Caffeination Proclamation PT. 1

Anybody who knows me knows I love my 2-3 cups of joe a day. And by love I mean I am heavily addicted or else I will get migraines and serious withdrawal symptoms. Yippee!

It’s about time I did an exploration list of MY favorite places to get coffee in Charlotte. Disclaimer time! *These places did not pay me to promote them, this list is soley the author’s go-to coffee shops. Also, this is an ongoing list since Charlotte is growing like crazy.

Let’s begin.

Cuplux

In a rush but need a cold brew slush? Have no fear- Cuplux is here. They have legit cold brew slushees though, and in a variety of seasonal flavors. Just check in on their Instagram page (which is fire by the way) to see for yourself! Cuplux is the king of the caramel latte- literally the most decadent and delightful way to kick off the day. Sorry y’all, I’m full of rhymes this morning. I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!  Someone stop me!

Other favorites include Habanero Mocha, espresso sodas, and who could forget their $1 drip coffee special on Mondays? Cuplux rotates their coffee roasters often, allowing customers to experience coffee from amazing roasting companies like Stumptown and Pure Intentions. They support local companies and are active in the community, because the staff at Cuplux are some of the most genuine, kind humans I’ve ever met. Go get yourself a caramel latte, bring a fur baby in the backseat so they too can get a treat at the window, and say hello to the owner and my friend Ian!

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Queen City Grounds

The first thing you will do when you you walk into this Uptown shop is oggle at how cool it is. Retro owl wallpaper, an airy loft with bookshelves and wide wooden tables, and owl decorations scattered here and there. This space houses not only Queen City Grounds, but Night Flyer Roast Works, Moxie Mercantile gifts, and Füd at QCG. Night Flyer comes up with some amazing roast flavors, and I witnessed their magic at POUR coffee festival. There I had coffee with notes of grilled pineapple in it and was forever changed. In the pastry case, Sugarrman kronuts and Move that Dough Baking Company are represented. Jeff of Füd makes delicious, healthy meals as well as vegan options that everyone will enjoy.  Grab a drink off of their seasonal menu (cococcino anyone?) and just meander through this gorgeous space. Bring a doggo, because they can get a puppaccino too!

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Undercurrent Coffee 

First of all, owners Diana and Todd are AWESOME. Diana is THE coffee queen and Todd is the most down-to-Earth guy. They both deeply care about this community and coffee, and it’s reflected in their beautiful shop, Undercurrent. The space is so aesthetically calming and captivating, which mirrors the serenity of being at the ocean (hence the name). They support local businesses from the pottery they use for mugs and bowls to the coffee and the ingredients in their dishes. The food is so wholesome and delicious – hello Plough Boys grit bowl! Every detail of the shop shows how much thought and love went into the process of creating Undercurrent. Plus the cappuccino is spot on to what a flat white was like in Australia. Pro tip: go in the morning when they first open, grab breakfast and a coffee, sit on their outside patio and greet the day.

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South End Grind

If you enjoy cleverly named latte beverages, funny social media, and good conversation look no further! Freddie is the mastermind behind South End Grind located in, you guessed it, South End. You want a pineapple matcha drink called Pineapple Express? Check. You want a Pure Intentions Coffee latte? Yup. Enderly Coffee Co. drip coffee? Yuh. Whatever you need coffee wise, they got you! Plus, the shop has a lot of seating and is very bright and fun! Comes in cluch for taking great pictures!

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Subsecreto

Alright, everyone that I know who watches American Horror Story gives “Coven” a bad rap saying it’s not as suspenseful and scary as the other seasons. Coven is my favorite season because who wouldn’t want to be a witch who goes to school in New Orleans? How does this relate to coffee? This shop is like AHS Coven meets chic coffee shop- magical, mystical coffee, and gifts. They have their own special roast from Magnolia Coffee Co., so try a giant Capri-sun sized bag of iced coffee next time you’re in! Owned by Corri Smith of Black Wednesday and Caleb Clark of Enemy To Fashion, Subsecreto is a little corner of magic in Charlotte. The shop is located on a corner of E. 9th street and is completely black on the outside, and very hard to miss. You can buy a membership pin in the likeness of a snake which gives you a discount on coffee. You want to buy a sage smudge stick or butterfly wing pendants? Sip on some coffee and shop, friends! Make sure to grab a ginger blackberry sage lemonade from their seasonal menu!

