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Discovering the Perfect Cup: Top Main Line Coffee Shops


Where do you order a perfect cup of coffee? Are you a traditionalist, where black java with no frills is your addiction of choice? Or do you prefer a little frothy milk in your diet, crowned with latte art?

Whatever your daily caffeine remedy shapes up to be, we want to know who you think is the area’s coffee king. Currently, we’re rallying people’s choice ballots for 2014’s Best Of issue (on newsstands July 2014), and the question remaining on the tips of our tongues is “who are the area’s lead contenders of food and drink.”

Cappuccino from Gryphon Cafe & Coffee Co. Photo by Steve Legato.

In Best Of spirit and our need for serious coffee on Monday mornings, we decided to get cozy with our favorite cups and name our latest Main Line coffee shop obsessions. Be warned: all of the below produce no ordinary cup of Joe.

At Wayne’s indie Gryphon Cafe & Coffee Co., the coffee-slinging gang excels at crafting the perfect coffee cup by being skillful technicians of the world’s top coffee equipment (La Marzocco, Mazzer, Chemex, Fetco). Not only do the house baristas know their cuppa prep, but they’re also taking it to the next level by roasting in-house, nurturing the freshest single-origin beans possible for your pleasure. We’re currently in love with the medium-bodied, complex Sumatra Wahana, a fruit-packed coffee with a peppery bite. Discover other blends here, and be sure to come early for the coffee, but stay late-night for the live music, open mics and local art installations. Visit gryphoncafe.com.

Town Hall’s owner Tim Noble celebrates some of the country’s best roasters in his Merion Station and Center City hubs (Counter Culture, Intelligentsia). His swift use of non-machinery techniques make all the difference, as his loyalty to pour-over set-ups, siphon brewers, and more, result in one heck of a cup. Plus, his army of educated baristas make java geeks hearts’ putter, all of which offer the perfect primer of what anyone in the counter culture should be like: packing a blissful mix of personality, knowledge and impressive customer service. Take note: here you will find the best espresso shots around. Visit Town Hall on Facebook here.

Pour Richards Coffee Co. invaded Devon late Dec. 2013 courtesy of native Main Liners Rich and Mindyjane Berman. The coffee-crazed duo impresses guests with third wave java, roasting twelve single origin coffees on-site with each small-batch blend perfected by Rich himself. Better yet, this steamy stop goes beyond the perfect cup with its mission to educate locals on all things coffee by hosting weekly public cuppings every Wed., 1–3 p.m. Visit pourrichardscoffee.com.

Soltane Breads and Spreads in Phoenixville. Photo by Nina Lea Photography.Catch Soltane Breads & Spreads in downtown Phoenixville, a cafe-bakery hybrid courtesy of Camphill Soltane. The cosmopolitan-esque shop focuses in on the pour-over method, executing impressive servings that will send your early morning into coffee oblivion. With the direct-trade Counter Culture coffee their beanery of choice, you know you’ll be in good hands. The house preparation of cortado breve (read: mini cappuccino) is Chester County’s ultimate pick-me-up. Visit camphillsoltane.org/breadsandspreads.

Kennett Square newcomer, Philter Coffee, made its splash in late 2013, as backed by Chris Thompson, a Philadelphia expat who arrived with an impressive coffee shop resume. Now, he’s operating his own rustic-industrial-chic hub, one that specializes in the drip-coffee method, as prepped with Maryland’s direct trade-focused Ceremony Coffee Roasters. House-made pastries, tartines, sandwiches and soups are on par with the stellar coffee. Visit philtercoffee.com.

Burlap and Bean in Newtown Square. Photo by Steve Legato.Family-owned and -operated Burlap & Bean excels in serving the freshest coffee cup in Newtown Square and beyond. Focusing in on certified-organic, fair-trade blends, all as roasted on-site, the java’s exceptional and memorable. Better yet, it’s good for the environment too! If you’re attracted to intensity, stick with the French press. Visit burlapandbean.com.

Agree? Disagree? Did your favorite make the list? Click here to cast your votes for best coffee shop and more.


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