Marietta Square: The servers behind the counter have full sleeve tattoos and gaged earrings. Otis Redding is playing on the radio and is followed up by Mastodon’s new album Crack the Skye in its entirety. The walls are decorated with landscape photographs, jewelry, and various postmodern art. The western wall of windows feeds the room with sunlight, which permits a minimal amount of florescent pollution that is easy on the eyes. Four people walk by with multi-colored hair and sit down at a tile covered, circular table and chat mildly for 30 minutes. This place could double as a record store, but Cool Beans Coffee Roasters has a slightly different purpose: to serve the freshest coffee in Atlanta.
At Cool Beans Coffee Roasters, located at 31 Mill St. in Marietta Square, the people are as eclectic as the coffee beans. Your barista may look like your neighbor’s 19-year-old daughter or an ex-rock star’s roadie. There is no dress code, and loitering is welcomed, but “attitude is everything………..we like to make this a chill atmosphere where you can just hang out, you know,” says Adam Cox, a 4-year veteran barista of Cool Beans.
Unlike most commercial coffee shops, this privately owned beanery roasts all of its coffee beans in-house in “Big Red,” a Sasa Samiac coffee roasting machine manufactured in France. Beans are ordered raw from around the world and are roasted in the main area for all to see. “We roast a new batch of beans two to three times a week, depending on the demand,” explains Jon Carp, a Cool Beans employee. “The process varies depending on the beans that we are cooking. Different beans cook at different temperatures at different lengths of time.”
Another feature that separates Cool Beans from any other coffee shop is the coffee selection. “The house blend changes daily, so the customer gets a different coffee experience every time they come in,” says Cox. This means on Friday you could have the choice of Columbian, the decaf Ethiopian blend, or the iced coffee from Costa Rica; but on Saturday, the regular house blend would be Brazilian, the decaf from Peru, and the iced coffee from Kenya.
One of the biggest weekend draws for Cool Beans is that it hosts local musicians every Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. “Anyone can sign up, but they have to do it way in advance because slots fill up quickly,” says Danielle Chapman, a newly hired employee. In addition, all of the photographs, paintings and crafts made by local artists are priced and ready for purchase, without an expensive exhibit fee.
It seems that Cool Beans is one of the hottest spot on the Square. With almost 20 years of experience, Cool Beans is one of the premier spots on Marietta Square. Kevin George, a long-time customer, would vouch for that. “I’ve been coming here for years, I love the environment and I love the people.” As a customer-friendly environment that caters to people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds you can safely assume that Cool Beans Coffee Roasters will remain one of Marietta’s foremost attractions and gathering-spots in the future.