By Dawn Gresko
Some like it hot… Others prefer cold brew. Know what we’re talking about? Then you might just be one of many coffee-centric Pensacolians who understands the value of knowing the distance from where you are to where’s the nearest spot to grab the perfect cup o’ Joe. Perfect by your standards, of course, since every coffee drinker has his or her own ideas about what the best brew consists of. No matter what coffee craze you’re on, whether it’s the seasonal pumpkin spice kick or you’re finding all the benefits of drinking coffee black, we’ve collected a list of the nearest places to fuel up on caffeinated beverages (which includes tasty teas for those caffeine drinkers who prefer bags over beans.)
They don’t call it the full-bodied, Bodacious Brew for nothing. The shop offers a full variety of caffeinated beverages from its espresso bar, which features gourmet selections of coffee and tea from around the world. In fact, Bodacious proudly promotes Verve coffee—representing some of the best coffee roasters ethically sourced from Costa Rica, Columbia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Papa New Guinea. Bodacious utilizes four brew methods: French press, siphon, Chemex, or a simple pour over, so your Bodacious barista can make your cup exactly the way you like it; whether that’s bold and full of body like your pour over and French press, or a big boost of clarity from Chemex or siphon methods, Bodacious is bountiful with brews.
407-C S. Palafox St.
Of course, we couldn’t do a feature all about coffee without featuring the iconic java joint of Pensacola: the Coffee Cup. For over 70 years, the Coffee Cup has been sending Pensacola’s workforce bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to the office with the essential morning cup o’ Joe. The shop specializes in breakfast brews and food, which is why is closes every day around 2 pm—so be sure you get your fix in before then. For a small establishment, this veteran diner with an old-school vibe is almost always slam-packed with customers eager to be caffeinated. The menu will take you back to coffee’s simple days of, “would you like that with cream and sugar?”
520 E. Cervantes St.
Constant Coffee & Tea
Tucked away just off Scenic Highway in East Pensacola Heights, barely outside the limits of downtown, you’ll find locally owned and operated Constant Coffee & Tea with limitless options for your caffeine needs. Just take a look at their hand-written black board with selections highlighted by different colored chalks. Need a new take on the old seasonal favorite of pumpkin spice? Try Constant Coffee’s “Smoked Punkin Spice” take on the seasonal latte, which features real chunks of pumpkin. Not a fan of pumpkin? No worries, you might be more in tune with a Canal Street au Lait or foamy, hot cappuccino from the resident espresso machine—named Leonard. Coffee not your jam? Then try a bold black or light white tea like Earl Grey or peach blossom.
615 Scenic Hwy.
Fosko Coffee Barre
Whether you’re catching an early morning barre class, or you frequent the Palafox Place corridor, your go-to stop for coffee (or tea) is sure to be Fosko Coffee Barre. The first thing to catch your eye will be the golden giant called Elektra: a high-tech Italian espresso machine. In addition to an array of herbal teas, Fosko offers mocha-flavored “fit” fraps loaded with caffeine and plenty of protein (20g) for a more natural picker-upper. There’s also the barre’s signature drink: the Foskolina, which you can try hot or cold. Take milk with your coffee? Switch things up or stick to the usual suspects, because Fosko has an assortment of creams and milks: soy, almond, half and half, as well as skim and whole milk with coconut milk on the way. Be sure to ask your barista what’s this week’s C.O.W. (coffee of the week).
8 Palafox Place
Didn’t know your favorite bistro could also double as your favorite coffee bar, did you? In addition to serving up Southern comfort food, Polonza Bistro is also a contemporary coffee bar and café that specializes in pour-over and natural process coffee. What’s that you’re tasting? It’s a bold blend roast by Parlor Coffee based out of Brooklyn. What sets this coffee bar apart from the others? Offerings like the Gibralter (espresso and steamed milk) and the iced honey latte (made from local East Hill honey). The tasty teas Polonza offers include black (Earl Grey and English Breakfast), Green (Morroccan mint and Jasmine Green), herbal (King Crimson and Blue Crane), as well as white (jasmine peach) and seasonal (currently ginger plum).
286 N. Palafox St.
Last but certainly not least is Solo Caffe, which held its grand opening at its new location inside the West Florida Public Library Main Branch on Dec. 9. Yes, you heard right: there’s now a place to get caffeinated inside every bookworm’s favorite haunt. House specialties include the brown cappuccino, mocha chai, caffecito and the New Orleans-style coffee (a unique blend of French Roast and Chicory). Of course, there’s also crowd favorites like the iced or hot latte flavored for every season, and the espresso bar offering single or double shots (the perfect thing to combat the Monday blues).
239 N. Spring St.