It's sad but true. If you're looking for a caffeine fix in Palm Beach and Broward counties, you won't find much in the way of truly good coffee. Outside of a few independent coffee shops -- some brewing organic and small-batch roasts -- the options remain nothing but Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks.
In the past few years, a handful of local roasters has been able to break into the craft coffee scene, however. Their goal: to introduce South Florida to small-batch, artisanal brews (the java kind). Now, thanks to Subculture Coffee in West Palm Beach -- which opened in March 2013 as one of the area's first microroasters -- the trend could be growing.
A stellar first year, combined with plenty of positive feedback, has partners and Subculture Coffee cofounders Sean Scott and Rodney Mayo looking to open their second location in Palm Beach County.
The new Subculture Coffee shop is a move that Mayo and former Habatat Coffee founder Scott say is part of their original vision to expand the microroasting brand over the next few years.
In a recent interview, Scott confirmed that he and Mayo have signed a lease for a space off east Atlantic Avenue in downtown Delray Beach. The space, located between Tramonti and Sazio, was originally slated to become a Cake bakery in conjunction with Rhino Coffee and Doughnuts, Scott said, but when the space became available a few months ago, he and Mayo agreed it would be a good location for a second store.
Subculture Coffee Delray Beach is still in the planning stages and is expected to open sometime in December. The coffee shop will act as a roasting facility and -- like the original West Palm Beach store -- will be open late serving food, craft beer, and wine.
A true artisan, Scott painstakingly sources beans from various regions across the globe, from Central and South America, to Africa and the South Pacific. For him, roasting is a passion that involves more study, knowledge, practice, and skill than any other beverage-making process. Just a tick too high on the thermometer, he said, can mean the difference between a bitter, acidic cup -- or a sweet, smooth finish.
At Subculture Coffee in West Palm Beach, Scott roasts three out of seven days, producing 35 to 50 pounds of small-batch beans each day. The new coffee shop will also have a roaster onsite, said Scott, but won't begin producing its own product immediately.
"We've had so much success already, and we're excited to see the love and support from the community," said Scott. "I'm looking forward to the new location. It's definitely what downtown Delray needs, and I feel the late-night concept will work even better there than it does in West Palm Beach."
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.