America is fully immersed in a coffee culture.

Many of us started our addiction to caffeine in college. The traditional all-nighter provided us a way to stay awake for hours and hours doing term papers or studying for exams. After graduating college, coffee evolved to become our fuel. Some call it “human gasoline.” It helps us to multi-task. We have learned to use coffee shops as our very own branch or satellite offices. They’re a place to network. Ironically enough, over a steamy hot cup of coffee, they’re also a place for us to chill.

It is surely our fuel for staying awake, for staying aware, for staying engaged, for staying communicative and social. It is also our fuel for thought. Technology visionary Steve Jobs said, “Where good ideas come from brainstorming, great ideas come from coffee.”

Let’s visit five terrific coffee shops right here in Cobb County. Cobb Life toured, tasted and experienced Cobb coffee at its finest. Join us as we toast a cup of joe to the “who,” the “what” and the caffeinated “how.”

Tinto’s Coffee House

1133 Chastain Road, Kennesaw

Owners: Edgar Bahamon, Jennifer Cifuntes

Must Try: Signature Waffle Sandwich Dulce de Leche with Mozarella.

“Tinto” means high-quality black coffee in Spanish. The point of uniqueness in this cool shop across the street from Kennesaw State University is simple… authenticity. Owner Edgar Bahamon said, “At Tinto’s, we only use the highest quality beans from my native land, Columbia… where the best coffee beans in the world are grown.” The aroma in the café is beyond description. It’s amazing. It’s wonderful. It’s purely Columbian. Their sign that reads “No Coffee? No Problem!” represents a part of their menu board with a wide array of non-coffee drinks (smoothies and more) for those who would prefer a break from caffeeine. The London Fog tea is “spot on,” as they’d say in the U.K. Their shop also has a cool retail section with unique crafts and more. KSU Owl students and business people alike love Tinto’s.

The Daily Grind

3960 Maryl Eliza Trace, Marrietta.

Owner: Nikki Krzemien

Must Try: The Panini Club and the Daily Grind’s Creamy Caramel Latte.

The key word and uniqueness for this comfortable shop is “family.” In the words of owner, Nikki Krzemien, “Not only is the store family-owned but both employees and customers are treated like family.” As an example, when Krzemien recently got married, many of her customers came to the wedding. The service level is stellar. The aromas are amazing and the ambience is living room comfortable. A special program they implement is called “Teacher’s Lunch Box.” Through an online ordering app, students (all ages, all grades) and their parents can order a lunch, side and of course coffee to be delivered to their favorite teacher at their school. They now serve more than 25 schools in the program. For more information, visit www.TeachersLunchBox.org

Cool Beans

31 Mill Street, Marietta Square

Must Try: 8-Ball and T-Man espresso drinks

How’s this for balancing on-premise and off-premise? Buy a bag of beans at Cool Beans and get a free cup of coffee. This shop fits its name well. It’s cool! From art work on the walls to an outside courtyard with seating and a coffee roaster adjacent to the retail counter, the atmosphere is laidback and upbeat. Cool Beans Manager Lauren Felcyn said, “Variety is one of our assets with over 40 coffee flavors and new ones added to match holidays (i.e. Pumpkin Spice or Egg Nog Lattes).” Ask any cool cat wandering about the cafe why they dig the place and they›ll likely respond with a knowing look: “C’mon.  Look around.  This place is cool.”

CafE Comma

3621 Vinings Slope Rd., Vinings

Owner: Kristy Yun

Must Try: Fig and Ricotta Toast

Call it new age, contemporary or alternative, Café Comma boasts “…a calmer, more civilized gourmet coffee experience” and “an oasis among the concrete jungle.” Although the café’s feel and ambiance is sleek, unassuming and modernistic, its blend of gourmet coffees and fabulous food (i.e. Brie & Apricot Toast, Fresh Avodaco Toast, Egg and Garlic Toast, etc.) is extraordinary. Of special note is a large wall graphic that owner Kristy Yun proudly displays and claims, “We Don’t Have Inspirational Quotes Here. We Only Have A Good Coffee And Good Vibes.” Delicious drinks include the Mexican drink, Horchata, as well as Lavender and Charcoal Coconut Lattes. Café Comma could easily change its name to Café Exclamation Point… it’s that dynamic!

Rev Coffee Roasters

1680 Spring Road, SE, Smyrna

Must Try: Bacon Cheddar Muffin

This is a funky coffeehouse in a converted garage that serves house-roasted beans accompanied by live music occasionally.

There’s lots of local artwork on the walls and it’s all for sale. The atmosphere is more of a hip, eccletic art museum than it is a traditional coffee shop. Rev is anything but “traditional.” Besides roasting coffee beans from around the world, you can also buy coffee roasters, brewing devices, tumblers, cups, apparel and more. The atmosphere is as much market as it is café. Their Almost Famous Chicken Salad, and Spinach Florentine Quiche are unique and simply wonderful. Empahsize wonderful. Oh yes, and the Bacon Cheddar Muffin is worth the trip. Manager Sean Hagler said, “There’s nothing frozen at Rev. Everything is freshly baked on premise. Oh yes, attention aspiring artists: Rev’s waiting list to display local art is ten month’s long.”

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“What goes best with a cup of coffee?”  The answer is simple...“Another cup!”

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