Three years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find a Starbucks in Indianapolis. And yet today, local roasters and coffee houses are springing up all over town, offering caffeine junkies a fix of premium flavors and top-shelf techniques.
Hubbard & Cravens
A Meridien Street location only affords two two-tops and three counter stools, but what it lacks in space in makes up for with bold coffee sourced in Central America and roasted right here in Indianapolis. Espresso drinks rule the menu, from the simple cafe cortado to the decadent roasted macadamia white mocha. Tea, too, should not be overlooked. Premium loose-leaf selections include green rooibos and ti kwan yin oolong. 4930 N. Pennsylvania St.; 6229 Carrollton Ave.; 11 S. Meridian St.
Mile Square Coffee
This roaster, coffee lab and cupping room roasts single-origin coffees, boasts handcrafted espresso drinks and promises each sip will be fresh, never burnt and full of flavor. Can't decide what to try? Order up a coffee flight to experience multiple flavor profiles or switch up your coffee game with a refreshing nitro brew. 12 E. Ray St., 317.296.8181
Georgia Street Grind
Short yet charming Georgia Street in the Wholesale District is home to a boon of chain restaurants, bars and a heated, middle-of-the-street promenade that would not be safe in vehicular-centric cities like Boston or New York. Blink and you’ll miss diminutive coffee counter Georgia Street Grind, which serves up locally roasted single origin coffee and espresso drinks. Sadly, it closes on the weekends. 25 W. Georgia St., 317.401.8111
Searching out this coffee-scene newcomer is a feat—tucked way off the main drag in a labyrinth of former industrial factories on the backside of new condo construction, even my Uber driver had trouble finding it—but it is the biggest and busiest of all the local coffee spots we’ve been to.
This is a place for MacBook Pro-toting coffee connoisseurs, who order up a Chemex pour-over like it’s habit and discuss with the barista the nutty flavor profile of these Colombian beans that were roasted last week. There’s a vintage map mural on the wall, exposed wood beams with chipping paint on the high ceiling and about four dozen different—and assuredly excellent—ways to order your coffee. 707 Fulton St.
Coat Check Coffee
Located in the Athenaeum, this brothers-owned coffee bar serves premium roasts alongside made-from-scratch pastries. The brotherly duo behind the coffee concept treat each brew with care, grinding beans and adding mineral salts to water in order to enhance flavors. Grab a butterscotch latte and cinnamon-sugar croissant and settle in. 401 E. Michigan St., 317.550.5008
Calvin Fletcher Coffee Company
It's coffee with a conscience. Each purchase at this craft coffee spot helps support local community organizations. The cozy locale in Fletcher Place features local arts and handmade goods along its shelves and a welcoming sitting area for sipping and chatting. 647 Virginia Ave., 317.423.9697
Bee Coffee Roasters
Be as comfortable ordering a bottle of Diet Coke and a bag of chips as you might be the Dr. Tim’s Special (three shots of espresso with half-and-half, cocoa and honey) at this cafe over on South Capitol, but don’t let the casual, snack shop atmosphere give you the impression the local roaster is any less serious about the quality of its coffee. 5510 Lafayette Road, 317.280.1236
Upscale specialty coffees and teas can be found at this cafe and event space (include weddings) boasting a rustic-chic atmosphere. Sip pour-overs, macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes and more. 2102 E. Washington St., 317.759.0602
Rabble is dedicated to creating cups of exquisitely roasted sips. Try the house blend, Rouser, featuring beans from Malawi and Columbia that blend to create a flavor profile with notes of toffee, sweet clover and honey. 2119 E. 10th St.