In the US, lovers of a cuppa joe celebrate on Sept. 29, but if you are a big fan of the bean, you’ll also want to commemorate International Coffee Day on Oct. 1.
Lacking energy? Feeling listless and out of sorts? Well, here is something that might help “perk” you up. (Yes, the pun is definitely intended.) We’re talking about National Coffee Day, a time for all java lovers to celebrate the drink that—hot or cold—always hits the spot.
But first, a little history. It’s believed coffee originated in Ethiopia and reached Yemen by the 15th century, when monks first roasted coffee seeds and brewed the drink, much like we do today. Europeans got their first taste about 100 years later, when it spread to Italy and the rest of Europe, Indonesia, and the Americas.
Fun fact: The local clergy condemned coffee when it arrived in Venice in 1615. The controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. After he tasted what had been called the “bitter invention of Satan” for himself, he pronounced it OK (maybe not in those terms, but OK nonetheless).
To celebrate the papal approval and everything that came before and after, join every coffee lover in celebration with these women-owned coffee houses located across Florida—perfect spots to enjoy the delicious, aromatic brew.
The Caffeinated Cat, Jacksonville
This small, colorful former beach bungalow offers delicious cat-themed drinks that are sure to delight java lovers.
But what really sets the place apart is that you can also pet fuzzy, adorable, cuddly, sometimes sleepy felines to your heart’s content—many of which are available for adoption. That’s because the cafe and local nonprofit Mayport Cats share an owner, Tammie King, which allows the business to raise money for the organization while giving visitors a chance to play with potential new furry friends. The cat adoption fee is only $40, and that comes with a carrier.
The cafe, which opened on Labor Day 2019, is decorated with fun structures where the kitties can climb and play, as well as local artwork. Non-coffee drinkers can enjoy teas and lemonades galore.
Address: 331 1st Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach
Phone: (904) 853-5154
Square Mug Cafe, Tallahassee
It is known as “Tallahassee’s Only (mostly) Zero Waste Café.” That is because owner Donna Elliott is conscious that every year an estimated 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups are thrown away and, as she declares on the cafe’s website, the journey to zero waste starts with one step.
For this reason, the environmentally conscious Square Mug Cafe doesn’t carry or offer disposable paper or plastic cups. Instead, you can bring your own cup, borrow one from them, or buy one of the reusable cups available at the shop.
Located in the Railroad Square Art District, the cozy, small, family-owned business serves local and organic coffee with an emphasis on seasonal lattes like their Resting Witch Face with pumpkin and their famous Sweata Weatha, which features apple and cinnamon. The cafe also serves breakfast, lunch, beer, and wine. Oh, and there’s live music, too.
Address: 663 Railroad Square, Tallahassee
Phone: (850) 765-8356
Sweet Brewnette Cafe, Madeira Beach
Voted one of the best coffee shops in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, this enchanting spot with retro accents and local art displays serves organic coffee, fresh-made breakfast, brunch, and lunch.
Part of Cooperative Coffees (CC), a green coffee-importing cooperative committed to supporting and partnering with small-scale farming organizations throughout the world, owner Vicki Ferrari says her neighborhood coffee house is inspired by people, cultures, and culinary adventures.
Customers can soak up the sun on their small, enchanting patio or get comfy on the corner couch inside. There’s live music on the weekends and free Wi-Fi every day.
Vicki’s promise: “When you visit Sweet Brewnette, we want you to walk out with a smile, a healthy and satisfied tummy, and love in your heart knowing you played a part in something bigger.”
Address: 13999 Gulf Blvd., Suite C2, Madeira Beach
Phone: (727) 800-9858
WaterGypsy Coffee Company, Leesburg
Owners Maria Stefanovic and Sarah Tremblay, executive director and outreach coordinator, respectively, of the Leesburg Center for the Arts, bring their artistic flair to this bright space that combines modernity with warm wood floors and rustic brick walls.
The cafe offers all the traditional drinks like lattes, macchiatos, Americanos, and cappuccinos, as well as Red Dog espresso, Gator Glory blend, and Guatemala el Quiché, which are all fresh-roasted in Gainesville. And to make sure it engages more than your sense of taste and smell, it also serves smoothies in a variety of colors: green, which includes banana, spinach, kiwi, avocado, pineapple, and honey; purple, which features banana, blueberry, strawberry, and honey; and, well, you get the picture.
“The primary goal at Water Gypsy Coffee Co., is to serve you high-quality and tasty American food,” say the owners. “Our coffee, created by passionate chefs daily, is sure to please. Experience the splendid atmosphere and join us all the buzz is about!”
Address: 201 W Main St, Leesburg, FL 34748
Phone: (352) 435-7937
Suite Habana Café, Miami
Suite Habana owner Nayelis Delisle was born and raised in Cuba, where she learned to drink her grandma’s sweet cafe con leche. So when she left her home country as an adult, Nayelis brought to the US a love for strong Cuban coffee, including or sans milk. This undying amor inspired her to bring the concept of Suite Habana Café to life.
Together with her husband, Nayelis created a cozy rinconcito that has become a place for community, culture, and delicious coffee.
“It’s a place where people from around the world, from all walks of life, can come together and enjoy a cafecito while learning a bit more about my Cuban culture, and where I can learn about theirs too,” she explains on the café’s website.
Open every day from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the space has been described by visitors as having “a very inviting community home-away-from-home vibe.” Sounds like the dream Nayelis dreamt when she arrived from Cuba has come true.
Address: 2609 N Miami Ave., Miami