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Food - Atlanta's coffee explosion

A roundup of 11 java joints to open within the last year

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December, 2014

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Corso Coffee

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Corso is like the Ferrari of coffee shops. The Buckhead Atlanta location of this small New York-based chain has sleek design, rich friends (pick up a pair of Louboutins next door), and an Italian pedigree. Corso brews its espresso from a custom blend of beans that are slow-roasted over acacia wood outside Florence, Italy. That may seem like an over-the-top Italian luxury, but it makes for a uniquely smooth and rich espresso. 3065 Peachtree Road N.W., Suite 210. 678-553-9009. corsocoffee.com.

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January

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Jittery Joe's

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Venture into the lobby of downtown's power hotel of choice, the Ritz-Carlton, to find Atlanta's first outpost of Athens-based Jittery Joe's. It's a bit of an odd match — an independent college town coffee shop shacking up with a glamorous cosmopolitan partner. But Jittery Joe's has long been known for its roasting prowess, signature coffee blends, and, despite the fact that their digs at the Ritz are just a tiny stand off the lobby, they manage to fit in with the business-minded crowd. The signature spicy maple latté brings a sweet and sassy kick thanks to a touch of cayenne pepper. 181 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-659-0400. jitteryjoes.com.

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February

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Chattahoochee Coffee Company

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Chattahoochee's second location is somewhat hidden, housed in the Walton Westside apartment building opposite the Howard School off Huff Road. Once inside, the exposed brick, rich leather seating, and taxidermy on the walls will make you feel right at someone-else's-home-that-is-nicer-than-yours. Counter Culture supplies the shop with a variety of beans, including single lot specials for Chemex brewing. Chattahoochee's extra friendly baristas will happily deliver your piping hot mug of coffee with a small extra refill carafe as you lounge on the leather couch and contemplate the merits of placing animal heads on exposed brick walls. 790 Huff Road N.W. 470-225-6981. chattahoocheecoffee.com.

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March

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??Brad Kaplan???NEW JOE CITY: Condesa Coffee’s second outpost on Auburn Avenue???
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??Brad Kaplan???NEW JOE CITY: Condesa Coffee’s second outpost on Auburn Avenue????
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Condesa Coffee

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Located in a historic Auburn Avenue space that formerly housed the Atlanta Daily World newspaper, Condesa's second outpost is less than a mile away from the original on John Wesley Dobbs. The Condesa team deserves kudos for their preservationist design approach, which imbues the shop with a sepia-tinged warmth – a type of lived-in patina most modern coffeehouses simply can't replicate. Condesa is another Counter Culture-fueled shop, and serves up a mean cold espresso shaker with half and half that gets the strong and creamy balance just right. Given its proximity to campus, the crowd here skews toward Georgia State University students and faculty. Be sure to check out the Living Walls art from Spanish artist Borondo, which was preserved from before the building's renovation. 145 Auburn Ave. N.E. 678-515-0899. condesacoffee.com.

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June

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??Eric Cash???COLD AS ICE: Iced vanilla latte with nut milk at Spiller Park???
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??Eric Cash???NEW JOE CITY: Spiller Park Coffee at Ponce City Market????
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Spiller Park Coffee

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Initially a Ponce City Market pop-up, Spiller Park is now a full-time stand. Local coffee pro Dale Donchey, known most prominently for his time at Emory Village's well-remembered Steady Hand Pour House, helms this addition to the Hugh Acheson empire. Look for quirky humor and prestige beans from far afield – including George Howell Coffee out of Massachusetts, and Phil and Sebastian from Calgary, Canada. Also, Spiller Park loves nut milk. Try a frothy, nuanced vanilla ice latté spiked with locally made Treehouse Milk. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E. 404-919-2978. spillerpark.com.

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July

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Land of a Thousand Hills

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Land of a Thousand Hills is a growing coffee operation based in Roswell. The company's "Drink Coffee. Do Good." motto refers to its efforts on the ground with farmers in Rwanda, where they source coffee and support the local communities in equal measure. Land of a Thousand Hills roasts their own beans in Roswell, and the new Atlantic Station shop reinforces the do-good vibe without coming off as preachy. Look for housemade nitro cold brew, employing a medium-dark blend of Rwandan beans made expressly for that format. The comfy shop is a welcome respite from the often-corporate feel of Atlantic Station. 232 19th St., Suite 7100. 470-44-0197. landofathousandhills.com.

