A couple of years ago, you couldn’t walk into a specialty coffee shop without seeing a pour over, the meticulously hand-poured brewing method that became synonymous with high-quality coffee.
Buoyed by passionate baristas and a more coffee-conscious consumer, a movement known as the third wave of coffee took hold of the caffeine-obsessed. Coffee became an artisanal product, more like fine wine and less like the Folgers you prep the night before.
Now, a new wave is taking shape in the Tampa Bay coffee scene. This one is focused less on the bean and much more on the experience a coffee shop can provide, one geared toward accessibility and community mindedness. Coffee as a vessel for connection.
We sat down with the owners of three relatively new spots across Tampa Bay to talk about the idea of the expanding coffee shop, how they’re crafting a more inclusive cafe experience and why they don’t serve pour overs.
Bandit Coffee Co.
The shop in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central district opened in 2016, and has since steadily built a loyal following that seems to come as much for the atmosphere as for the cold brew. Read about Bandit Coffee Co. here.
Nate Young and Tim McTague opened this spot at the end of June on E Floribraska Avenue in Tampa. It’s the first brick-and-mortar location for the pair who spent the last handful of years steadily growing a coffee roasting brand of the same name. Read about King State here.
In downtown Sarasota’s historic Burns Court district, Project Coffee debuted in July. Nestled in a corner space with large windows and surrounded by the area’s Mediterranean-style architecture, the minimalist spot has more on its mind than caffeine. Read about Project Coffee here.