“Do Black People Like Coffee?”
Google this question, and you’ll get a variety of responses. According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), black people in the United States list coffee as their drink of choice far less often than most other ethnicities. NCA surveys have shown consistently that African Americans have been consuming less coffee annually than Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian Americans, dating as far back as the 1950s.
However, the correct answer to the question “do black people like coffee?” is simply this:
Just as with every other people-group in America, some black people don’t like coffee, but countless others do. And the black people who do like coffee deserve to have a warm, casual and inviting coffee shop in their cities that caters to their demographic.
Here is a list of the top 15 black-owned coffee shops in the U.S. This list was compiled by taking the top black-owned coffee shops in 20 American cities with a high populous of African Americans. Unfortunately, in some cities, there was a scarcity of black-owned coffee shops, so therefore, this list does not cover every U.S. state.
In those cases, we chose the neighboring city’s most popular black-owned coffee shop in hopes that this absence will one day be filled. So, if you find yourself in any of these towns and you happen to love coffee, be sure to stop in and order a cup of java from these black-owned enterprises.
The Coffee Shoppe, 308 Broad St, Selma, Alabama 36701
Founder Jackie Smith envisioned a place where coffee lovers could enjoy expresso plus good food and conversation locally. As a result, this establishment was born. The Coffee Shoppe opened its doors in 2011 to great anticipation from the surrounding community of Selma, Alabama. In a short time, it became an integral part of tourism in downtown Selma, as it is located within short walking distance of several historic landmarks.
Their featured drink is the “Queen City Latte”; however, many other expressos and blended coffee drinks are popular. Food items include their signature panini sandwiches plus soups and salads and Jackie’s freshly made pastries. And the most convenient part of this Coffee Shop is, in addition to free Wi-Fi, they offer drive-thru service for those wanting coffee on the go.
Drip & Dough, 1250 S Miami Ave Ste 104, Miami, Florida 33130
Drip & dough was started by a group of black entrepreneurs with a craving for coffee and sweets. It was a correct assumption that the community of Miami Gardens, Florida, would share their passion. Not only does Drip & Dough brew artisan coffee, but their cookies and brownies are 100% baked from dough made on-site in their kitchen.
A fascinating item on the menu is called the “Vegan Slutty Brownie.” So-called “Slutty brownies” have been gaining popularity lately due to a series of frequent mentions on Pinterest. They are made with layers of cookie dough, crushed Oreos, and brownies. And don’t let the word “vegan” fool you. When paired with a cup of gourmet coffee, the taste of this dessert sets this coffee shop apart from the rest.
BUZZ Coffee and Winehouse, 2315 Cascade Rd, SW Atlanta, GA 30311
BUZZ Coffee and Winehouse is one of a few independently owned coffee shops in Southwest Atlanta and has created quite a “buzz” around the city. The founder, a longtime Atlanta resident, set out to create a space where coffee, wine, art, and culture can converge with the community. This establishment provided such a space by being brilliantly located within walking distance of several other popular Atlanta businesses making BUZZ a great spot to meet up and relax.
They feature coffee and expresso made exclusively from premium blend Stumptown Roasters beans. Pastries and an assortment of lite foods are also featured to complement the different gourmet coffee and hot chocolate. But the unique thing this coffee house has to offer, which most others can’t, is their selection of house wines. This is the place where both coffee lovers and wine lovers can meet.
Hodgepodge Coffeehouse & Gallery, 1 Moreland Ave SE Ste C, Atlanta, Georgia 30316
Hodgepodge is a premier black-woman-owned Coffeehouse in Atlanta. The focus at Hodgepodge is building community as the owners openly and proudly support women, minorities, queer and trans patrons. They’re also building community by responding to the immediate needs of their neighborhood. For example, they’ve opened a fresh food market near the coffeehouse to service people without access to healthy food options.
Their menu includes freshly baked desserts made from scratch to go along with their craft expressos and coffee. And the establishment itself is more spacious than your average coffeehouse. The room is big enough to serve large parties and host events. The décor is accented with artwork from local artists. Much of the artwork on display is for sale.
Urban Grind Coffee House, 962 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30318
Urban Grind is the place where coffee and culture combine. This midtown coffeehouse was established in 2007, and upon opening, it quickly became one of Atlanta’s hottest spots to find study space or hang out. They offer fresh coffee, a signature Chai Tea Latte, and an assortment of herbal teas. Two trendy selections are the Turtle Latte and the caramel macchiato latte.
The most admirable part of this coffee establishment is its dedication to the culture of Atlanta. It offers a casual environment by day, then at night converts to an event-center hosting Open-Mic night for spoken word artists and upcoming comedians from the community. They also offer space is for public booking. Perfect for clubs, product launches, birthday celebrations, or corporate events.
Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea, 8344 S Halsted Chicago, Illinois 60620
This coffeehouse located on the Southside of Chicago was built to provide the perfect environment for studying or for meeting up with a group of friends. By day, Afro Joe’s has the type of “rustic” vibe you can only get from this city. At night, it becomes a space for art exhibits and a space for meetups with discussion groups.
Afro Joe’s hosts an open mic poetry night weekly for local Chicago talent to come in and display their skills. Top recommendations for drinks other than coffee are the Matcha Tea and the Blueberry lemonade, which is served with fresh blueberries.
