Recently a friend an I decided to take a little road trip down to the great music city that is Nashville, TN. The trip was mostly leisure with a little work thrown in. Due to Nashville being a recently booming city–no longer just attracting the country music lovers, but instead attracting a newer generation of young adults. Because of this younger/cooler/fresher vibe, Nashville now attracts people of all backgrounds and career interests. Coffee shops become a necessary culture and atmosphere for this new generation, serving as a type of “office” or a social gathering place.
While in Nashville, I wanted to check out some of the coffee shops the city had to offer. Although we were only in the city a short three full days we managed to get to go to five different cafe/coffee shops. I have to say that there was not a bad one in the bunch, but there were definitely aspects of some that I preferred over others.
[Barista Parlor]: 610 Magazine St, Nashville, TN 37203-Golden Sound Location
I’ll start by saying, if you don’t know exactly where this location is, you’ll probably drive right past it. The building isn’t distinctly marked and doesn’t look like your typical coffee shop. The only sign we saw was on a small black door on the side of the building. The other location is distinctly marked and easily seen when driving by.
I have to say this coffee shop probably had the “coolest” vibe. So cool, I felt like a fish out of water. I found the atmosphere and baristas to be a bit intimidating. Don’t get me wrong, I take my coffee seriously, but this was like nothing I had ever seen before. I felt more like I had stepped into a chemistry lab instead of a coffee shop. The actual building was really awesome especially on the 75 degree day we stumbled in there on. The building looks to be an old automotive body shop or something of that sorts. This lended to a really cool feature of having the whole shop be open to the outside when all of the garages were open. My friend and I enjoyed drinking our iced coffee drinks with the breeze but still having the feeling of “being indoors.” I got their whiskey caramel iced latte and I have to say it was the best iced latte I think I have ever tasted. I would definitely check this place out again but couldn’t see it being a regular hangout for me.
[Frothy Monkey]: 125 5th Ave S, Franklin, TN 37064
When we were in Nashville we saw at least three locations of the the Frothy Monkey. We chose to go to this one because we wanted to check out Franklin, Tn–a nearby town. The location of the coffee shop was great! I was right in downtown Franklin, allowing us to walk around and see all the cute shops and restaurants nearby.
The atmosphere at Frothy Money is very inviting and casual. It’s definitely not Starbucks, but has the same sort of vibe. The coffee shop is actually located in a big old house filled with lots of seating inside and also on the large porch! The baristas are really nice and helpful. I wasn’t feeling like being very adventurous and decided to just go with a simple iced coffee, which was pretty good!
[Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea]: 1886 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
This coffee shop is in a great area of Nashville. Close to lots of cute shops, restaurants, and Jenis ice cream! This was a similar vibe to Frothy Monkey. Although there were plenty of people working and studying, this is definitely more on the social gathering side of coffee shops, as opposed to a place like Barista Parlor. The concept of the shop reflects that fun/social vibe–exclusively using “ugly” mugs that you tend to see for 25 cents at Goodwill.
I tried one of their specialty lattes called “the hoodie.” The latte included a blend of cinnamon, honey, and other spices. I absolutely loved this latte. The taste reminded me of a slightly bolder version of my favorite drink–the dirty chai tea latte (chai tea latte with shots of espresso). I would definitely stop by this shop again for another latte and a chat with friends.
[The Well Coffeehouse]: 4002 Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN 37204
The Well is a nonprofit coffee shop. The profits they make go to providing basic needs, like water, for people around the world. Although this is a nonprofit coffee shop, that is not reflected in the quality of the coffee. The shop uses only fairtrade products and focuses on the quality of the coffee they serve. The baristas here are the friendliest baristas I encountered in Nashville. You can really tell that they love their job and are passionate about the mission of the company.
“Where Coffee Changes Lives.”
I tried the chai tea latte there and it was great! On my next trip to Nashville, I will certainly be stopping by The Well Coffeehouse again!
[Crema]: 15 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN
I saved my favorite coffee shop we visited for last! I will start by pointing out that Crema wins the award for best location in my book. From the windows of the the coffeehouse you get a panoramic view of the Nashville skyline. I have never been to a coffee shop with a view quite like this. I should also note that there are technically two locations of Crema. The main coffee house (address listed above) and also their small location within Pinewood Social (A cool bowling alley/amazing bar and restaurant across the street from the original Crema–Definitely worth checking out too!) You can also find their roasted coffee at several restaurants and cafes around the city.
At Crema, they roast all of their own coffee and espresso. Getting the beans from the best farms all over the world! I tried their plain regular latte and paired it with a delicious chocolate croissant recommended to me by the barista. Both were exceptionally amazing! I seriously cannot wait to go back and spend the day working, sipping lattes, and enjoying the Nashville skyline at Crema!
All in all my taste buds were well satisfied in Nashville. I would recommend all of these coffee shops depending on what your mood is. If you are a coffee connoisseur definitely make your way to one of the Barista Parlor locations or try the freshly roasted coffee at Crema. If you are looking for somewhere to hang out with friends while enjoying a cup check out Frothy Monkey or Ugly Mugs. And if you want to enjoy great coffee with a great cause go to The Well! Can’t wait to get back to Nashville and check these and even more coffee houses out!