Are you the kind of person who starts each day with a cup of joe? Do you feel incomplete without it, like half a person, half asleep with half a functioning brain? Do you long to feel the coursing of caffeinated beverage pulsing through your veins?
I like a good cup of coffee, even more so in the winter, but I also like a little ambiance. Des Moines has many flavors of coffee and coffee house, with a taste that will fit any palate.
Of course we have many of the standard chains with which you might be familiar like Starbucks and Caribou. You can always count on the quality and familiar taste of the coffee in those places. But then you have some more local flavors. Downtown offers Amici’s (with 2 other Des Moines locations as well), the Village Bean (in the East Village) and Java Joe’s. Java Joe’s in particular has that very Northwest US beatnik feel.
Near Drake, you have Mars Cafe, which has tons more than just coffee, including music and events and a good college crowd. On Ingersoll near DMU campus, you have Zanzibar - who roasts all their own beans - and Java B Good - which has odd hours and is in a flower shop, making it very interesting.
Venturing out a little you can find Grounds for Celebration, another small Des Moines chain, and Smokey Row, my personal favorite. Smokey Row is excellent because of their food, soda bar, large floorspace, good staff, and overall atmosphere. No doubt there are a lot of good options in town, and I’ve only scratched the surface. Let us know if you find any great coffee shops you would like to share with others.
One last footnote: If you are a tea drinker, look no further than Gong Fu Tea in the East Village!