The Indigenous Coffee Mongers
-De Colores Espresso
Bev Ketchum runs this place, and you can taste every line of her inviting smile in each flavor of gelato that pours forth from this little gem. She's also really cool about local art and music, though, since downtown seems to be the hub of that wheel, her deep West Knoxville location makes it difficult for her to capture the imagination of the customary local art crowd. But if you ever make it out there (and you should), you'll be enchanted. Buy a sandwich and a shot of espresso, and follow it up with a cup of inimitable lemon sorbet.
-Coffee and Chocolate
These guys don't have a website, for the reasons mentioned above, I would guess, among others. I was a little apprehensive about their opening, worrying that they wouldn't make it. For the record, I worry this for a lot of small businesses - more than I could ever patronize. So I've been glad to see them moving forward in the minds of Knoxvillians. My neighbor doesn't like their espresso, but we're all quite picky 'round here (the best espresso I've ever had was in a pub in Dundee, Scotland called The Counting House). I feel that they've at least lodged themselves somewhat firmly into the upper echelons of coffee mongering in Knoxville, however, especially with their desserts. This video should tell you more.
This place is extremely new. Tucked deep in the chewy nougat town center of Sequoia Hills, it has capture my interest and whetted my tastebuds. I haven't even been their yet, but I've heard tell. My aforementioned neighbor loves it. Their schtick has traveled far and wide in a short period of time, and I hope that they're a portrait of the zeitgeist in Knoxville. Hours are a bit short for me to make it out there regularly, but I'll be sure to get there soon. The pictures of their personal construction work speak for the owners' passion for the place and the community. They already have quite a few regulars, I hear.
These guys aren't even open yet, but I have great hopes for them. They certainly seem to have high hopes for themselves and their place in the community. Hopefully, they'll jump right in and catch a good number of regulars, since the Gay Street residential bug is inching ever-so-slightly northward towards Jackson. I'm glad that they're in the Old City, right across from where Cup a Joe used to be. While Java has survived us all as far as local coffee businesses go, and has also been a champion of local and organic foods since the difficult days of Victor Ashe, I'm hoping that this will be the poster child for the Old City becoming a neighborhood again (although the nightlife is always jumping nowadays).
Coffee makes us severe, and grave, and philosophical.