When we moved to Huntsville six years ago, the coffee scene was nonexistent. My cappuccino loving new-to-the-south self drove the streets of downtown in search of local coffee houses and came home caffeine-free and empty handed. Fast forward to 2021, and Huntsville now boasts so many coffee shops that a craft coffee trail was introduced last year to showcase them. The idea is genius: it’s a card that lists ten unique local coffee shops – each is a “stop” on the trail. Earn a stamp from each one when you visit, and cash it in at your last stop for a Craft Coffee Trail mug!
Always up for a challenge, my Californian mom and I decided to take on the entire list of ten coffee shops in one week while she was visiting town (but really you have as much time as you need to complete). My favorite thing about the CCT? Visiting the new-to-me coffee shops, of which there were several! They’re listed on the card in the following order:
Old Towne Coffee
This eclectic spot is nestled in the five points area and displays a coffee mug shaped “coffee” sign that looks like it came straight from Gilmore Girls. Get anything from their ever-changing monthly features menu (when I went it was Justin Timberlake inspired beverages, cleverly capitalizing on the month of May/”It’s Gonna Be Me” movement).
A fun shop making legitimate bagels and top notch coffee. The everything bagel, toasted, with their house made fig cream cheese is what dreams are made of. Pair this with their latte while viewing a show on the vintage black and white television.
The Moon Bakeshop
Arguably the best from-scratch bakery in town. Go on a Friday or Saturday and you can snag my personal favorite in-house pastry, their flaky cinnamon roll (followed closely in order by their signature cruffin and chocolate crossiant). Pastries pair well with their cappuccino.
Honest Coffee Roasters
Proudly standing on Clinton Row, Honest offered my favorite new find of the CCT: their seasonal Lavender & Honey Sweet Cream Nitro (nitro cold brew infused with a house made lavender simple syrup topped with a honey sweet cream and garnished with lemon zest). The flavors are nuanced and the drink is sweet with amazing depth. Pair with their savory breakfast sandwich.
You’ll find Northside Coffee inside downtown’s new Beezr collective (home also to a brewery, taco kitchen, and champagne on tap!). Order their French Toast Latte – and if you’re there on a Saturday or Sunday try the vegan granola!
Piper & Leaf Constitution Park
Tucked into the historic Constitution Village, the downtown Piper & Leaf is also a cute novelty store with Alabama inspired knick knacks. I (gasp!) always forego coffee here in favor of their pride and joy (tea). If you’re in the mood for something that tastes exactly like peach pie, order the Orchard Peach frother (and pick up a reusable glass mug if you don’t already have one!).
Fine chocolate meets edible art at Lowe Mill. All the confections at this women owned and operated business are almost too pretty to eat! My personal faves include Date Night, Sexyback, and the darling Steel Magnolia that features the Alabama state outline. Pair with just a simple brewed coffee and make sure to take a box of chocolates home!
Gold Sprint Coffee
A stand alone hybrid coffee house/bike shop, Gold Sprint is big, bright, and airy. Try their dirty chai latte and park at a table while you work on your laptop and people watch.
Offbeat Coffee Studio
Vinyl record store meets coffee shop inside Huntsville’s Campus 805. This small shop packs a ton of character and the staff couldn’t be friendlier (like, brought me out a second cappuccino without even asking when my two year old knocked mine over). Order the cereal milk latte and enjoy the vibe.
A coffee shop with a purpose – Charlie Foster’s is dedicated to modeling inclusion of persons with disabilities. Their red and pink decor will make an impression, and being located at Stovehouse, if you go at the right time you can take your cold brew mocha to-go and sip while listening to some live tunes next door.
Ten unique coffee shops and ten phenomenal experiences! Completing the card in just one week meant my mom and I had a few days of double stops – and it also required a little bit of planning since a handful of the shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays (check hours before you go just in case). You can pick up your card to begin at any of the coffee shops or at the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center. I totally recommend doing it as an activity with an out of town visitor (bonus – they’ll get a Huntsville souvenir at the end!) or it would also provide fun direction for a weekly or monthly meet up with a friend or group. Happy Craft Coffee Trailing, y’all!
California native Mande Klein is wife to a super scientist husband, and mama to two young boys. She is a former elementary school teacher of almost ten years and holds a masters degree in education from UC Santa Barbara. Mande blogs at Klein dot Co about everything from baking pie and crafting with kids to scuba diving with sharks. Her loves include coffee, cocktails, yoga, and books.