Listen, we know. Getting up and going in the morning or making it through the day isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Luckily there’s a quick and delicious remedy: Coffee. Whether you favor a fresh pot of black coffee, a pumpkin spice latte, or a refreshing cold brew, there’s one place you can guarantee you’ll always be able to get that much-needed caffeine fix: at a chain coffee house. So, we sought out the best coffee chains in America and ranked them.
For the Best Coffee Chains in America Ranking, click here.
To determine the best coffee chains in America, first we designated what, exactly, makes a series of coffee houses, cafes, or breakfast spots a chain. We determined the barrier for chain status was at least 25 locations and a presence in multiple states. Next, we analyzed four other factors and compared them. First, how do these chains source, produce, and serve their coffee? How does that coffee taste and how big of a café menu do they have? Secondly, we looked at other items offered on the menu. Can you get a breakfast sandwich or doughnut with your morning coffee? Can you get a salad along with that midday pick-me-up? Thirdly, we looked at rewards programs. How beneficial is it to be a returning customer and how does the chain treat its most loyal fans? Finally, we looked at the number of locations and how accessible these coffee chains are to the average American.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, though. Sure, on this list you’ll find those ubiquitous spots, your Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton’s, and Starbucks. But regional chains, like La Colombe, PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, and Tully’s Coffee also made the cut. We also did not discriminate based on prestige or price. There’s just as much value to a $2 grab-and-go cup of pour-over coffee as there is in an artisanal latte or breve that was hand-roasted and is meant to be savored. So maybe head to a coffee house yourself, relax with a drink and a bite, and check out our ranking of the best coffee chains in America.