Coffee is one of the most popular and beloved beverages in the United States. Millions of people enjoy a daily cup of coffee at home, at work, or on the road. But how do you choose the best coffee for your taste, budget, and lifestyle? There are so many options and factors to consider, such as the quality, variety, convenience, and price.
To find the best ways to enjoy a pick-me-up, we asked a panel of experts to nominate their top picks across five categories that reflect the different ways people consume coffee: Best Coffee Chain, Best Coffee Subscription, Best Drive-Thru Coffee, Best Independent Coffee Shop, and Best Travel Coffee Mug / Tumbler. Then, readers voted to determine and rank the winners.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Coffee Chain: Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s has been a staple in the world of java since the 1960s. Alfred Peet’s Berkeley corner cafe revolutionized coffee in America, and legions of fans worldwide have since succumbed to the charms of Major Dickason, the company’s most popular blend. It’s rich, complex, full-bodied, and can be enjoyed at their coffee bars across the country (or ordered online).
Best Coffee Subscription: Cometeer
When you’re ready to taste the future, give Cometeer’s precision-brewed, flash-frozen coffee club a try. Beans are sourced from award-winning, small-batch roasters, brewed to extract the best flavor, and then showered with liquid nitrogen. Choose your preferred roast profile and add to hot or iced water to make a perfect cup — instantly.
Best Drive Thru Coffee: Coffee Park Airstream in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
If you’re in Winston-Salem, you need to stop by Coffee Park Airstream — Photo courtesy of Tommy Priest
Winston-Salem’s Coffee Park is set in a 1958 Airstream trailer, making it worth a visit just for the atmosphere. They sell their signature Wickedly Hot Sipping Mocha out of both sides of the trailer, and you can even choose between milks for your drink: hormone-free skim or whole milk or organic almond or soy milk.
Best Independent Coffee Shop: Big Shoulders Coffee in Chicago, Illinois
Enjoy quality coffee, from bean to mug, at Big Shoulders Coffee — Photo courtesy of Big Shoulders Coffee
With multiple locations in the Chicago area, Big Shoulders Coffee is a must-stop for no-nonsense artisan beans, roasted to perfection. Founder Tim Coonan is a chef who picked up roasting as a hobby before turning pro. He and his team source beans from trusted farmers, roasting them to preserve the essence of each harvest and brewing them with utmost precision.
Best Travel Coffee Mug / Tumbler: BrüMate NAV
BrÃ¼Mate NAV tumblers are easy to take with you, don’t leak, and come in multiple sizes — Photo courtesy of Nikki Bigger
BrüMate’s multi-functional drinkware rocks. Innovative, stylish, and with a lifetime warranty, their tumblers have a legion of fans. Their NAV series feature leakproof locking lids, come in sizes of 12, 22, and 32 ounces, and are wildly visible in neon pink to glitter rose gold options and every other color in between.
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in our other Readers’ Choice Awards contests.