Since the Age of Enlightenment, coffee houses have been a symbol of innovation and a signal of society’s prospering creative class. With a vast array of original coffee shops where the drink is not just a fuel for work – but a way of life – Orlando’s coffee culture is gaining visible momentum. Orlando was ranked as a top city in America for coffee lovers by WalletHub, signaling that not only is there a caffeine fix waiting for you around every corner, but also that Orlando is a growing hub for creativity and innovation. From award-winning brews to classic hipster hangouts, there’s a lot more to Orlando’s coffee scene than you might think.
Winter Park has become a flagship destination for coffee enthusiasts. Thanks to a strong concentration of students and professionals, Foxtail Coffee developed into an instant favorite. Set in an old mechanic’s garage, the coffee house acquired a passionate fan base who come to study, socialize, or find a pleasant retreat from the hustle of the day. The place is a hit during the weekends, gathering visitors and regulars from all over Orlando. Stop by for a morning pick-me-up before hitting the Winter Park farmers market or make it into an experience by ordering a masterfully assembled drip coffee set-up that is oh-so-instagramable. Warning to dog-lovers! Occasional distraction is inevitable as the shop is pet-friendly to a dramatic extent. The second stop on Orlando’s virtual coffee tour takes us to East End Market – a staple culinary hub and home to Lineage Roasting coffee bar. Lineage specializes in craft coffee and shares a passion for brewing, serving, and educating the community about sophisticated coffee culture. It is the perfect place to learn about high-quality coffee, or to simply enjoy an expertly poured cup of exquisite brew paired with a pastry treat from the neighboring artisan’s bakery.
Our narrative wouldn’t be complete without describing Orlando’s appreciation for charitable initiatives. Two notable coffee shops charm with welcoming atmosphere, great coffee and benevolent business models. CREDO Coffee is a no brainer for those who are chasing a rewarding alternative to a typical coffee chain. Located centrally in downtown, CREDO Coffee is a donation-only shop that features artists and musicians, as well as hosts charitable events around the region. Another fellow philanthropist is Axum Coffee located in Clermont and Winter Garden. The café was inspired by a city in Ethiopia where the community is faced with pressing issues such as human trafficking, poverty, lack of education and medical care. The coffee shop strives to make the world a better place by donating 100% of its profits to orphan care, fresh water needs, education and more.
Our final stop covers Orlando’s classic hipster hangouts where equally ambitious coffee is served by well-trained baristas. Stardust Coffee & Video, Austin’s Coffee and Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar share a traditional thrifty ambiance while serving incredibly good brews. Visit Drunken Monkey and order its legendary Mojo Jojo latte that blends hints of cinnamon, cayenne pepper and condensed milk in perfect ratios. Or make plans to read a book, play an antique board game, or take pictures in an ancient photo booth at Stardust Coffee. Stardust actually started out as a video store renting out VHS tapes. It’s a blockbuster territory for investigation and people watching. Finally, Austin's Coffee mixes electric culture of open-mic nights with traditional coffee house elements and truly feels like the neighborhood hangout.
Each Orlando coffee shop lives and breathes its unique story and character, attracting likeminded coffee lovers who embody Orlando’s progressive culture. From Sanford to Celebration, there's a local and unique coffee shop around the corner. To see more Orlando coffee shops, check out this Google Map made and curated by Obassador (Orlando ambassador) Erik Deckers.