Warm Up with Organic, Fair Trade, Local Coffee Shops in Atlanta

Cooler weather has me fiend-ing for coffee. Hot beverages are like a drug to me during the cold months. I crave them at all times of day, with all sorts of people in any place where it’s available. Of course, being the freak that I am, I don’t just want Starbucks. Nothing against them–Bravo to savvy business people–but I do have a soft spot for locally owned coffee shops, especially those who distribute organic, sustainably harvested, and fair trade products. So, here is my much anticipated spiel on the best coffee shops around Atlanta.

Java Monkey, Decatur

Java Monkey  is a given for anyone who has ever lived in Dectaur, particularly former Agnes Scott students (Go Scotties!). It’s a bit hipster, a bit anti-hipster, and a bit for the rest of us who just want good coffee and wine. Java Monkey offers organic, fair trade “coffees of the day” so that you can sample coffees of different origins. Their prices are about as friendly as quality coffee prices get. (You know what I mean.)

Cafe Campesino, AtlantaSweet Auburn

Cafe Campesino is the first and only fair trade, organic purchasing cooperative in the nation. They began right here in Georgia (in Americus, which isn’t some neighborhood of Atlanta for those of you who never travel OTP). They opened a coffee bar in Atlanta that has been booming ever since. Their shade grown coffee is sold by the pound, in bulk, and roasted to order. I adore this place because it’s one of the only coffee shops in Atlanta where parking isn’t a pain in the rump. And it’s free!


45 South, Norcross

45 South is a quaint shop that hosts small, fun community events. Their live music is varied, but always mellow and nice to listen to in the background while chatting it up with friends. 45 South serves Counter Culture Coffee and coffee beverages. I tried the Holiday Blend here and just about melted. It’s got chocolate and caramel notes that are warm and delicious. If you want breakfast, lunch, or a snack with your coffee ask the rep behind the counter for details.

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, Cumming

The first time that I tried to go to Dutch Monkey was on a rainy Tuesday evening. Starbucks was across the street, shining bright, but my eyes perked up at the site of a smaller, lesser known coffee shop. I was tragically disappointed. It closed at 4pm and I was pulling in at 4:20. Seriously?!

I returned later and was rewarded with Counter Culture Coffee and sweets that were melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Lattes, mochas, and all of your traditional favorites on the beverage list. I ordered black coffee and accompanied it with chocolate chip twist. Delectable! Their sweets don’t hide behind sugar alone. Skillfully made dough and quality toppings make this a doughnut shop like no other in Atlanta.

West Egg, Atlanta-West Side

If you’re ever setting out on a quest for home decor early in the morning, do yourself a favor and head to the West Side. Their design district has plenty of stunning shops (with stunning price tags, so be prepared). Fuel up for your search at West Egg. (Their are other restaurants with that name throughout the US but I don’t think it’s a franchise.) West Egg Atlanta is a cafe/diner that serves light meals throughout the day. Their shining glory is coffee from Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters. Batdorf & Bronson is one of the few roasters in Atlanta,  located less than 2 miles from the cafe. They offer a series of fine, organic coffees that make you feel richer just drinking them. I promise!

Where is your favorite spot for fancy coffee with a conscience in Atlanta?

4 thoughts on “Warm Up with Organic, Fair Trade, Local Coffee Shops in Atlanta

  1. Thanks for this guide, Erica. I’ve been to Java Monkey and Cafe Campesino and agree that they are both wonderful. Looking forward to trying the others.

    FYI, you can also buy fair trade coffee for your own home at Ten Thousand Villages, which is a nonprofit shop dedicated to fair trade. There’s one in Virginia-Highland, one in Cumming, and one near Perimeter.

    1. Hello, Virginia. Yes, I adore Ten Thousand Villages. I’ve been to both the Virginia Highlands and Cumming locations but I haven’t made it out to Perimeter. Good idea! I referenced Ten Thousand Villages as a great place to buy handmade (and often recycled) art; it’s also good to know that guests can find coffee with a conscience there 🙂 Thanks!

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