A Coffee Lovers Guide to Saratoga
From the flavorful coffee to the inviting atmosphere to the friendly staff, there's a lot to love about Saratoga County coffee shops! We've rounded up our favorites below, each of which offers a unique approach to their cherished caffeinated creations.
Saratoga Coffee Traders
Saratoga Coffee Traders on Broadway has unique Fair Trade Organic (FTO) coffee, delicious breakfast and lunch fare, and they provide a charming place to hang out. Their coffee is 100% organic, shade grown, kosher, and bird-friendly; bird-friendly coffee comes from farms situated under a canopy of trees that provide homes and food for birds, while most coffee comes from farms that have been cleared of vegetation.
Check out their Triple Crown Blend, a "palatable sensation of Columbian, Yirgacheffe, and Peruvian coffee beans, mild in flavor with a medium bodied taste." Saratoga Coffee Traders also carries the popular Death Wish Coffee, which has developed something of a cult following.
Uncommon Grounds has been providing flavorful coffee and a warm, inviting atmosphere to enjoy it in for over 25 years. Their flagship shop is in Saratoga Springs, although they also have locations in Clifton Park and Albany. Uncommon Grounds aims to create and offer the best tasting coffee, period. To do that, quality and freshness are their top priorities.
If you visit their website, you'll find much more than hours, a list of coffees, and some photos. They provide a ton of information on how they ensure their coffee is top notch. For instance, after about two weeks coffee begins to lose its flavor, and for this reason they only roast in small batches to ensure freshness.
Walt & Whitman Brewing
Yes, they offer more than beer - Walt & Whitman Brewing is both a craft beer hall and a coffeehouse. Their coffee is sourced from Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Maryland, who use Modbar, the most "consistent and stable under-counter espresso equipment available." Both Walt & Whitman and Ceremony Coffee believe that good beverages bring people together; coffee isn't just a drink, it's a social experience.
Walt & Whitman is named for Walt Whitman, who is widely recognized as one of the most significant 19th century poets. Whitman often thought outside the box, not conforming to typical rules of poetry, and that's partially why his work wasn't widely appreciated until after his death. Walt & Whitman believe the poet to be the first original hipster. Come to Walt & Whitman's location in the former Saratogian Building on Lake Avenue to check out this Walt Whitman-inspired establishment.
People, coffee, and connections are at the heart of kru Coffee in Saratoga Springs, where they strive to provide a comfortable place to enjoy beverages and conversation. kru Coffee has two floors with an open floorplan that captures that welcoming coffeehouse vibe many look for. "The atmosphere of this place is perfect," says one Google review. "Lots of places to sit, work, and socialize." Other Google and Facebook reviews rave about the ambience, the staff, and of course, the coffee.
"Because I'm a trained barista, I am quite a coffee snob, and thank God for kru Coffee because I would be incomplete without my espressos and mochas," a Facebook reviewer said. This coffee shop sources their coffee from farmers who not only produce an excellent product, but who treat their employees well. All of the coffee is Fair Trade, Direct Trade, or Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Nomad Coffee & Crepes
Nomad Coffee & Crepes opened in Ballston Spa in 2018, but the coffee shop has made a name for themselves already. Daily Coffee News covered the fascinating story of how father and son team Brian Furnia and Nick Furnia (who was just 18 at the time) gained support from investors and partners to make Nomad Coffee & Crepes possible.
As with the other coffee hotspots on this list, you'll have a tough time finding a negative review about Nomad Coffee & Crepes. Patrons love the coffee, the artwork on the walls, the working jukebox, and the food - they specialize in crepes, of course!
Also located in quaint Ballston Spa is Coffee Planet, with a specialty gourmet coffee bar with brews changing daily and a full espresso bar with everything from Americano to White Cloud Mocha. Any hot drinks can be ordered iced, and they also serve smoothies, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and salads.
Patrons have plenty of room to spread out at Coffee Planet - it's definitely one of those coffee shops where you can feel free to bring your computer and hang out for awhile among the funky artwork as you get work done or browse the internet. Their rave reviews tout the "super" coffee, the friendly staff, and the vintage vibe.
Is SPoT Coffee your spot for coffee? It is for many in Saratoga Springs! And Glens Falls, where they have another location. SPoT Coffee uses a micro-roasting process with high quality ingredients and state-of-the-art equipment. This small batch method of making coffee ensures each batch is flawlessly roasted and brewed.
Their drink menu includes regular Brewed Coffee, Japanese Style Iced Coffee, a variety of espressos, and a selection of their own special blended drinks, like the Cinco Shake: espresso, white chocolate, and caramel vanilla with whipped cream. Although they give patrons a lot of beverage options most reviews simply say they love the great coffee. "Really good coffee," said one Google reviewer. "Like coffee? Go HERE."
While the Palette Cafe on Broadway offers a little bit of everything we'd be negligent not to mention them as a place to enjoy coffee, including coffee with a kick. Try the Molly with whiskey, coffee, cream, and whipped cream, or the Maude, with vodka, cold brew, and cream over ice. They also have a full coffee and tea menu with espressos, lattes, and more.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Starbucks! There are three locations in Saratoga Springs alone: on Broadway, in Target, and in Market 32/Price Chopper. Although this is a large chain compared to others mentioned on this list it remains hugely popular with consumers.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle, which is widely known as the coffee center of the world. They've gone from a single store to around 30,000 worldwide. Some of the more popular drinks include the seasonal offerings like Salted Caramel Mocha and Pumpkin Latte in the fall, and Peppermint Mocha and White Chocolate Mocha around the holidays.
This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism. Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or view of Saratoga County Tourism or its members.