Coffee is life to many people. With the popularity of chains like Starbucks, the environment of the coffee shop is just as important as the beverage selection. Some are willing to travel the country or the world looking for the best brews and the best coffee shop experience. Whether you're looking for a modern, sleek design or a down-to-earth rustic tone, you have plenty of options. Here are a few interesting shops to visit in the United States.

1. Madcap Coffee — Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Madcap Coffee was founded in 2008 by two close friends who have a passion for coffee. The shop roasts coffee in small batches. They also offer tasting flights, serve espresso in snifters to emphasize aromatics, and have implemented a zero waste policy. There are no trash cans in their shops. Instead, cups and mugs are placed in bus bins and all of the trash is sorted into recyclables or compost.

2. Cafe Du Monde — New Oreleans, Louisiana

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Hate the hipster vibe of modern coffee shops? Cafe Du Monde is much more down-to-earth. This landmark has been open since 1862 and is one of the oldest shops in America. It is so popular, you can usually expect at least a half-hour wait. Just head to the take out line to experience the Chicory flavoring and legendary beignets much faster.

3. Little Owl Coffee — Denver, Colorado

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Little Owl Coffee is as close as you can get to an authentic Italian coffee bar in Denver. They serve locally roasted, small-batch beans from Sweet Bloom and Commonwealth. Their espresso drips from a La Marzocco Strada MP machine. They also have more exotic pastry options than most shops, including ham and cheese quiche.

4. Eternity Coffee Roasters — Miami, Florida

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Many shops roast their own beans, but Eternity Coffee Roasters goes so far as to farm theirs. The founders of the shop had a "seed-to-cup" vision that began on their Colombian coffee farm 60 years ago. When they're not serving their Colombian beans, there are single-lot harvests from around the world that have been approved through a blind taste-testing process that ensure the same standards.

5. Saint Frank — San Francisco, California

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Saint Frank is all about providing a calming coffee experience. It is designed for relaxation with blonde oak walls and skylights. You can also more easily see and interact with your barista because their Mod Bar espresso machines are sunk down into the countertop. The founder uses local roasters Ritual for every beverage sold in the shop.

6. Barista Parlor — Nashville, Tennessee

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Barista Parlor features a wood-handled Slayer espresso machine and serves beans from three different roasters, including newer ones like Dogwood and established ones like Intelligentsia. The shop's vibe is completely artisan from uniforms to the furniture. They've also entered into a partnership to open a second location, which will feature a roasters encased in glass and framed with wooden beams reclaimed from the original George Dickel Distillery.

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