Overflow Coffee, 1449 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60605
Overflow Coffee is in the former building of an iconic Chicago landmark. It resides in the same building where the famous recording label Vee-Jay Records was once located. Vee-Jay records are familiar to every Chicago native as the former record label of artists such as Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, and the Dells, to name a few. Surrounded by a lavish history of rhythm and blues, Overflow offers hand-brewed coffee, and an array of pastries baked fresh every day.
Within the popular coffee assortment, the En Masse espresso gets quite a few mentions. It uses roasted beans exclusively from Metric Coffee Roasters. The Italian macchiato is also highly recommended.
Addiction, New Orleans, 1009-1015 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
Here is an establishment that keeps to the tradition of roasting beans in-house. And the difference in taste is apparent, as Addiction has won a combination of awards. They were awarded “Best Third Wave Coffee Shop” by “Eater NOLA.” And they were listed as one of the top 16 hottest coffee shops in New Orleans, eventually making their way to claim the #1 spot. They were also recognized by “offbeat Magazine,” who did a story on the shop sharing their background and inviting the city to enjoy their unique style of coffee.
One highly recommended drink is “Miss Tracy’s Addiction.” This drink is made with a combination of coconut milk, honey, milk, and cayenne pepper. Addiction is also known for its atmosphere. This coffee house is said to have a backyard with actual live animals roaming around. A definite “must-see.”
Backatown Coffee Parlour, 301 Basin St Ste 1, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Backatown Coffee Parlour is located near the legendary “Storyville” site of New Orleans. This is the area where musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton once frequented and filled the city with its history of Jazz music. This cute and cozy coffee boutique keeps the spirit of Storyville alive with the authentic music they play in the background and excellent, downhome customer service.
Backatown is perfect to meet up with friends to work and chill alone. A premium selection of coffees includes Vietnamese iced coffee as well as Miel Latte espresso drinks. They also offer loose leaf teas and fresh pastries.
Café Jean Pierre, 10500 Greenwell Springs Rd Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70814
Opening in 2014, this black brother and sister-owned café have a lot to offer the city of Baton Rouge. The Jean Pierre name represents a secret low-salt family recipe of spices and well over 15-years of cooking and catering experience. Surprisingly, the food choices include such options as ribs with a side of green beans. Not the normal “small-bites” you would usually find at a café. The biscuits and gravy also come highly recommended.
Saturday Morning Café, 111 Water St Baltimore, Maryland 21202
If you ever find yourself in Downtown Baltimore, be sure to visit Saturday Morning Cafe and try out some southern cuisine, some of which you may not be familiar with. Popular dishes are the Smoked Chicken with Waffles and the Seafood Omelet, to name a few. And many commented that they were impressed with the serving size of the shrimp on the café’s specialized Shrimp and Grits dish. This Café makes all their food from scratch and makes everything to-order. Even the potatoes are cut by hand.
Narrow Way Café & Shop, 19331 Livernois Ave Detroit, Michigan 48221
In 2016, brothers David and Jonathan Merritt opened Narrow Way Café to serve the community of Detroit. They opened this café mere months after experiencing immediate success with the original café, a converted bookstore at “Straight Gate International Church.” Together, these shops meet the needs of their community and their congregation with the warmest of hearts and hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot tea, and pastries.
Online sources are filled with high reviews for the workers at this black-owned café. The comments about the super friendly and helpful staff are unanimous. They even have a “Java Club” where members don’t have to go to the café to get their coffee. They receive a bag of coffee delivered to their doorstep every month.
Unbar Café, 12635 Larchmere Blvd, Cleveland, Ohio 44120
Unbar stands for “Un-Bar” or “Not-Bar.” They are committed to offering a clean and fun place to socialize outside of the bar scene. This alternative coffee bar is essential since excessive alcohol consumption is as high as ever among African American Men and women. Unbar offers a host of specialty non-alcoholic drinks along with their coffees, smoothies, and baked goods.
UnBar is covered with positive and inspirational art to maintain a positive vibe from the front door to the back. This establishment is described better as a “cool lounge” than a coffee shop with its diversified entertainment.
Visit solo, on a date, or visit with a friend on the board-game night. Enjoy excellent customer service and outdoor dining.
Bold Coffee Bar, 1623 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Philadelphia couple Kelly and Delisa Claiborne were coffee lovers who were unsatisfied with the coffee shops in their city, so they decided to open the coffee shop they had always been looking to find. After a lot of hard work and perseverance, Bold Coffee Bar opened its doors in August 2020 to standing room only.
This upscale black woman-owned coffee bar offers standards that include drip coffee, mocha, and chai latte. But they also provide an exclusive list of signature drinks such as a house-made pumpkin latte. And the baristas are the nicest in Francisville, according to reviewers.
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books, 5445 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee sells both coffee and books, two items that go together like a hand and glove. Black entrepreneur Marc Lamont Hill opened the coffee shop/bookstore in 2017 to create a safe space for this underserved section of Philadelphia to gather around a good book selection and a hot cup of joe. The result was quality food, quality coffee, and space for community events, workshops, author talks, and back-to-school book drives.
Unfortunately, Uncle Bobbie’s was vandalized during civil unrest due to social injustice, which most of the world witnessed. However, thankfully, the community cared for this hidden gem so much that they sprang into action. The coffee shop’s Germantown neighbors stood together to lend more than enough support to get them back up open and serving the public.