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Ode to joe: Locals recommend their favorite places to grab coffee in Manatee County

It’s 2019. Time to pull those old plans, hopes and dreams down from the shelf and brush them off in the light of a new year.

But first, how about a cup of coffee?

The refreshment is an eternal comfort in times of change, giving us all the zip to get up and keep going each day.

Making coffee on the cheap at home is great. But sometimes, there’s nothing like the expert touch and comforting atmosphere of a local cafe.

Coffee shops are a place to fuel up and get inspired; a community hub for meeting, studying, socializing, crossing paths and, of course, getting caffeinated.

We asked the Bradenton Herald Facebook group “Manatee Eats” for the best local coffee shops and stops in Manatee County.

Here’s where they recommend (Dunkin’ and Starbucks not included):

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Lauri Contarino speaks with customers through the teller window at her new walk-up coffee spot. Tellers also offers vegan deli-style grab and go foods, and a beer and wine garden is coming soon. Ryan Callihan rcallihan@bradenton.com

Tellers

Located in downtown Bradenton, Tellers is a walk-up coffee counter offering quality brews and vegan snacks at reasonable prices.

Co-owners Lauri Contarino and Erica McCreadie renovated a portion of a former bank building to create the micro coffee-making space and transformed drive-thru lanes into an outdoor patio.

Drink options ranging from $2 to $4 include simple drip coffee, iced coffee, espresso, macchiato, cappuccino and lattes.

Nitro cold brew, a strong coffee infused with nitrogen for an extra smooth and beer-like consistency, tops off the coffee menu at $4.

Tellers’ beverages are made by experienced coffee-makers using beans from La Colombe Coffee Roasters as well as local roasters Cosmos Coffee Company.

Since opening last summer, the spot has quickly gained a following of local coffee fanatics, and there’s more to come — a beer and wine garden is set to open soon.

Address: Tellers is at 1201 Sixth Ave. W. in Bradenton.

Info: facebook.com/TellersBradentonFl.

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Land of a Thousand Hills

Land of a Thousand Hills encourages customers to make the most of their caffeine kick with the mantra “Drink coffee, do good.”

Bradenton is lucky to be home to one of the roaster’s nine locations nationwide, where drinks are brewed with freshly roasted and ground Rwandan beans that offer a unique flavor profile.

Proceeds from the coffee shops support a non-profit that aids Rwandan coffee farmers and their communities, so you can get jazzed on java and doing something positive, too.

Address: Land of a Thousand Hills is at 1822 59th St. W. in Bradenton.

Info: landofathousandhills.com.

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A latte at Mountain Comforts Coffee Café. Mountain Comforts Coffee Café

Mountain Comforts Coffee Café

Mountain Comforts Coffee Café offers hot and cold coffee drinks with a tasty choice of international roasts, including Jamaican, Costa Rican, Columbian and South American blends.

You can also buy your favorite blends to go in half-pound or full-pound bags.

If you come for the coffee, stay for the cafe’s other offerings including smoothies, fresh-baked treats and full breakfast and lunch menus.

“Nothing fancy ... it’s all just good,” the shop’s website says.

Address: Mountain Comforts Coffee Café is at 3550 53rd Ave. W. in Bradenton.

Info: mountaincomfortscoffee.com.

Oscura Café & Bar

Another newcomer to downtown Bradenton, Oscura Café & Bar is winning over the coffee crowd with a minimal space and modern approach to coffee-making.

The drink menu spans favorite espresso and coffee drinks plus some curve balls like the “Affogato” (espresso poured over vanilla custard) and “Coffee Soda” (cold brew, sparkling water, orange and magic).

Oscura also offers beer, wine, baked goods and a simple menu of salads and sandwiches.

Address: Oscura Café & Bar is at 540 13th St. W. in Bradenton.

Info: oscuracafe.com.

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Other recommendations:

The B’Towne Coffee Co., 440 12th St. W., Bradenton

Java ‘n Jive, 815 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto

Island Coffee Haus, 5350 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach

Mocha Joe’s Café, 3633 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

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