Billed as a caffeine-fueled alternative to Asheville’s reputation as a city rife with microbreweries, the creators of Asheville Coffee Tours designed it to showcase the best independent coffee shops. If you’re interested in more than lattes and macchiatos, this is for you. You’ll learn about the manufacturing side of coffee – the roasting, grinding and brewing of the beans – as well as the barista side. Naturally, you’ll also get plenty of chances to sample the goods.
The tour begins at Trade and Lore, where you can try lots of local far, from tea to beer to bagels to drinks that use products from Wholesome Country Creamery, which provides milk and cream in old-fashioned glass bottles. They also keep pastries from Asheville’s famous bakery, The Rue, on hand, so don’t miss that experience. Then hit up The Underground Café, which boasts a major coffee scene as well as a hardcore donut obsession. You’ll also visit South Slope Coffee (among other stops), a specialty micro-roaster that also has an online shop – perfect for those that form an addiction while on the tour. At the end, you’ll even get a bag of beans!
The tour lasts about 2.5 hours and includes stops at some of Asheville’s historic landmarks as well as cafes, so bring your camera. This is the perfect combination sightseeing/coffee-tasting tour, so for those who are new to the area or love a good history lesson, you can make the most of your time here by signing up! Note: If you want a private tour, they are available for groups of four or more.
Because many people on the tour are looking to know Asheville’s foodie scene better, tour guides will also provide tips on local restaurants and other beverage establishments. You might want to stash a notebook and pen in that fanny pack. *wink*
The tour meets every Monday at 10 a.m., every Thursday at 10 a.m. and every Friday at 2 p.m. You can make cancellations up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund, so feel free to book this well in advance and then adjust your schedule accordingly. It’s a good idea since spots fill up fast.
– Asheville, North Carolina has beautiful weather, with sunny skies in winter, cool breezes in spring and sunshine in summer. However, summer thunderstorms do tend to roll in come afternoon, and a clear morning can turn to a stormy day before your tour is over. Make sure to bring a rain slicker or umbrella, despite the 10 o’clock start time of some tours.
– Also note that while this tour is billed as a “weekend” event, it actually takes place on Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays. If, therefore, you are visiting from out of town, make sure to make it a long weekend!
– This is a walking tour as well as a sipping excursion, so you should expect to get some exercise! Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as some of the destinations have stairs or an incline.