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Coffee Lover’s Guide to the Florida Panhandle

July 30, 2019 by Posted in: Coffee, Community, Local

Let’s tawk local coffee along the Emerald Coast – For coffee lover’s from Panama City to Pensacola.

Can I be honest with you for a minute? I am not from around here. I’m a coffee lover from a far away land, the big hunk of state that is Texas. When my wishful thoughts wandered to the Florida panhandle and of moving here, nowhere in those visions of sugar sand beaches dancing in my head was there a moment of pause for the local coffee scene with high quality coffee houses, or of the culinary eclectic.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: we do lots of things here in the forgotten part of Florida, but a culturally progressive food and beverage scene? Full disclosure, I was not convinced high quality coffee houses were here. That was, until I set out to find what kind of local coffee scene we have happening.

I started making my way down the coast and finding, they’re here! High quality coffee houses are popping up roadside and trickling into unsuspecting strip malls. I met some big-hearted, coffee-conscious folks – from long-time locals who started by roasting in their backyards to those recently landed here from across the pond –  roasting, brewing and delighting the coffee lovers in the specialty coffee crowd.

People aren’t just coming to the Florida panhandle for vacation anymore either, we’re setting up shop with our remote jobs in paradise and we need our coffee to sustain us! There is definitely a demand for high quality coffee houses here. Let me fill you in on a few dazzling Emerald Coast gems, in this guide to coffee.  These top rated cafes are brewing and serving up local roasted goodness by Amavida Coffee, as well as other roasters elevating the coffee experience.

We’ll start East in Panama City Beach:

AMAVIDA COFFEE ROASTERS

Amavida has one of four of their local cafes located right in the heart of Historic St Andrews. This spacious location sits right along the harbour village, so coffee lover’s enjoy water views and quick access to Oaks by the Bay Park.

Amavida’s wish is to go above the coffee house call of duty, to create a collective impact and promote sustainability practices from farmer to customer. Not just buying certified organic coffee through Coop Coffees, but also creating a high quality cafe experience for their patrons. Part of the enriching experience offered at each of Amavida’s cafes is knowing and relating to the product you are buying.

[Located at: 2997 W 10th St, Panama City, FL 32401]

WILD ROOT COFFEE + APOTHECARY

With two local cafe locations, Wild Root creates two contrasting coffee-sipping experiences while serving up Amavida Coffee. The Zen Garden location is something to really take your time savoring, no rushing here. Not only is this high vibin’, lush haven home to a plant nursery, yoga studio, hair salon and other shops, but also Wild Root’s beach coffee bar and apothecary. It is an entire wellness experience, from the moment you walk through the bamboo-framed entrance. You’ll walk through a garden into another part of the world, greenery on greenery and a waterfall greet you on your way to the porch hosting  the coffee bar.

When you visit, grab a NSTB, ‘No Sleep till Brooklyn!’ if you’re needing a rocket fuel boost of cold brew and espresso (my choice the day of my visit, it will keep your senses on high alert well into the afternoon). The beach bar menu boasts your hippie garden variety collection of espressos and lattes but don’t pass up their loose leaf and sachet teas from Yaupon Brothers and The Art of Tea and herbal elixirs. Owner Chandra Hartman is an herbal wellness consultant who, alongside her husband, runs the two Wild Root coffee locations.

[Located at: 707 R. Jackson Blvd. Panama City Beach, FL 32307. Visit their website.]

WILD ROOT COFFEE

The Wild Root coffee house and surrounding town of Lynn Haven took a hard hit via Hurricane Michael, however, roof damage did not keep them closed for long. While the Lynn Haven community struggled to regain their bearings, owner Eric Marcus, hustled to reopen after a month to regain normalcy. The kitchen gives hungry visitors plenty of panini and sandwich options. Additionally they serve breakfast items that are perfect for the coffee lover to enjoy with a cup of Amavida Coffee, herbal tea or a specialty elixir. Situated in the heart of a quaint main street, it is quiet for those study breaks.

[Located at: 830 Florida aveLynn Haven, Fl 32444 – Visit their website.]

FINNS BARISTA BAR AND SHACK

This beachy chic organic, local coffee spot not only features our own Amavida, but also Noli South Kombucha on tap. With housemade syrups (Madagascar vanilla, rosemary agave, maple lavender to name a few), coffee milkshakes and exotic smoothie bowls, Finns serves it all up fresh with no frills. A must visit for coffee lovers.

[Located at: 7220 Thomas Dr Panama City, FL 32408 – Find them online.]

THE POUR

For months, The Pour remained closed after suffering fire damage after Hurricane Michael. This ultra cozy cafe reopened May 8th, with the help of dozens of volunteers to get this community space back in business. The Pour’s profits fund the missions at The Ark, which provide transitional and student housing, with international students participating in the Work and Travel Program, as well as helping combat the human trafficking problem in the area. A coffee house that gives back to its community, and serves pizza. Yep, and breakfast casseroles, sandwiches and hearty toasts. Big comfy chairs, a heart of gold for its customers and community members alike, await coffee lovers at this cafe that is making an impact far beyond the drinks it serves.

[Located at: 12902 Front Beach Rd. Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 – Visit their website.]

