Some will say coffee is the elixir of the gods, most will at least acknowledge they need it to get going every day.  It is a delicacy in many ways because it isn’t something you can just plant in your own backyard. Coffee beans have to be imported from regions where they can grow because it requires a constant hot temperature, moist environment and plenty of water. Some coffee is grown right here in the United States, in Hawaii, but the rest comes from Africa, South America and Asia.  You can find the best cup of coffee at a local café or coffee house that roasts their own beans locally (and some who also bake and serve food from locally-sourced farms). Here are the top places to get a great cup of Joe.
Reanimator Coffee
1523 E. Susquehanna Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 425-5805
www.reanimatorcoffee.com

Reanimator Coffee seems to imply their coffee can wake the dead, and according to their customers, this may be true. Customers love their roasted coffee and service, remarking about how strong the coffee is, but there are lighter roasts available. The baristas here can provide you with some “café art,” if you appreciate that type of thing. Reanimator roasts their own beans that they serve in the industrial setting of their Fishtown coffee shop. They are also expanding to a second location in Philly. Reanimoator has no frills when it comes to décor — it’s all about the coffee. You can also buy bags of their beans directly from them or in other shops and markets in Philadelphia as well.

Burlap & Bean
204 S. Newtown St. Road
Newtown PA. 19073
(484) 427-4547
www.burlapandbean.com

This independent coffee house also roasts their own beans right on the premises. Burlap & Bean only uses 100 percent fair trade organic beans. Fair Trade means  the farmers they purchase from are not being put into poverty type conditions, the beans are produced in a sustainable fashion and the trade is handled with respect (pretty much exactly as it sounds). Burlap & Bean also becomes  a small musical venue on the weekends. Like many artsy coffee houses, Burlap & Bean has local art displayed in their café. You can come in and relax on the comfy couches — bring your laptop and use the free Wi-Fi while enjoying baked goods, soup and sandwiches.

Gryphon Coffee
105 W. Lancaster Ave
Wayne, PA  19087
(610) 688-1988
www.gryphoncoffee.com

Over on the Main Line is Gryphon Coffee. They roast their own beans and distribute them to their three locations. (Also located in Kensington and Rosemont). Gryphon purchases only certified organic beans (the essence of roasting makes them no longer organic, but the beans themselves are grown organic), and also serve homemade food such as sandwiches, soups and some killer hummus. Gryphons also regularly has live music from local independent artists, plus free Wi-Fi . Finally, their display of local art gives you basically everything you want in a coffee house.

Related: Joe Coffee Newest Coffee Specialty Shop

Menagerie Coffee
18 S. Third St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19106
www.menageriecoffee.com

Over in Old City, Menagerie Coffee offers locally-sourced food and locally roasted beans. Menagerie sells some of the best home brewed coffee and what they refer to as “small eats.” Their claim to fame is the quality of their hand-poured coffees from real baristas. The café draws customers with an appearance that is clean, bright, warm and inviting, featuring both indoor and outdoor sitting. The House blend coffee strikes a nice balance that isn’t too dark or too light.

Grindcore House
1515 South 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19147
(215) 839-3333
www.grindcorehouse.com

Grindcore House is probably one of the more interesting places you will ever go for coffee. They are an eclectic bunch, combining the love of Heavy Metal music with the vegan lifestyle. Grindcore of course grinds their own fair trade coffees, but people love it for the atmosphere. It’s dog-friendly as well. This is where you want to go if you love a latté but don’t love cow’s milk — they will have the largest variety of non-dairy choices for those who still want a bit of creamy delight. Grindcore also produces locally-sourced food and serves food that is 100 percent vegan.

Related: Top Spots For Locally Roasted Coffee

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.