Readers Choice winner: Who has the best coffee in Palm Beach County?

We admit the question may have teetered upon the unfocused: Who has the best coffee in Palm Beach County?

But you knew what we meant, dear readers, and there was nothing unfocused about your answers. Who has the best coffee, in brew and concept?

Patrons enjoy the cramped confines of Subculture Coffee in West Palm Beach. A lease will give the shop additional space. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Subculture prepares for larger Clematis Street digs next month. (Richard Graulich/ Palm Beach Post)

You voted resoundingly for Subculture Coffee, the small-batch roaster and hipster concept with locations in downtown West Palm Beach and Delray Beach.

“It’s really encouraging. As a business owner, you want your product to stand on its own,” says Sean Scott, Subculture co-owner and coffee roaster. He describes the response to his coffee and concept as a kind of “gravitational, community pull.”

Which is to say: a hit. (Also a hit were Oceana Coffee in Tequesta and the Common Grounds coffee shop in Lake Worth, which tied for second place.)

Co-owned by nightlife/restaurant czar Rodney Mayo, Subculture is both a local coffee brand and coffee shop. As a coffee brand, it uses beans harvested in far-flung places (as in Chiriquí, Panama, and Oromia, Ethiopia). Those beans are roasted in Subculture’s industrial Diedrich roaster and produce a wide range of fresh brewed coffee, diverse in flavor depth and weight.

A cappuccino by coffee master Sean Scott, founder Subculture Coffee. (Palm Beach Post file)
A cappuccino by coffee master Sean Scott, founder Subculture Coffee. (Palm Beach Post file)

This is not coffee that can be described as strictly bold or strictly high-octane. “Our coffee changes quarterly, due to seasonality,” says Scott. “I really focus on offering four or five different origins at a time, with each having unique characteristics. I try to roast to enhance those unique qualities in varieties.”

As a shop, its original location on Clematis Street has proven to be a game changer for that main drag’s 500 Block. Living up to its name, the shop has added a chill, creative subculture to the block.

There’s more than just coffee going on at Subculture – the place has nurtured a consistently caffeinated community and brought events like Tacos and Hip Hop to the block. All this in two and a half years.

And there’s more: Within weeks, the Clematis shop will double in size as Subculture expands into the locale next door.

The new space allows Scott the room to host weekly coffee appreciation classes, exploring everything from bean origin to processing technique to brewing.

“It brings coffee to the level of wine. We know that wine is complex. That’s what I want people to know about coffee,” says Scott, who plans to open the space sometime in October. “We want to move beyond the caramel macchiato and further educate our community.”

photo subculture coffee shop
A pair of macchiatos at Subculture Coffee shop in West Palm Beach. (Liz Balmaseda/ Palm Beach Post)

SUBCULTURE COFFEE

In West Palm Beach

  • 509 Clematis St.; 561-318-5182; open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday to 2 a.m.

In Delray Beach

  • 123 E. Atlantic Ave.; 561-808-8482; open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight

Online: SubcultureCoffee.com

Vote now! Who has the best coffee in Palm Beach County?

Subculture Coffee
A cappuccino by coffee master Sean Scott, founder Subculture Coffee.

Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe! And we all have our favorite place to grab some coffee. Based on your feedback on our social posts asking for your favorites, we compiled the following list of coffee spots. Now it’s time to vote! We’ll announce the winner in the coming weeks.

Here are some of our previous Readers’ Choice winners:

Readers’ Choice: ‘Best BBQ in PB County’

Readers’ Choice: ‘Best hot dogs in PB County’

 

Five places for hot coffee on a rainy day

An Italian espresso at C Street Cafe. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
An Italian espresso at C Street Cafe. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

It’s rainy outside today. A good time to get some coffee.

1. C Street Café

This cozy coffee shop welcomes you with a laid-back, urban vibe and freshly brewed coffee. Can’t go wrong with an Italian espresso.

  • C Street: 319 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-469-9959; on Facebook here
Barista Amy Duell makes Japanese Cold Brew at Oceana Coffee in Tequesta. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Barista Amy Duell makes Japanese Cold Brew at Oceana Coffee in Tequesta. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

2. Oceana Coffee

The cold brew at this Tequesta roaster is clean and sublime. And now you can enjoy it at Oceana’s spiffy new coffee lounge.

  • Oceana Coffee: New coffee lounge at 150 N. US Highway 1, #1 (across from the Marshall’s/Homegoods store), Tequesta; roasting house at 221 Old Dixie Highway, Tequesta; 561-401-2453; OceanaCoffee.com
A cappuccino made with The Rabbit coffee at Brewhouse Gallery. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
A cappuccino made with The Rabbit coffee at Brewhouse Gallery. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

3. Brewhouse Gallery

As you peruse the works of local artists or listen to some live music, treat yourself to a yummy cappuccino made with The Rabbit’s locally roasted Guatemalan beans. It’s so delicious, I could sip it by the gallon.

A couple of macchiatos at Subculture Coffee. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
A couple of macchiatos at Subculture Coffee. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

4. Subculture Coffee

This hipster hang on Clematis Street brews some delicious coffees that are roasted onsite. My favorite preparation: the macchiato, a bold café with the slightest puff of milk foam. South county folks can enjoy their Subculture brews at the new-ish second location in downtown Delray Beach.

  • Subculture: In West Palm Beach at 509 Clematis St. (561-318-5142), in Delray Beach at 123 E. Atlantic Ave. (561-808-8482); SubcultureCoffee.com
A latte from The Grind Cafe in Delray Beach. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)
A latte from The Grind Cafe in Delray Beach. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)

5. The Grind Café

This Delray Beach spot serves some yummy – and artistic – lattes. Sip one from one of The Grind’s branded retro cups while you decided if you’ll succumb to the café’s baked good temptations.

  • The Grind: at the Delray Marketplace, 14859 Lyons Rd., #132, Delray Beach; 561-270-2058; GrindCafeDelray.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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