It’s no secret that myself and coffee have had a long-standing love affair. (Justin’s okay with it.) Because of this awkward love triangle, I’ve had to search out each and every coffee shop in Anchorage and test out their product. I’m a coffee fiend.
My most favoritest of favorite coffee shops in Anchorage is Kaladi Brothers Coffee. This widely-known company (in Alaska and Washington) began as a humble coffee cart in 1986 wandering the streets of downtown Anchorage. Their website says, “Kaladi Brothers Coffee is made in Alaska, by Alaskans, for Alaskans.” If you go there, make sure to try the classic Kaladi Latte, my personal favorite. But also, if you’re in a slightly girly mood (the drink is straight up PINK), have a raspberry white chocolate mocha. It’s very sweet, so I recommend it to people who aren’t huge coffee drinkers. The drip coffee at Kaladi’s is phenom as well, their Red Goat Blend soaring above the average every-day cup of Joe and landing right in the lap of “I’m coming back here ALL THE DAYS of my life.”
Moving along to my second favorite, a more recently established Alaskan espresso lab: SteamDot Coffee. I visited this place when I realized it was a coffee shop (RIGHT ACROSS FROM WHERE I WORKED OH JOY OF JOYS) in something like 2010. If we’re being honest, their website doesn’t readily hand out a bunch of information about origins or roasts, and I met with a lot of error pages, but that’s no reflection on the actual store itself. When you first walk into the location on South Side, (the Espresso & Coffee Lab) you are greeted with a large glass wall that separates the cafe from the coffee roasting action, lending the perfect segue into the mullet quote: “Business in the front; party in the back.” You can order a coffee or a latte and go to the glass wall and learn how the coffee YOU’RE drinking was made. It’s fascinating. The entire place feels a bit industrial, so I didn’t spend a lot of time there. Compared to the Kaladi shops, it’s straight up cold. (Kaladi loves the color scheme of deep reds and yellows and greens. Very relaxing.) But the taste of the dark roast drip coffee will warm you right up, and keep you awake ALL NIGHT, SO DON’T DRINK IT PAST 5pm. Trust me. I found out the hard way. When people bring up SteamDot, the focal point of my review is always how STRONG their coffee is. I like that. Places like Starcrap serve this half-baked stuff that is so smooth that anyone can drink it. I can see the glory in that, I suppose, from a business standpoint, but this is Alaska. We’re Alaskans. We drink real coffee.
But Justin hates coffee, so he’s clearly not Alaskan.
Thirdly! If you’re up for a half hour drive from Anchorage (or 45 minutes, if you drive like I do), Jitters is the place to be. It’s got comfortable chairs and a fireplace and friendly baristas that are very accommodating. It’s the local dive — everyone, from teens to old folks, love Jitters. In the evenings during the school year, students flood the place and crowd it up with friendly chatter amongst the quiet studiers. And! In the Summer, they have a small shack located across the parking lot that becomes a drive-through for those of a less-patient type, or simply for the average commuter. It’s very convenient, and well thought-out.
Anywho, there you have it. Three coffee shops perfect for all different kinds of people.
Enjoy your day, my friend. And drink some coffee for me.