Savannah is a city of artists and eccentrics. Characters populate almost every vicinity, but the best ones can be found where there’s coffee. Thankfully, this town has an influx of them. Cafes and coffee boutiques are hubs for heated and iced drinks, as well as writers like myself. Two new additions to Savannah’s budding caffeine scene offer more than just a cup of grab-and-go joe. Cup to Cup Café and Blends: A Coffee Boutique serve their beverages from a modernized focus on coffee drinking as an art and encounter.
Cup to Cup Café
Though not your typical coffee café, Cup to Cup Coffee Roasters brews an array of bold roasts and coffee beans all unique to Savannah. After seven years of being in business, they’ve finally made their way from Wilmington Island to Savannah’s Historic District in May 2016 with a new cafe at 140 Abercorn Street, serving everything from cappuccinos to coffee tonics and cascaras.
This intimate cafe instills an affable atmosphere with light streaming in from the front window on bar built by Ben Mattern and his carpentry team at Oxform Studios using repurposed wood. Here community and coffee go hand in hand. James Spano, roaster and owner of Cup to Cup, believes coffee is relational and has the ability to bond people from all walks of life.
“There’s something about sitting down and enjoying a good cup of coffee that breaks down barriers and opens the door to friendship,” Spano said. “This is important to us. It also reflects our goal to provide you with a great coffee that is consistent, cup to cup.”
Spano began his coffee career nearly seven years ago with a little roastery operated on Wilmington Island and a dream of running his own retail cafe. With Cup to Cup Café, he wanted to create a space that showcased his coffee and all of its capabilities.
“We’ve got a good mix of traditional drinks and innovative beverages that are trending in the greater specialty coffee scene,” Spano said. “You can sit down with the local paper and enjoy a traditional cappuccino in the size it was intended to be served, or to can hang out at the bar and try out a cascara fizz, featuring cascara, the dried husk of the coffee fruit which has a light refreshing cherry like flavor.”
Blends: A Coffee Boutique
Blends Owner Javier Carro describes his Broughton Street coffee shop, which opened in March 2016, not as a cafe but a boutique, because it elevates the customized coffee-drinking experience to the same platform as wine-tasting. The boutique boasts (or “roasts”) six varieties of freshly blended coffee from around the globe, meaning you can sip, sample and swap a different international java with each visit. Not all coffees are created equal, which is why the light-to-dark ratio of Carro’s green coffees from Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia and Sumatra are brought in and roasted fresh in-house.
Carro visited and studied the ambiance and service of coffee roasters around the world to create his own take on a coffee tasting environment. His hand-crafted single reserve coffees put the power of the French press in the customer’s hands.
If you like your beverage with a side of something to bite, Blends also serves soups, sandwiches, salads, pastries, cheese boards and empanadas. Customers also have the option of purchasing Blends own ground coffee sold in mini or regular sized packaging. While you enjoy your Colombian cappuccino or Ethiopian espresso, wander to the back of the boutique to watch Carro’s in-house coffee roaster gently mix a batch of fresh coffee beans.
Starbucks on Bay Street (coming soon)
Speaking of bagged coffee, Downtown Savannah’s lone Starbucks at the corner of Bull and Broughton Streets is about to get a sibling near Barnard and West Bay Streets. Mike Turner, the district manager of both Savannah and Hilton Head Starbucks locations, said Starbucks is currently holding job fairs for a gorgeous new downtown location set to open later this summer. According to Turner, the job fairs will be held at the Starbucks on White Bluff Road & Abercorn Street on May 28, 2016, from noon to 4 p.m. Interested applicants should apply online first at starbucks.com/careers to ensure hiring managers will have everything they need for the interview.