From Dilworth Coffee’s Snickerdoodle Roast to Smelly Cat’s Black Cat, Charlotte offers a variety of coffee shops whose owners are roasting their own beans. Whether it’s the first thing you drink to kickstart your day, the necessary fuel needed to finish a long project at night or a great excuse to catch up with a friend, that fresh cup of coffee can elevate your day.
BETTER COFFEE: Small batch coffee roasters source high-quality beans that provide a fresh and bold taste when newly roasted — no more bland coffee here.
There’s another, perhaps the unintentional advantage of locally roasted coffee: From farm to cup, there’s more of a connection, said Matt Yarmey, the owner of Pure Intentions Coffee.
“Coffee is about not only the personal routine you have with it, but it’s also about what goes into creating that product before you get your hands on it,” he told CharlotteFive. “There are so many touchpoints between the time that it’s farmed to when it’s in the cup. From the farmer to the milling station to the exporter to the importer to the roaster to the barista or home enthusiast, all of those people have to do their jobs really well to create a good cup of coffee.”
Here are 10 spots to find locally roasted coffee in Charlotte and nearby:
Popular blend: As a fan favorite and its most popular option since 2011, NoDa Cafe is BoCo’s must-try roast. From the first sips, the inviting, bright beverage becomes sweet and smoky with a dark-chocolate taste at the end. Combined with French roasted South African coffee and a strong African bean, NoDa Cafe takes you on a trip around the world in each cup.
Where to buy: At its roastery in Rock Hill and online. (BoCo moved from its original home in Charlotte’s Villa Heights neighborhood in October 2019.)
Location: Belmont, NC
Popular blend: Contra Check is a new blend and already a best seller for the Dancing Ox. Last year, Lauren Schelfhaudt and Jean Paul of Dancing Ox Coffee Roasters kept a diary documenting the beginning of Phase One of the pandemic, but they didn’t stop working. Contra Check is creamy, smooth and can be paired with a preferred milk. Also good as a standalone beverage, this blend has tasting notes of caramel, dark chocolate and peach.
Where to buy: Online only
South Park location: 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
Matthews location: 3016 Weddington Road #600, Matthews, NC 28105
Popular blend: SnickerDoodle, a medium roast that has a hint of cinnamon and buttery notes, is a best seller. “When people come to a local place like here, I try to make the customer feel welcomed and ask them specific questions — even when we have a line — so that I can get them the best drink for them because I want them to have a personal experience,” a Dilworth Coffee barista said.
Where to buy: Dilworth Coffee locations, online, Cilantro, Zada Jane’s, Spruced Goose Station, The Southern Olive, Rendezbrews, Chatty Cathy’s Cafe, Alice Jules Coffee House, Cathy’s Coffee, The Donut House Concord, Laurel Market and more
Popular blend: Tony Santoro, co-owner of Enderly Coffee, suggests Enderly’s Brazilian Fazendo Do Salto as a good medium blend that many people seem to love. “It’s slightly chocolatey and nutty but can all-around make everyone happy,” Santoro told CharlotteFive.
Location: 1217 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Popular blend: Its Costa Rican bean offers a bright taste that is naturally a bit sweet. The roast’s medium acidity allows for a good cup of coffee, whether you prefer your drinks hot or cold.
Popular blend: HEX Coffee’s FORM blend has notes of red berries, milk chocolate and vanilla. John Michael Cord, a co-owner of HEX Coffee Roasters, said it is a tasty blend that anyone can get into. The roaster carries two blends, FORM and FUNCTION, and they are both versatile and can be brewed in any way people like to consume their coffee whether it be espresso, filtered, cold brew or any other desired method.
Popular blend: Magnolia’s self-titled medium roast blend is a year-round favorite, rated Top 5 Best “Desert-Island Coffees: What to Drink When You’re Stuck at Home.”
Location: 644 N. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Popular blend: With an owl pictured on the bag, Nightflyer’s house blend has notes of chocolate and ripe berries that work well in milk-based drinks. It’s perfect for an espresso or any other way you enjoy your coffee.
Popular blend: For at-home coffee lovers, Pure Intentions’ Peru Single Origin Farm Select brew is the way to go. Yarmey has sourced this organic coffee from the city of Chirinos, Peru, for four years now, offering a rich taste of honey and harvest spice that is a crowd pleaser.
Location: 514 E. 36th St., Charlotte, NC 28205
Popular blend: Smelly Cat’s Black Cat blend is its signature roast, which contains hints of Mexican chiapas beans and Colombian papaya. The medium-dark roast is available every day, but its single-origin coffees are rotated every day.
Where to buy: In house at Smelly Cat and online.
Popular blend: You can never steer wrong from the classics, and Sugar Creek’s Signature Blend is exactly what keeps customers coming. This beloved blend is a medium roast with subtle notes of almonds, caramelized sugar, cocoa and cherry.
Location: 416 E. 36th St., Charlotte, NC 28205
Popular Blend: Base Camp is a certified organic medium-dark roast coffee sourced from women coffee producers, said Brian Helfrich, the CEO of Summit Coffee. “This is a really approachable coffee for people who like specialty coffee and also for people who just like their morning cup of joe.”
Outside Charlotte, you can find other North Carolina companies roasting coffee. These businesses include: