In August Lamill Coffee launched a punch card program encouraging customer disloyalty. Confused? Instead of rewarding patrons for returning, Lamill encourages them to visit the six cafes on the Disloyalty Card before earning a free drink at their favorite. Brainchild of World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies, the concept has quickly jumped the pond from London and trickled south.
Phil Han, Baltimore native and owner of Dooby’s Coffee, says the program fits perfectly with the local coffee community. “This is a formal way of showing that we come together and want to support each other’s shops.” He likes to refer customers to other cafes as a way to familiarize them with different neighborhoods.
Coffee roasters and restaurants with serious coffee programs like Woodberry Kitchen and Johnny’s also become gathering places. Find beans, single-origin and blends from these small-batch Baltimore purveyors:
- Tribeca Coffee Roasters (Mount Vernon), 443.869.4279
- Zeke’s Coffee (Northeast), 443.992.4388
- Ceremony Coffee Roasters (Annapolis, Md.), 410.626.0011
Start your hyper-caffeinated tour of Baltimore with a cup from one of these hip coffee shops, or stop in at one when you need to take a break from the streets.
Charmington's in Charles Village
Johns Hopkins students and neighbors gather inside a space with exposed brick walls and high ceilings for reliable roasts from North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee as well as lavender-infused hot chocolate and locally made veggie burgers.
2601 N. Howard St., 410.235.5004
Dooby's Coffee in Mount Vernon
These new kids on the block recently moved from a basement bungalow to a neighboring, more sophisticated space with marble counters and high-tops where they now serve a full dinner menu. Espresso pairs best with the house-made Askinosie chocolate chip cookie.
802 N. Charles St., 410.702.5144
Artifact in Clipper Mill
A casual offshoot of nearby Woodberry Kitchen, this cafe with a farmhouse ambiance sweeps patrons up in a sensory overload. Think aromas of just-baked English muffins and low calls of “espresso on the bar.” Connoisseurs and novices attend coffee tastings, or “cuppings,” every Friday morning at 10.
1500 Union Ave., 410.235.1881
Spro in Hampden
An anchor of “The Avenue” since 2010, this narrow shop serves “progressive American coffee.” With a roastery in East Baltimore, Spro offers its own roasts as well as those by guests. Mad scientist baristas serve a full espresso menu and coffees brewed by eight methods.
851 W. 36th St., 410.243.1262