Category Archives: Coffee

Picture of the Week: Bean Traders in Durham

Bean Traders opened in the Homestead Market on Highway 54 in Durham back in 2000 and it continues to be mainstay of the local coffee scene. It is one of those coffee shops that I just don’t get to as often as I would like, but fall in love with it every time I visit. They roast their own coffee beans, have a creative drink menu, and offer an  impressive assortment of food items like waffles, homemade pies, and my personal favorite …. dark chocolate sea salt cookies.

A little over a year ago the shop expanded into the space next door and revamped its layout adding a lot of additional seating and a bigger coffee bar island to serve its droves of faithful customers. I usually go on the weekends when it can be quite busy, but the line always moves quickly and the space has a relaxing vibe making it a great spot to spend a Saturday morning nursing a warm mug of fresh coffee and people watching.

When you visit there is a pretty good chance you will run into the owners Christy and David both baking things for the shop and working the espresso machine. To learn more about their story and how they first met check out this great article in Durham Magazine. In the meantime add Bean Traders to your list of places to check out the next time you are in the Southpoint Mall area of Durham. Be sure to try their cold brew, it is some of the best around!

Bean Traders
105 W NC Highway 54
Durham, NC

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Grounds Café & Raleigh Coffee Company – Building Relationships with Coffee Farmers

Casey Marburger (Grounds Cafe) & Joe Bland (Raleigh Coffee Company)

When you go into a coffee shop do you ever wonder where their coffee comes from? Not just where it was roasted, but where the coffee beans were farmed, how it was grown, and who picked it? Most of us don’t give it much thought, but the story of how your morning coffee makes its way to your cup actually affects a lot of lives along the way. For people like Casey Marburger, owner and operator of Grounds Café in Wendell Falls, the relationship between cafe owner and coffee farmer is important. That is why Casey is working with Joe Bland, owner of Raleigh Coffee Company, to partner with a family run coffee farm in Guatemala to source coffee beans for use at Grounds and her coffee catering business Event Espresso.

Grounds Cafe in Wendell Falls

Together the two are working with Dos Ninas Coffee Importers as part of their “Seed to Cup” program. By doing so they know exactly where their coffee beans are coming from (right down to exact the location on the farm). They are also ensuring that the coffee they are getting is being farmed in an environmentally sustainable manner by a coffee farm that treats its workers fairly and and gives back to the community.

This partnership is important to Joe because Raleigh Coffee Company strives to develop relationships between its customers and the greater coffee farming community. It is also important to Casey because as she explains it, transparency regarding where the coffee used in her shop comes from is important to her, along with ensuring that it is grown with love and comes from a place of positive energy that supports the community.


Finca San Luis El Volcancito Coffee Farm – Guatemala

By entering into this partnership Raleigh Coffee Company and Grounds know they are getting a high quality coffee that they can trace from bean to cup. They have access to detailed information from each step in the process down to the soil ph of the soil it was grown from on the farm. By establishing this relationship with Dos Ninas they provide the farm with a commitment to purchase a certain amount of coffee each year providing a guaranteed revenue stream that the farm can count on and use to invest in their operation and give back to their local coffee community.


Coffee Cherries

Dos Niñas Coffee was founded by the Schippers sisters. The two are fourth generation farmers and spent much of their childhood growing up in the Guatemalan Countryside on their family’s farm, Finca San Luis El Volcancito. After moving to the United States, the sisters have dedicated themselves to the work of introducing roasters across the US to the exceptional coffee their family farm produces.

What makes Dos Niñas standout in the world of coffee is their dedication to three core values: family, quality & traceability. Nestled in between the Guatemalan mountains, Finca San Luis El Volcancito resides in Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, in the region of Santa Rosa. The farm’s origins date back to 1881, with the family buying the land in 1998. The coffee is farmed from extremely fertile land thanks to the farm’s own private volcano which results in very productive soils. From its seedling stage in the nursery, to its last drying step the coffee is cared for with great attention to detail.


School on the Farm

They are not only committed to producing great quality coffee, but also to making a change in their community and its employees. The farm is home to 11 families, who are also the farm workers. Each family is provided with land for their personal coffee cropland the farm has constructed a school for the children and renovated an existing church to serve the community.

They are also in the process of building each family a house on the farm. Currently, the school supports pre-kinder through the 6th grade and there are plans to expand the building and gain personnel in order to add a high school to complete the children’s education.  Dos Niñas takes pride in knowing that every hand that labors alongside their family is compensated fairly, their community is supported, and the land that they farm is treated with love.


Raleigh Coffee Company Bean Roaster

If you would like to learn more about the Dos Ninas “bean to cup” program visit their website here. I also recommend paying a visit to Grounds Cafe the next time you are in Wendell. They have a wonderful location inside the Farmhouse located at the new Wendell Falls Community. And of course you can always purchase coffee directly from Raleigh Coffee Company through their online store.

