The new Black brews: 5 Black-owned bars and cafes you need to try

From loose-leaf tea to espresso-spiked cocktails, these Black-owned bars and cafes offer a drink for every palate

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Photograph courtesy of Brooklyn Tea

When Brooklyn Tea opened in Atlanta earlier this year, it was a homecoming of sorts: Jamila Wright, who launched the first location of the business in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood with Alfonso Wright, is a native Atlantan and a Spelman grad, and the pair recruited their friend Kerri-Ann Thomas—another Spelman alum—to oversee the Castleberry Hill shop (329 Nelson Street). The cafe offers more than 50 loose-leaf teas (try the Cream Earl Grey, with vanilla and cornflower petal as well as bergamot notes), playful pastries like a Notorious B.I.G. cookie, Monday yoga sessions, and monthly Saturday block parties that’ll bring out the kid in you. It’s one of a number of lively Black-owned beverage shops to open in town in the last couple years, running the gamut from tea to coffee to beer. Here are a few of our other faves.Atlantucky BrewingAtlantucky Brewing
Formed by legendary rap group Nappy Roots, this Castleberry newcomer is a brewery and then some, hosting art shows, game nights, rotating pop-up vendors including ATL Seafood Bags and Amorous Tacos, and events like Brunch & Brew—where you might pair a beer-mosa with fried Cajun catfish and grits. Created by Nappy Roots members Skinny Deville and Fish Scales, tap options run from Castleberry Pils to Hapeville Hefeweizen, with new beers constantly coming online, like a brown ale called the Legend of Smokey Brown. 170 Northside Drive, Castleberry Hill

Yay! BeignetYay! Beignet
Just steps off the BeltLine, George Drake pairs a New Orleans icon—sweet, fluffy, and available with dipping sauces including bourbon-praline and butterscotch—with the sophisticated coffee culture of Ethiopia, where he was born. Drinks-wise, there’s little here more elaborate than cafe au lait, but Drake’s brewed hot coffee, cold brew, and packaged beans have made him a hit with neighbors. He’s also started offering classes on beignet making and Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, and plans to open a second location in the Virginia-Highland area. 660 Irwin Street, Old Fourth Ward

Black Coffee ATLBlack Coffee ATL
Offering “coffee with a shot of culture,” this cafe is perfect for late-night java drinkers—it’s open till 2 a.m. on weekends and midnight most other nights, with a ’90s/early-2000s vibe and a plethora of weekly events including a Wednesday open mic. Keep an eye out for specialty drinks such as a strawberry-matcha latte (pictured), the Summer Walker (18-hour cold brew with lemon), and, at night, coffee cocktails like an espresso martini. 131 Walker Street, Castleberry Hill

Hippin Hops BreweryHippin Hops Brewery
Clarence and Donnica Boston opened the first Black-owned brick-and-mortar brewery last year in East Atlanta Village but didn’t stop there: They’ve since expanded to East Lake, with plans in the works for a third outpost in Stone Mountain. With a wide patio and sidewalk seating overlooking the corner of Second Avenue and Hosea Williams Drive, the East Lake location has a hipper and more relaxed vibe than you’ll find in EAV, focusing on sour ales and seltzers, house-distilled spirits, and fun frozen drinks like the combo strawberry Moscow mule and peach margarita pictured here. 2380 Hosea L. Williams Drive, East Lake

This article appears in our September 2022 issue.

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