30A & Santa Rosa Beach:

AMAVIDA COFFEE ROASTERS

Both locations were the recipients of long-awaited facelifts, redesign, and branding upgrades. From the signs out front to the bags of coffee on our shelves, things look bright. The exciting unveiling of these two 30A cafes brought with it lighter, more energizing cafe spaces to match the radiancy of the updated brand elements. In Rosemary Beach the cafe remains nestled in Barrett Square. This summer, the Seaside cafe moved a few strides north, across 30A into Central Square; appropriately connected to Anne Hunter Galleries in supporting local art.

[Located at: 104 N Barrett Square #1A, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461]

[Located at: 25 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459]

SUNRISE COFFEE CO.

This corner coffee shop sits just north along 30A from the Ed Walline public beach access in Gulf Place. The perfect stop in before hitting the beach or taking going out to paddle board on the water. You can grab and go one of the pastries, breakfast bagels or biscuits, or a wrap for lunch, pair it with an latte and take it right out to your beach chair.

[Located at: 45 Town Center Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 – Find them online.]

Miramar Beach:

AMAVIDA COFFEE ROASTERS

The fourth and latest Amavida location sits pretty in The Market Shops of Miramar Beach. This cafe hosts the usual brewed suspects and a beautiful pastry selection.

[Located at: 9375 Emerald Coast Pkwy #10, Miramar Beach, FL 32550]

2 BIRDS COFFEE AND CAFE

Delicious breakfast items, like the pan-fried banana bread go perfect with their stout Cuban espresso. This cafe offers an array of espresso drinks like adffogato and cortados, but also wine and beer and a Vermouth bar. The cinnamon donuts and fried pb&j and a smooth pour over should do ya. A second location, Birdie’s, is located in the Sandestin Resort (1040 US-98 Destin, FL 32541).

[Located at: 80 Seascape Drive, Unit 103 Miramar Beach, FL, 32550 – Visit their website.]

Niceville:

TANGO 3 COFFEE COMPANY

Sustainable practices and community were the driving forces behind owner and Niceville local, Jonathan Williams’ opening the this high quality coffee house 2 years ago. After traveling the world with his military career, Williams noticed the language barriers being broken over coffee and enlisted his experiences of exploring new cultures and the sense of community to open Tango 3. The menu boasts hearty breakfast items like the Cajun turkey croissant pretzel roll, lunch fare and smoothies as well teas, plus a variety of conscious roasters for hot and cold bevvies, including Amavida . What is great about this cafe is not only its charming seating, both in and outside, but also that you can roll through their drive-thru.

[Located at: 4546 W Highway 20, Niceville, FL – Find them online.]

JOJO’S COFFEE AND GOODNESS

This husband and wife team opened JoJo’s December 2018 after home-roasting in their backyard greenhouse for years, creating their own brand Big Orange House Coffee Roasters, exclusively the coffee they serve and sell in the cafe. Still small batch roasting their own single-sourced beans, this coffeehouse has a roasting room where you’re welcome to browse and try any of JoJo’s caffeine creations.

[Located at: 4576 Hwy 20 E Niceville FL 32578– Visit their website.]

Freeport:

KICK ASS COFFEE

Kick Ass Local Coffee near Freeport Florida

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, driving along Highway 20 in Freeport and wondered what those golden horses are doing propped up on the black iron gates, then stop! Turn onto their property and grab imported European coffee and indulgences from this pop-up cafe. The family moved stateside from the UK last year and opened a coffee trailer on their property. Owner Kate Holland procures specialty Cadbury chocolate and other ingredients from across the pond for her delicious crafted coffees.

[Located at: 4497 State Highway 20 W Freeport, Florida 32439]

Pensacola:

Here’s where the coffeehouse scene gets a little more lively!

END OF THE LINE CAFE

In the waterfront area of Old East Hill neighborhood, on any given Sunday you’ll find a line of hungry vegan enthusiasts waiting for the doors to open into the cozy, conscious cafe. The cafe and dining room share space with a full bar and is highly recommended in this guide to coffee. In addition to a variety of gluten-free and vegan options – a full coffee and espresso bar is offered, try a Vietnamese coffee and any one of their guilt-free vegan pastries!

[Located at: 610 EWright Street Pensacola, FL – Find them online.]

CONSTANT COFFEE AND TEA

(Writer’s Note: I did not get the actual experience. The day we were over in P’cola Constant was closed, though this coffee house definitely deserves it’s place in our coffee guide. I looked up photos, reviews, anything to piece together a description.) The modern interior dining area look just as expansive as the outdoor patio seating. The avocado toast and ever-popular Bees Knees iced latte – honey, vanilla, and espresso, are patron favorites.

[Located at: 615 Scenic Highway Pensacola, FL 32503]

FOSKO COFFEE

In the Palafox Place corridor, Foska creates a luxurious ‘gram-worthy visit to their whimsical land and houses an exquisite gold Elektra (Italian espresso machine), the focal and talking point of Fosko. A menu to accommodate all tastes, classic espressos to single-pours and iced delights.

[Located at: 8 Palafox PlacePensacola, FL 32502 – Visit their website.]