Posted: January 29, 2014
Get up. Shower. Get ready for the day. Drink coffee. This is often the morning routine of many team members at VisionPoint Marketing. Many of us enjoy a good cup of joe to boost us into a full, and productive day. However, as similar as our desire for this bean is, we vary in our pursuits to finding that perfect mug of delicious nectar.
Far from being coffee "snobs," we here at VisionPoint have a deep admiration for the popular bean that keeps us awake through proposals, meetings and traveling to see clients. However, no matter how desperate we are for a caffeinated boost, you aren’t likely to find us drinking trucker sludge. We enjoy showing our consumer support for local businesses who produce locally grown and made products, even providing organic and gluten-free options. When not in the mood for a bolt of energy from a shot of espresso, a nice drip coffee or french press cup will do the trick alongside fresh biscuits made with local ingredients.
Often, we are asked by clients to perform audits for the quality and user experience of websites, so we took a similar approach as we examined coffee shops around the Raleigh area.
Jubala Village Coffee
Jubala is known best for their award-winning artisan crafted latte art. While the skill adorning my 4 dollar latte might seem trivial to some, the effort put into my drink is very much appreciated. Aside from their espresso beverages, Jubala also provides pour over drip coffee, french press and a delicious array of treats from biscuits to sandwiches. They source their coffee from local roaster Counter Culture Coffee, a Durham-based business who source, roast, and deliver superior coffee from around the world. Many shops in the Triangle use Counter Culture Coffee for their main bean selection. Counter Culture also serves as an informational source for those who want to learn more about coffee, whether it be beginner’s espresso courses or educational coffee tastings, regardless of experience level. The environment at Jubala is great for both friends and colleagues with plenty of options for seating, including communal tables, individual tables and outdoor seating both in the front and the back of the shop. Jubala also shows their importance of building a local community through their commitment to culture with events held in-house as well as offering special promotions such as free espresso fridays.
Quality: 4.5 / 5 always find seating and amazing food options
Price: coffee and espresso $2.25-$7.19, food $2.50-$7.15
Variety: pour over drip bar, french press, espresso beverages, waffles/biscuits, sandwiches (not served all day)
Proximity to VisionPoint: 11 minutes
Sola Coffee Cafe
An established office favorite, Sola is a short distance drive for a quality cup of coffee as well as a great piece of mind. The space itself is a refurbished bank, allowing for a unique in-shop experience. Forget the free wifi, Sola offers tons of local-ingredient-filled items on their menu including hot mini donuts! Sola also takes pride in their bean roasters and supports local favorite Counter Culture Coffee. Better than a drive thru window, Sola offers a curbside call in service that allows you to call in your order and pick up your morning joe on the go. Don’t forget to stop in for their live music and art exhibition events.
Quality: 4 / 5, good food, less crowded than most shops with good selection
Price: similar to Jubala
Variety: Coffee, Tea and Espresso bar (hot and cold offerings), ice cream-based beverages, smoothies, and food offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner which include sandwiches, salads, & baked goods.
Proximity to VisionPoint: 4 minutes
The Morning Times
Adjacent to the Raleigh Times Bar and Restaurant, this coffee shop is equal parts coffeehouse and gallery as well as being a hub of eclectic business professionals and gallery shop owners in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Another shop serving up Counter Culture Coffee, Morning Times also provides a lot of seating options including upstairs in the gallery space, downstairs tables, at the window bar and outside seating.
Quality: 4 / 5
Price: beverages between $2.50 and 5, food between $2 and $8, some selections only available at certain times of day.
Variety: coffee and tea (try the homemade chai), bagels, biscuits, sandwiches (breakfast and lunch), soups & salads, muffins, scones and other baked goods,wine and desserts at night.
Proximity to VisionPoint: 15 minutes
Cafe de los Muertos
Humble beginnings as an online coffee retailer and roaster led to what is now a buzzworthy coffeehouse that just opened in downtown Raleigh. While their doors have only been open a few weeks, this cafe has been sparking interest for a while. Cafe de los Muertos specializes in organic Fair Trade and Direct Trade coffee and is well on its way to becoming the ultimate coffee shop in its area. Much of this establishment’s goal is to promote coffee sustainability through relationships between coffee bean farmers and their consumers, specifically building relationships with central america. The overall feel of this shop, located in the Hue building, is very eclectic and rustic, harping on a âDay of the Deadâ motif. They roast their own beans along with providing selections from local area businesses such as Oak City Roasters and Raleigh Coffee Company. Customers from all walks of life feel welcomed in this new cafe, even children with a specially designed kids play area which is different from other shops.
Quality: 4 / 5
Price: meals under 10, coffee under 5.
Variety: coffee, unique food items such as empanadas, tamales, quiche, soups and salads, with gluten-free options, and beer/wine
Proximity to VisionPoint: 14 minutes
Starbucks may be the most easily recognized coffee brand and certainly the easiest to find, but it helps to know that from our office, we can stop in for a quick treat just minutes down the road. Starbucks is often known for their attentive friendly baristas who, what they may lack in knowledge regarding the difference between fair trade and direct trade coffee, they DO make up for in personality. Our neighborhood Starbucks is equipped with free wifi, plush seating and even a fireplace! Lest we forget that there are benefits of enjoying a chain coffee house, like being able to find one easily while traveling and, for Starbucks in particular, being a part of their rewards program that allows you to earn stars with purchases that go towards free coffee or treats as well as sending email notifications regarding new products and promotions.
Quality: 3.5 / 5, consistent but not the freshest for edible goods, but coffee makes up for that.
Price: beverages between $2 and $5, small food portions
Variety: coffee, teas and espresso (along with juices) sandwiches, baked goods.
Proximity to VisionPoint: 2 minutes
With numerous options out there, including ones not mentioned in this list, there are many chances for you to explore Raleigh through a simple cup of coffee. While you embark on that journey, please know that VisionPoint raises a cup to all coffee-drinking adventurers, but know we also have a soft spot for those who drink tea as well. If you’re in the neighborhood, let us know and maybe we’ll see you out there enjoying your morning beverage of choice.