A strong coffee culture is brewing in Clay County, Fla., where locals and travelers alike can fuel up on delicious brews at independent cafes throughout this northeast Florida destination. You’ll find your favorite pick-me-ups alongside signature drinks you definitely won’t find at Starbucks. These Florida towns may be small, but the local entrepreneurs have big passions for great coffee. As you recharge with a hot cup of joe, you’ll discover the heart of Clay County at these six neighborhood coffee shops.
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Spring Park Coffee and the Brass Tacks Roasting Room
Relax and indulge at this charming coffee house, where the aroma of freshly roasted coffee lingers and ice cream is acceptable before noon when it’s covered in espresso. Spring Park Coffee in Green Cove Springs is a locally owned shop that offers flavorful coffee concoctions from its sister company, Brass Tacks Coffee Co. This cafe has a friendly atmosphere where patrons can curl up on a couch with a book and a double-strength cold brew, or enjoy handcrafted drinks and live music on the first Friday of the month. In the mood for something totally original? You’ll want to try one of Spring Park’s signature lattes, like The Mexican — an espresso-based drink with dark chocolate and “secret spicy stuff.” It also has its own version of Butter Beer, a latte with toffee nut, caramel and butterscotch. Pair your coffee with a breakfast biscuit or bagel, and don’t forget to check the Name of the Day board outside the shop — if you’re lucky and your first name is on the board, you’ll receive a free coffee.
Crazy Beans Coffee
This Fleming Island coffee shop brews ethically sourced organic and fair-trade coffee from around the world for that perfect cup of joe. Crazy Beans Coffee also serves up espressos, cappuccinos and seasonal drinks like the caramel apple cider, which is popular in the fall and winter. This shop is locally owned and brews strong connections with other local businesses, offering a variety of fresh baked breads, cookies and sweet treats from local bakeries and pastry chefs. You’ll enjoy the warm atmosphere too, with board games available for a leisurely afternoon with friends and quiet corners for when you want to escape the office. In a hurry? Crazy Beans Coffee’s mobile ordering service includes curbside delivery to make it even easier to get your coffee fix on the go.
Urban Bean Coffeehouse Cafe
Looking for a true neighborhood coffee shop? Urban Bean Coffee has become a popular gathering place for locals of Orange Park who not only enjoy delicious coffee, but also fresh fare and live entertainment. This contemporary coffee house serves up hot drinks and tasty smoothies all day, with a menu ranging from breakfast items and gourmet baked donuts made fresh daily to signature deli sandwiches and delicious hamburgers made with grass-fed Australian beef. Two different brewed coffees are offered every day and the coffee beans are selected from different regions around the world to ensure they are always fresh and in season. The menu also offers hand-brewed and specialty coffees, as well as organic teas, handcrafted sodas, espresso drinks and more. And while you’re sure to get your daily dose of caffeine here each morning, at night the coffee house takes on a cafe vibe, offering wine and local craft beer as well as live music and local artists for open mic nights.
Over the Second Cup Tea Room
Get your caffeine fix the British way with tea time at Over the Second Cup Tea Room in Orange Park. You’ll enjoy a pot of tea in a charming atmosphere where tea time is truly a ceremonial occasion. As if you were sitting in an English cottage, the table will be set with fine china, crystal and silverware as well as beautiful linens to complete the elegant European event. This sets the stage for a 6-course dining experience featuring cold soups, cucumber sandwiches, salmon pate, fresh fruit, a variety of tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and gourmet jellies, and petite fours and delectable tarts for dessert. Reservations are required for afternoon tea and this venue if perfect for small groups and events.
Royal Moose Coffee Co.
One of the newest coffee houses in Clay County, come to Royal Moose Coffee Co. for the views of Black Creek as you enjoy your morning cup. This independently owned and operated family coffee shop in Middleburg, Fla., serves up freshly brewed coffee that pairs perfectly with their homemade raspberry, lemon or cream cheese danishes. Locals particularly love the lattes, from the cinnamon maple latte to the frozen chai latte — they all pair nicely with an apple cinnamon pecan muffin. If you have a sweet tooth, order the popular Turtle Mocha for a rich chocolate and caramel creation. Royal Moose also serves hot breakfast sandwiches if you need a hearty helping on the go.
FirePower Coffee Roasters
As its name implies, you’ll find bold brews at FirePower Coffee Roasters in Keystone Heights. This family-owned and operated coffee shop features a rotating menu of coffees from around the world as well as a selection of whole or roasted beans you can take home. But if you’re not a coffee connoisseur, don’t worry. The owners, William and Carol Beck, hold more than 10 certifications in coffee and tea educational programs and are go-to experts on the brewing process. As you walk through the shop, you may even catch a glimpse of the roasting process. More of a tea drinker? They’ve got you covered too. Carol is a certified tea sommelier and can help you find your perfect cup of tea as you sample the shop’s variety of specialty and organic teas.
There’s something brewing in Clay County that travelers shouldn’t miss. Coffee lovers can sip their way through this northeast Florida county, tasting coffee creations you can’t find anywhere else. Feed your caffeine addiction and follow your taste buds on a tour of these neighborhood coffee shops in Clay County to find your perfect cup of joe. Start planning your trip at http://www.exploreclay.com.