Alaska recently lost its position as the state with the most coffee shops per capita. It is now in second position. Coffee is year round therapy for the rigors of the extreme climate. In winter, it is a warming comfort and a pick-me-up when the sun stays low. Patrons are pleased to have the option of drive through service which means they do not need to leave their warm cars.

In summer, caffeine is needed to get through the long, summer days. The aromas draw people in to these gathering places where they meet, eat and work. The industry is Anchorage is sophisticated, including an academy, chain stores, wholesalers and equipment sales.

1. Kaladi Brothers Coffee

Kaladi Brothers Coffee
© Kaladi Brothers Coffee

The 'brothers' own 12 outlets in Anchorage, Alaska a few more around Alaska, and have recently opened a branch out of state.

In 1984, Brad Bigelow and a friend started selling coffee in Anchorage from a street cart, that Brad's father had built.

The only other stand in town sold hot dogs. After two years of having to close during winter, they moved indoors and started roasting and selling coffee wholesale.

They opened their first espresso shop and retail outlet in 1988. Their ventures now include a barista academy and an agency that sells and services equipment for the industry. They employ 300 people.

6921 Brayton Dr, Anchorage, AK 99507, Phone: 907-644-7400

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2. Aftershock Espresso LLC

Aftershock Espresso LLC
© Aftershock Espresso LLC

Rosie Klouda, a long-time barista, recently acquired this coffee shop and has made it her own. She serves light breakfasts and burritos in a cozy urban oasis, filled with greenery. Patrons can also choose to order at the drive through. Drinks include coffees, teas, Goldenmilk and 'the Cure' which clears your sinuses. Occasionally there is an open mic evening with live music. Children and pets are welcome.

3201 Minnesota Dr., Anchorage, Phone: 907-258-7465

3. Black Cup

Black Cup
© Black Cup

Perry Merkel was a pioneer of the coffee shop concept in Anchorage. He started his business in 1975 and built it up to include a roasting facility, a wholesale and retail network and multiple cafés. When he retired he sold the enterprise to the Kaladi brothers. He began again, with one shop, a café and a wholesale operation, under the brand name, Black Cup. He sources coffees from around the world, with the emphasis on farm-to-cup transparency, and sells them to coffee shops, retailers and to consumers online.

341 E. Benson Blvd., Anchorage, AK 99503, Phone: 907-274-0026

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4. Dark Horse Coffee Co

Dark Horse Coffee Co
© Dark Horse Coffee Co

This family-owned and run coffee shop is located on the corner of 7th and F Streets. It has been in operation for more than ten years and is renowned for its much sought after oatmeal. They have a certified barista on the staff and serve organic food with their heritage coffee. They sell bananas, granola and bars for energy. as well as assorted pastries, quiches, sandwiches and eggwiches. There are specials on Manic Mondays, Wacky Wednesdays and Frappe Fridays.

646 F Street, Anchorage 99501, Phone: 907-279-0647

5. Goldie's Coffee Roasters

Goldie's Coffee Roasters
© sutichak/

Two sisters, Kristin and Jenna Frederic started this business in 2013. They roast coffee beans in small batches and offer freshly ground and brewed coffee. There is a drive through option for cooler weather. The shop sells ground coffee and branded merchandise.

7725 Old Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99518

6. Jitters Where Coffee Is An Art

Jitters Where Coffee Is An Art
© Jitters Where Coffee Is An Art

Former 6th grade teacher, Dennis Johnson, and his wife Linda, started this coffee shop in 1994. They have been living in the community for more than 35 years. Even after more than two decades, customers still recognize Dennis as their teacher. They serve breakfast burritos, bacon, granola and oatmeal. 'Build your own' sandwiches are sold at lunch time and bagels and pastries at any time. Jitters supports the Partners in Schools programs and also assists local artists by allowing them to use the coffee shop as a gallery. The small community room which seats 30 people is rented out for functions.

11401 Old Glenn Highway, Eagle River 99577, Phone: 907-694-5487

7. Steam Dot Coffee & Espresso Lab

Steam Dot Coffee & Espresso Lab
© Steam Dot Coffee & Espresso Lab

In their list of the best coffee shops in each state, Food & Wine magazine selected Steam Dot to represent Alaska. Their Espresso Lab is their 'mothership' where they sell and serve hand-crafted coffee. Benson Coffee Bar is situated in midtown Anchorage with an entrance on Benson Boulevard. They have a rotating menu of slow brewed and cold brewed coffees. Hillside Café in Abbott Road is their coziest venue, ideal for meeting with friends or studying. Service is quick and there is parking nearby. They sell a range of coffees from their shop, including berry, lemon zest, dark chocolate and caramel flavors.

10950 O’Malley Centre, Suite E Anchorage, AK 99515, Phone: 907-344-4422

More ideas: Alaska Breweries

8. The Kobuk Cafe

The Kobuk Cafe
© The Kobuk Cafe

Situated in a century old wooden building, the espresso bar and bakery serves lunch and soup daily. The pastry case is stacked with donuts, strudel, scones and pies. They also stock imported candies. The gift shop is an emporium, a remnant of the original general dealer store that occupied the building. It sells coffees and teas as well as stationery, soaps, lotions, candles and jewelry. Kobuk Café offers a Tea Party service for special occasions. Customers can also sign up for their Tea of the Month club, which delivers three teas and a sweet treat at the beginning of each month.

504 W. 5th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501, Phone: 907-272-3626

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