention it’s just super cozy.
Grab a cup of joe Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., 6:30 a.m.- 11 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; or Sun., 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Not only does Condesa Coffee serve up Counter Culture Coffee and Rishi Teas, but also offers craft beer and a cocktail menu. The latest fall drink, Clandestino, finds the perfect balance of work and pleasure containing Tequila Blanco, Cocchi Americano, Ginger Liqueur, and Cointreau. This boozy, warming tequila cocktail taps perfectly into the shop’s Mexican origins — the name of the shop comes from La Condesa, the bohemian neighborhood of Mexico City. Condesa has two locations, the first in Old Fourth Ward at the corner of Freedom Parkway and Boulevard and the latter in the heart of Downtown located in Sweet Auburn at the intersection of Auburn and Piedmont. The shop also serves up small bites, breakfast, and lunch items made from organic ingredients and often homemade.
The shop is open: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Golden Drops Cafe opened in 2016 off Clairmont Road in Decatur. The Latin and American coffee shop is owned and operated by Dominican Republic native Victor Ramirez and offers a variety of traditional coffee drinks using only specialty coffee straight from a farm in El Salvador. Golden Drops Cafe rolled out the pumpkin spice latte recently and while it may include some of the standard PSL ingredients, there’s nothing comparable to coffee straight from El Salvador. Bonus: Their empanadas are to die for.
Doors are open seven days a week: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.