Northeast Tennessee is no stranger to unique stores, restaurants and cafes. Johnson City is evolving as a college town and we’ve handpicked three local baristas that are among East Tennessee State University’s student favorites, all while taking sustainability and healthy eating seriously.
Java Juice House
Java Juice House was founded in 2017 and is deemed a coffee shop and juice bar, but it is much more than that. Health is a priority, as the business strives to make a change in their customer’s diets by offering a variety of healthy options.
From the moment you walk through the door, friendly workers greet you, as well as a large menu, a cooler full of cold-pressed juice and varieties of kombucha. The juice house also features Telos Roasters Coffee, produced locally in Johnson City.
According to the owner Fareed Yasin, their main mission is to host customers who leave happy and healthy, which is why they only use natural, health-conscious ingredients, plus gluten and dairy free options.
Java Juice House also creates in-house peanut, almond and cashew butter, cold-pressed juices, granola, acai and pitaya bowls, as well as power bites. The staff works hard on product development, by testing different flavors and new recipes. So, keep an eye out for future healthy products.
“Our team at Java Juice House is passionate about what we do, and is continuously working hard to bring the best food options to our community,” Yasin said. “In return, the community has been very supportive of our family-owned business, which has made all the hard work the past couple of years worth it. We like to call it the Java Juice House Family.”
Dos Gatos Coffee Bar
Dos Gatos Coffee Bar, translated as “two cats” in Spanish, is located in the heart of downtown Johnson City.
Dos Gatos prides themselves with local coffee, service oriented baristas and the community they have created around the brand. Baristas go through extensive training before being put on the floor to ensure they are properly handling the art of coffee-making. The owner says that excellent coffee, local artwork and buying from local partners is important.
North Carolina based Counter Culture Coffee provides the java, which is roasted and placed into the hands of happy customers. Counter Culture is based out of North Carolina, and has been recognized nationwide for quality coffee, education programs, relationships with personal farmers and sustainability efforts. They also host Dos Gatos barista training programs.
Sustainability is also very important to this coffee shop, with environmentally friendly practices including $1 coffee specials for customers who bring their own cup. They also provide noodle straws, composting and create house made syrups. Dos Gatos also features Harney & Sons tea, with an entire menu of lattes and cold beverages.
“We always wanted to have excellent coffee, which is the core of our values. In addition, we showcase local artwork at the gallery for guests,” owner Dick Nelson said. “We also serve small bites, and have local food options for customers. ”
Bebettes is a New Orleans style coffeehouse that recently expanded from its location in nearby Asheville, NC. The word bebette is derived from the French language meaning “little monsters.”
The coffeehouse is very nontraditional for Northeast Tennessee, and serves premium coffee and lattes, fresh made-to-order beignets, and sandwiches with a choice of fruit or chips as a side.
Beignets is a popular food in New Orleans that is tied to Mardi Gras. Since its creation, it has been a tradition for the residents, but also a beloved treat in other parts of the world. But, what is a beignet? The word beignet is French for “fritter” or “doughnut.” The New Orleans style beignet includes deep fried dough and is topped with powdered sugar.
Bebettes’ beignets are offered in classic, churro and chocolate sauce, and come in a set of three, or can be cut into strips. Sandwiches consist of two made to order beignets built to order with powdered sugar and a side. Their tea lattes are crafted from hand selected blends mixed with steamed milk, pure cane sugar syrup and whipped topping. Keeping with the Louisiana tradition, they offer special lattes made with coffee, chicory, steamed milk, syrup and whipped topping.
Sustainability is also an important component of the business, as kitchen utensils including stirrers, forks and knives are wooden and reusable. The utensils and packaging that customers use are compostable and biodegradable, including hot and cold coffee cups. Bebettes also tries to minimize one-use products and recycles as many items as possible.
“Being true to a New Orleans coffeehouse is important to us,” said investor and café manager Jacob Speiss. “Bebettes is lively, welcoming and untraditional to quiet coffee houses. We are happy and would like to continue to grow that vibe.”
Additional Johnson City Coffee Shops We Recommend:
Off The Beaten Path
Open Doors Coffeehouse
For additional trip ideas in Johnson City, go to visitjohnsoncitytn.com.
Written by Paige Hill for Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.