Coffee Tourism: Jacksonville, FL (2015)

Great Things Are Brewing in Jax!

This coffee thing of mine is getting bad!

Last week, in only 48 hours, I needed to fly to Jacksonville, FL; rent a car; drive to Tallahassee for two days of politicking; then return back to Jax and fly home to Miami.

No time to seek out specialty coffee with a schedule that packed, right?

Actually, yes. There was time for two visits to Bold Bean Coffee Roasters; which was all the time I needed to know that the specialty coffee scene in Jacksonville, FL is in good hands.

I didn’t get her name, because I didn’t want to be “that guy” but she sure made a fantastic espresso! 

The Riverside location of Bold Bean was right off I-10 in a really great space that has that third-wave feel with exposed brick and the works of local artists displayed on their walls. On Tuesday morning, there was a nice flow of customers and they were being handled very smoothly by the staff on hand.

First up for me was an espresso of their SweetSpot blend. This is stellar stuff. Not overly tangy, no sourness, just really smooth and deep espresso.

You gotta love these espresso cups and the “!” on the inside! 

I always love to have an espresso AND a pour-over when I’m in a new shop as it gives me a chance to try two different offerings. Bold Bean was offering two single-source coffees as pour-overs: Their Costa Rican El Alto and an Ethiopian Borana Bule Hora. I opted for the Costa Rican first and it was fantastic.

Barista Ben in action…

Ben was on the pour-over stand and was indicative of everyone I met at Bold Bean in my first two visits: warm, knowledgeable and passionate about their craft.  I poured the tail end of the Costarican in a to-go cup and hit the road to Tally.

Very nicely done interior design. Clean, but warm and hip. 

Side note: Sadly, I had plans to visit Atomic Coffee in Tallahassee, but the owner’s untimely death meant that all locations had been shuttered. My condolences to his family. I look forward to hearing about how the coffee scene in Tally rebounds.

On my way back from Tally, I made sure to leave with enough time to go back to Bold Bean for one more round. Okay, two.

The trifecta: a great espresso, a great pourover and a clean glass of soda water. 

This time, after another SweetSpot espresso, I went with the Ethiopian. It was stellar. I was in the middle of a month of trying different Yirgacheffe coffees at home, so this one – although from a different region – was an interesting contrast. The barista on Wednesday was Joe, who is a champ, literally. He competes nationally and has it in his blood. We ended up talking about coffee until I felt like I was probably being a distraction. And I had a flight to catch.

Next time you’re in Jax – make sure to give these good people and their great coffee a visit!

Or order some online. I’ve got one of these in my queue for next month:

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