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August

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??Eric Cash???SLOW AND STEADY: Pour over coffee at Revelator???
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??Eric Cash???NEW JOE CITY: Inside Revelator Coffee Company’s Atlanta location????
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Revelator

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The coffee-crowded west side got even more crowded when Revelator, which has locations in New Orleans, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Nashville, joined nearby shops such as Octane, Star Provisions, Chattahoochee, and the Warhorse. Revelator's Atlanta shop looks like a Crate and Barrel catalog come to life — ultra clean and bright down to the matching white Slayer espresso machines and Mazzer coffee grinders. The sleek, minimalist style extends all the way to Revelator's espresso menu, which eliminates typical designations such as cappuccino or latté in favor of simply listing the varying amounts of milk you can add to to said espresso (as in espresso plus 4-oz. milk). On Fridays, Revelator sells bags of coffee that are more than a week past their roast date for half price. 691 14th Street, Suite A. revelatorcoffee.com.

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Chrome Yellow Trading Co.

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Over in Old Fourth Ward, husband and wife Kyle and Kelly Taylor opened the Atlanta shop with the strongest hipster game. The front section of Chrome Yellow Trading Co. is a full-on coffee shop with plenty of seating, while the back half of the shop segues into a boutique full of stylish duds and Old Fourth Ward custom prints. Chrome Yellow's fridge is stocked with Portland's Stumptown cold brew, and they also keep ultra-creamy Stumptown nitro cold brew on tap. As the weather cools down though, try the dark and mysterious mocha made with Athens-based Condor Chocolate. 501 Edgewood Ave. chromeyellowtradingco.com.

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Queen of Cream

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Also in O4W, Queen of Cream ups the ante on mixing sweets and coffee. This handcrafted ice cream company started with a single cart roving around town, but the new shop on Highland pays as much attention to the caffeine as it does the dairy. Queen of Cream may not feel like the kind of shop you want to camp out with your laptop in, but they do feature Revelator beans, plus a rotating monthly special roaster, to fuel their drip and espresso options. Queen of Cream also makes one doozy of a special called the Sterling. It's a drink made with your choice of ice cream (try the super creamy dark chocolate), espresso, and milk, all shaken and served over ice. 701 Highland Ave. N.E. 404-331-0807. queenofcream.com.

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September

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Huge Café

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Huge Café — the coffee shop from, and located in the same building as, Huge the digital agency — is anything but huge. The cafe does, however, go big with its robust, Japanese-inspired coffee program (think Kyoto-style cold brew) and a small selection of flavorful Japanese/Asian-inspired lunchtime eats (think pork belly buns with kimchi slaw and smoked Kewpie mayo). Karl Injex of the Sound Table is a partner, and chef Mihoko Obunai lent a hand with the menu. Huge is a quirky spot good for either coffee (using Brash beans, see below) or a light bite on a sparse stretch of Peachtree Street. Embrace Huge's eclectic vibe with a Coffee and Cigarettes Affogato – a scoop of Morelli's tobacco ice cream topped with a double shot of espresso and smoked Oreo ashes. 1375 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-461-9025. www.hugeinc.com.

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October

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??Eric Cash???NEW JOE CITY: Brash on Howell Mill Road???
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??Eric Cash???NEW JOE CITY: Brash on Howell Mill Road????
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Brash

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The latest craft coffee shop in Atlanta sits inside a converted shipping container parked on the lawn opposite Ormsby's. Matt Ludwikowski started off as a barista before opening Brash as a micro-importer and roaster based in Atlanta. He opened his first shop in Chattanooga in 2014, and is now back in town with this no-frills, Westside micro-shop. You won't find any mocha or caramel here, or comfy chairs — just the coffee, a handful of counter seats, and some tables outside on the lawn. If you're into geeking out, the barista will happily tell you about the coffee's origins while he prepares your drink. 1168 Howell Mill Road. brashcoffee.com.

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