Every town has the place that the locals hold in high regard. The place where they will take out of town visitors, and in the car (or bike!) ride there tell them all about the “most amazing thing you just have to try”. This is also the place you will see an eclectic mix of people co-habiting in a way that only this featured item could bring together. In Jacksonville, that item is coffee and that place is Bold Bean Coffee Roasters. Located on a small strip of Stockton Street with restaurants and bike shops for neighbors, Bold Bean is synonymous with coffee in this city. They are the place for business meetings, late night study sessions, catching up with friends, and just getting a damn good cup of coffee.
Bold Bean is a full service coffee bar, slinging everything from a fruity breakfast muffins and hearty sandwiches to a strong cup of coffee and a cold pint. If you find yourself here for a few hours you can switch from sipping some of the finest ground coffee available in the nation to relaxing with whatever brews they have on tap (you’ll always find local offerings). You’ll also notice a friendly staff who are happy to answer questions and won’t make you feel embarrassed if you want to know about their plethora of different brew methods.
It’s a great place to hang out, with a variety of seating and table options. If it’s a nice day out, there’s tables out front and even a few tables in the back courtyard where you can get a little quiet if needed. There’s also plenty to do if you don’t bring anything with you. You can watch employees roast the beans in a massive machine through a soundproof glass window, sit in one of the super comfortable chairs and pick up a book on the coffee table (we recommend Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage), or the good old stand by of people watching.
For drinks we recommend:
Alex: My favorite drink is their honey latte. It’s a perfect combination of espresso and steamed sweetness that needs no other additives. I’ve also never had a prettier coffee latte to date. For me, the large version is strictly for morning use only! My only issue with this tasty beverage is that is so good I can hardly bear to order anything else.
When it’s late at night and I just want something to sip on I go for one of their iced teas. The Cranberry Orange tea is the perfect refresher if you find yourself still thirsty after your first cup of coffee. The Black Mango is a close second for me, as another good fruit tea. I’m still learning to enjoy tea, having had too many bad experiences as a kid mistaking iced tea for soda ruined me early on. I’ve never had a tastier time learning to enjoy something!
Heather: I’m a sucker for chai lattes, and Bold Bean’s is at the top of my favorites. Theirs is the kind that you’ll get a craving for and that when it is empty you can easily convince yourself that you should order another. Chai latte lovers – you’ll find heaven here.
Adam, the baker, is a genius. We’ll just leave it at that. Instead of telling you what you should order, just let your eyes make the decision, because whatever you chose will always be the right answer. There has never been an item we didn’t eat every crumb of, and we know you’ll feel the same.
Not only a place for tasty brews and food, Bold Bean also provides fantastic cultural stimulation for the community. Their gallery wall covering the back section of the shop changes with local art shows, providing a free viewing of art for the public. One of our favorite screen prints in our home now, we found through a show at Bold Bean. If you’re lucky you might also get the pleasure of hearing live music while you enjoy your drink. But if you miss a live performance, rest assured the ambiance will be set by a rotating selection of music. We’ve heard everything from electronic to world music and have on more than one occasion asked to get the name of the artist.
Bold Bean’s slogan is to “put a little boldness in everything you do”, and their most recent idea has done just that. In an effort to foster community and encourage interaction, they have decided to go internet free on the weekends. A definite draw for our excursions to Bold Bean is being able to get some work done while enjoying some coffee. But we have undoubtedly noticed that with the lure of our computers and the internet, we do pay less attention to what is going on around us. Whether missing the chance to wave hello to a friend who is grabbing a cup to go or meeting someone new, our computers to have draw backs. So we applaud Bold Bean in their efforts to stick to their mission of fostering community. We are happy to have an excuse to enjoy the moment and make new connections.
Bold Bean Coffee Roasters
869 Stockton Street, Suite 1-2