No matter where you enjoy your next cup of coffee, take a moment to think about where it comes from and the lives it has touched. When the coffee farmer, roaster, and cafe owner work together to provide quality coffee that embodies respect and reverence for land and labor everyone wins.


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Jubala Village Coffee Now Open on Hillsborough Street


Jubala Village Coffee will always be a special place to me. I was so excited when their first location opened in Lafayette Village back in 2011. I had my very first pour over coffee experience there and loved spending time at the coffee bar talking to the baristas about the different types of coffees they were brewing. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the coffee and service Jubala provided, so I was thrilled when I learned of their plans to open a second location on Hillsborough Street in the Aloft Hotel on Hillsborough Street.


The new location opened last Friday and I of course had to stop by that morning to check it out. It was great to see the community out in full force to welcome Jubala to the neighborhood. The crowd was buzzing and I even saw several regulars from the North Raleigh shop. The Hillsborough space has a different layout than the original location. The baristas operate out of a central island located with two espresso machines – one for “stay” orders and the other “to go”. Seating is located to one side and behind the bar area and in front of the kitchen.


One wall is adorned with a beautiful walnut wood that forms into bench providing seating for several tables along the wall. There is also a communal table and several additional tables and counter seating behind the bar. One of my favorite things about the new space is the view into the kitchen which. You will be able to find many of the original shops food menu items at the new location, but keep an eye out for additional items in the future as they use the bigger kitchen space to expand on their food offerings.

Jubala Coffee

Like the original location the new shop also uses Counter Culture Coffee roasted just down the road in Durham. In addition to great espresso drinks you can get individual pour overs and they have also added a carefully calibrated drip method brewing system for those needing to grab coffee on the go. The new location is located at 2100 Hillsborough Street at the base of the Aloft Hotel (across the street from the NCSU Bell Tower). Starting out the they will be open 7am to 5pm seven day a week. Starting February 22nd they will extend their evening hours closing at 9pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends.

Jubala Village Coffee
2100 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC

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Cocoa Cinnamon Opens Second Durham Location Monday February 1st


Owners Areli & Leon of Cocoa Cinnamon
(Photo courtesy Laura Conte)

I have exciting news for Triangle coffee fans! Durham coffee shop Cocoa Cinnamon will open the doors to their second location this Monday, February 1st at 7am. The shop is located on the corner of Hillsborough Road & Trent Drive in Old West Durham.  Much like the original location this opening is being done “beta mode” style, meaning things will evolve over time. Initially there will be a smaller menu, fewer hours, and some touching up of the final details of the space as the new location comes into its own organically in the weeks ahead.

Starting out the new Hillsborough Road location will be open 7am -5pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday and evening hours will be added a little further down the road. I’m looking forward to checking out the new spot and sharing more pictures soon. In the meantime you can stay up to date on happenings at both of their locations by following Cocoa Cinnamon on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Laura Conte of Milton’s Famous Cookies for permission to use her great photo of Areli & Leon above. You can find Milton’s Famous Cookies for sale at both Cocoa Cinnamon locations. I’m looking forward to trying them the next time I visit!

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Joe Van Gogh’s 3rd Durham location at Woodcroft Shopping Center Now Open!

JVG Woodcroft 2

Photo courtesy Joe Van Gogh

I always get excited when I hear about a new coffee shop opening. Joe Van Gogh is an independently owned and operated coffee roaster and retailer based out of Hillsborough. Owner Robbie Roberts began roasting coffee back in 1991 and has been doing his part to caffeinate the Triangle ever since.  The newest Joe Van Gogh location opened this week in the Woodcroft Shopping Center in Durham (map). I’ve been a fan of Joe Van Gogh coffee for some time now and am happy to hear the new shop has a kitchen to offer light, seasonal fare throughout the year to complement their coffee and espresso menu.
JVG Woodcroft 3

Photo courtesy Joe Van Gogh

The new location will be open limited hours this Wednesday & Thursday (December 2nd and 3rd) from 8am until 3pm, and start normal hours on Friday, December 4th. You can meet the owner and the crew this Thursday from 8am until noon while enjoying free drip coffee and pastry samples.
JVG Woodcroft 4

Photo courtesy Joe Van Gogh

When you visit, don’t forget that gift cards to local coffee shops make great gifts for the coffee geek in your family (I know I love them). For additional information about Joe Van Gogh, visit their website at

Joe Van Gogh Coffee – Woodcroft Shopping Center Location
4711-5A Hope Valley Road
Durham, NC 27707

Hours beginning Friday, December 4th
Mon – Fri : 6:30am to 7:00pm
Sat : 7:00am to 7:00pm
Sun : 8:00am to 7:00pm

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