Ready to Roast: Third-Wave Coffee Arrives in South Florida

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That same passion is making its mark across Palm Beach and Broward counties, where in the past six months, a number of small-batch coffee roasters has started what is becoming a specialty coffee movement of sorts. What Panther Coffee in Miami's Wynwood district began has slowly crept north.

Now, you'll find places like Oceana in Tequesta, Subculture Coffee and Rabbit Coffee Roasting Co. in West Palm Beach, and Wells Coffee Co. in Boca Raton. In Broward County, there's Argyle Coffee Roasters and Calusa Coffee Roasters in Fort Lauderdale and the Chosen Bean out of Coral Springs.

Of course, this growth isn't unique to South Florida. It's part of a larger, national trend not unlike the craft-beer movement. This awakening, often referred to as "third-wave coffee," is fast becoming a niche in the country's obsession with everything artisanal, handmade, and small-batch.

For restaurateur Rodney Mayo, the specialty coffee movement has been a long time coming. Mayo opened Subculture Coffee (509 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) in February 2014 alongside business partner and local roaster Sean Scott. Together, they founded the city's first roasting café, where you can grab an espresso and watch the beans bake all in one place.

"We both wanted a good cup of coffee and couldn't find it anywhere," said Mayo. "So we decided to do something about it. Subculture is all about bringing good coffee to the people."

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna