Local Market and Coffee Bar unexpectedly closed its doors in March and I became a boy without a coffee shop. While I anxiously await the opening of the Orange Spot Coffeehouse, I went searching for a new place to get my morning joe fix. Thankfully, I stumbled across the Charleston Coffee Exchange in West Ashley.
The shop is easy to miss but only because it is snuggled into the back corner of the Bi-Lo plaza off of Bees Ferry Road at the intersection of Ashley River Road. However, the shop proves that location is not everything. They seem to have a very loyal fan base as I see many of the same faces when I stop in. The baristas are always welcoming, kind, and they remember many of those repeat customers. You always feel at home when you step into the Charleston Coffee Exchange.
The shop brings in A LOT of different coffee beans from all over the world, which are featured prominently at the front of the store. When you walk in, you can see all the various beans nearly spilling out of burlap sacks. It's fun to look at the descriptions and take in the smells of each as you wait for your drink. You can actually purchase these beans in-store or online if you prefer to do your brewing from home.
Besides the typical coffee fare, the Coffee Exchange has varying pastries, teas, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and mroe available each day. It's a wide enough variety to satisfy just about anyone.
My personal favorite has become The Buzz - an iced espresso and milk mixture. It's the perfect drink for me because I love iced coffees with a little extra kick. Even my girlfriend who usually only enjoys mocha-flavored coffees (which are available and delicious as well), liked The Buzz.
If you prefer hot coffees, I recommend the Red Eye which is coffee with a shot of espresso. The best part about all the drinks is that you can pick your own type of coffee. The more popular flavors are always available. Are you Eco-minded? Then bring in your own coffee mug or tumbler, pour your joe, pay and head on out! The drink options are almost limitless, so head in and find a new favorite!
The Charleston Coffee Exchange may be hard to find, but it's certainly a hidden gem. Between the friendly staff and the tasty beverages, there is plenty to like about this local business.