“What’s one of your favorite things about Greenville?” you ask.
“I’m never far from a good coffee shop,” I’ll say.
I love coffee. I am in a committed relationship with coffee. Coffee will always be there for me. We’re high school sweethearts, coffee and I. (No, my caffeine habit did not stunt my growth. I was done growing by then. Please find a new witty comment to make. Can you tell people say that to me a lot?…)
Anyway, what started out as the occasional McDonald’s frappe or Dunkin Donuts coffee coolatta turned into a Friday morning ritual in my high school dorm supervisor’s apartment (and that wonderful lady introduced me to the wonderful world of flavored creamers beyond French vanilla). And by the time my freshman year of college was done, it was a cup every morning. Sophomore year got a little scary–I nearly killed myself with overscheduling, so I was more like a three-cups-per-day kind of girl. I wasn’t awake unless I could see sounds. But since then, I’ve dialed back to a respectable two cups. One in the morning, one in the afternoon.
If you say to me, “Want to go get coffee?” I will answer, “Is that a question?” The answer is yes. Always yes. And I will almost always get a latte.
I love Starbucks. Dunkin has a special place in my heart. But I like an independent coffee shop as well, and lucky for me, Greenville has plenty of them. Think what you like about Millennials and their habit of drinking $5 lattes behind laptop screens in the typical industrially decorated coffee house. This is a generational thing that our parents and grandparents don’t understand. That’s ok. We’re all fairly broke, and this is comparatively cheap entertainment. Because I spent $5 on that latte, I can now use their wifi and watch Netflix. How is that different from watching Netflix at home? I’m out of the house. And I have a latte. It’s cheaper than going to a movie. And I have a latte.
All that said, I’ve tried a few of the coffee shops in the Greenville area, and I’m hoping to try more. Until then, here are reviews of three shops I’ve tried so far.
- Spill the Beans
This shop is located in downtown Greenville, right next to beautiful Falls Park. When the weather is good, it’s the perfect place to stop for coffee (or some amazing ice cream) before taking a stroll in the park and exploring shops or art studios along the Reedy River. Or you can sit down in the shop itself. This is one of the larger shops in the area, so there is plenty of seating. The windows offer great views of the park and let in plenty of natural light–a far cry from the typical dark atmosphere one finds in a coffee house.
I love the taste of their coffee. It’s not too acidic. The flavor is always fresh and robust. I’ve never had a latte there that I didn’t like. And like I said, their ice cream is great as well.
2. Coffee Underground
This shop is also in downtown Greenville. As the name implies, it is a basement shop. Their atmosphere is the boho to Spill the Beans’ hipster. The furniture is more comfortable–they have more couches and armchairs. However, being in a basement, it’s darker and a bit more cramped. Every time I’ve gone, the line has been long, adding to the cramped feeling. So, since I’m a very claustrophobic person, it’s not my favorite place.
On the other hand, they have a more extensive menu for food. And the lattes I’ve had there were good, if a little more sweet and syrupy than I generally prefer. A lot of people in the Greenville area really love this shop, and I agree with the locals that it’s worth a try.
3. Due South Coffee
Due South is in neighboring Taylors at the old textile mill. There are several little shops in the mill to explore, and the space Due South has is open and inviting. Talk about an industrial feel! There it is in an old textile mill. There are metal barrels and giant spools for tables. Again, lots of windows means plenty of natural light, which I love. They roast their own beans. They have a few scones and pastries. They do latte art. It’s cool!
A lot of my friends are obsessed with Due South. I can understand why–it’s a great place to hang out. But their lattes are not my favorites. I find them too acidic–there’s an almost savage bite to the taste. It’s a little too much for me. And no amount of cream or all-natural cane sugar seems to sufficiently take care of that. But some people really love that kind of taste–it all depends on what you like.
As I try more of the shops in the Greenville area, I will write more reviews. If you’re a coffee lover and you find yourself in Greenville, I hope you’ll try out one of these places. All of them have something great to offer.