The 4 Top Coffee Cities

Although coffee is consumed almost universally, there are certain US cities that are known to really take things to the next level. Craft coffee has become a craft unto its own. Here is our list of the 4 top coffee cities.

1) San Francisco

This might surprise lots of you who have not been to San Francisco, but we are going to have to give the top coffee city crown to San Francisco.  Coffee is entering the third wave, The first wave was its introduction.  The second was when it started getting mass produced.  And now, the third wave, is where a bunch of small craft roasteries can fine-tune and provide a vast array of flavors.  Similar things happened to wine, and most recently happened to craft beers.

San Francisco is undoubtedly the home base for this craft coffee explosion.  Being interwined with Silicon Valley, we are seeing investments and growth in tons of craft coffee places.  Philz Coffee has received $75 million in funding, and even defines itself as a third wave coffee shop.

Blue Bottle coffee, another SF based coffee startup, was valued at $700 million when Nestle bought a majority share of it.

So, there is clearly money in the craft coffee industry, and San Francisco seems to be the hub.

2) Seattle

Now, this was a tough one.  Seattle has long been considered the coffee capital of the world.  And for good reason.  Starbucks, Tully’s, Peet’s, and Stumptown all got their starts in Seattle.

Seattle was undoubtedly the birthplace for the second wave of coffee.  If you totaled up the sales numbers of coffee sold here versus San Francisco, I am sure Seattle would win.

However, commercial success, and pushing the envelope are not necessarily the same thing.  If you had to buy a plane ticket simply based on the coffee base alone, I’m going to give it to the underdog San Fran.  And probably catch some flak for that.

Oh well.

Overall, Seattle is a fantastic coffee town.  There are plenty of coffee houses, and you can tell that coffee is in their DNA.  It is definitely worth a trip.

3) Cleveland

Cleveland, eh?  You probably were not expecting that.  But, Cleveland has been catching some news lately regarding their growing coffee scene.  With how cold it gets there, I would probably want to spend all of my time inside their coffeehouses as well.

Looking at some of their coffeehouses, you might think that you were right at home in some foody place in Portlandia.  Although Cleveland is still working on building a national coffee brand, they seem to be embracing craft coffee like few other cities.  So, we wanted to stake our claim right now that in a few years, you are going to be hearing more and more from Cleveland’s microroasters.

4) Maui

Maui is on this list for a few reasons.  First off, because if you needed another reason to go to Hawaii, well, you’re welcome.

Kona coffees in general are some of the most popular (albeit a little pricey).  Kona and Kona blends were really some of the first craft and small batch coffees out there.  And, even in today’s growing competitive landscape, Kona coffees still have a very strong following.

However, most of their craft coffees focus heavily on this particular bean.  So, you may not get as wide varieties, but they have a growing number of larger brands.  Maui Wowi was one of the first, and continues to be a strong franchise to this day.


What do you guys think?  Are you upset by Seattle not being number one?  Are there other deserving cities that you think we should highlight?

Let us know!

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