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Crema Espresso

This Dilworth shop is SO CUTE and the ladies who work there are SO SWEET. It’s a straight up European style café, so lots of beautiful pastries, wine, savory and sweet crepes, and coffee. The tables themselves have little coffee beans in the resin, and I thought that was such a nice touch that contributes to the overall aesthetic of this warm little shop. Y’all I came here to study during finals, and the barista recognized me and asked me how my day was going to which I responded “Finals. Exhausted. Lol Halp.” She made me THIS CUTE LITTLE COFFEE ART and I’ll attach the image below.  Well it was A+ in my book because look how precious it is! Plus a little tres leches infused peach cookie never hurt anybody.

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Lincoln’s Haberdashery

This spot is the intersection of all things hipster, millenial, and cool. Founded by Chef Michael Shortino of Futo Buta, expect great food, fun, and drinks when you step foot into LH. BTW, their bread baking game is off the chain- I’m a sucker for a sticky biscuit or a lemon ricotta stuffed flapjack! Grab a mimosa kit, Updog Kombucha on draft, or a latte with Lincoln himself on it and shop for wine, beer, snacks, and fun gifts. My personal favorites include the pet section and the prayer candles with the Golden Girls and Titus Andromedon on them.

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People’s Market Dilworth

You should go read my piece on them. I love People’s Market so much, I live there. With coffee happy hour from 7am to 9am and local roasters available, it’s such a great deal. Coffee is half price during happy hour.  Who could resist great local coffee! Check out their restaurant counter in the back where you’ll find an extensive breakfast and lunch menu.  My personal favorite…the steak and egg sandwich with roasted tomato sauce.  Yum! Grab some ice cream from the Two Scoops counter or beer and wine from the coolers.

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Amélie’s French Café and Bakery/Pure Intentions Coffee

Amélie’s has a special partnership with Pure Intentions to bring the good people of Charlotte amazing coffee. Matt of Pure Intentions is a great guy who emphasizes the importance of Fair Trade coffee and delivering fabulous coffee time and time again. If you ever visit their roasting facility, be prepared to be blown away by the gorgeous art on the walls. My personal favorite is the unicorn mural behind PI’s coffee counter. Amélie’s is also known for their beautiful decorations and equally beautiful food in their cafés. Café crème anyone?

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Smelly Cat Coffeehouse

Ode to thee, Smelly Cat. Because with a name like that, how could one not love you? This was one of the first places I went to when I arrived in Charlotte three years ago, and I’ve been hooked on the toasted coconut and dirty chai frappucinos ever since (see picture below). It hosts a warm, cozy environment where you can find a nook to set up shop and sip on some joe for awhile. Coffee is roasted in house and makes for fabulous pour-overs and drip. The warmth and artistic atmosphere of Smelly Cat directly reflects NoDa, the neighborhood in which it is located. Look for the cute little coffee mural on the side of the building for your perfect photo-op!

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Trade and Lore CLT

When in NoDa… how could you miss this mecca of coffee and coolness? Located right above Salud Beer Shop in a vibrantly decorated building, climb the vintage newspaper covered stairs to an airy loft with skylights and long wooden tables. Enjoy a variety of coffee, beer, and wine on tap. Yes, you read that correctly, they have nitro cold brew on tap and it is wonderful. The brain child of owners Lindsay Pitman and Sarah Winkler, Trade and Lore is the perfect intersection of community gathering place, fun, and drink. I love meeting with friends here and sitting at the marble countertops with natural light streaming in from the skylights, plants hanging from the ceiling while sipping on a seasonal coffee. So peaceful and so beautiful.

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Brakeman’s Coffee & Supply

First of all, the name and theme of this coffeeshop is SO clever. Located in Matthews and situated in a gorgeous old house, it’s a beauty. According to the web site, a brakeman worked on trains on the railroad to keep the train running. The whole idea behind Brakeman’s is to slow down, enjoy their coffee, and literally take a break in this hyperactive-paced society in which we live. Whenever I’m in Matthews I stop in to try their seasonal menu- I love the lavendar lattes and sodas like the blue Panthers soda they had last fall. They use local coffee roasters such as Summit Coffee Co. or Methodical Coffee out of Greenville. I just love it when local shops support other local, small businesses. My favorite thing to do is take a Saturday morning drive out to Matthews and just enjoy life and good coffee.

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article! I was not kidding when I said I drink a lot of coffee, and personally I think a super long blog post is obnoxious and I don’t have a long attention span. Just the truth. Check out these places and let me know your favorites!

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