Honest Review and ranking of the Top Coffee shops on the Jersey Shore

This is where to find the best coffee in New Jersey.

Hello! My name is Ashleigh and I was born and raised here on the Jersey Shore. I decided it was about time to do a full coffee guide for my home turf!

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I feel that especially from living in New Jersey consistently for the past year now, I have a very good idea of the coffee spots in this area. If you’ve been keeping up with me, I moved back home after my undergraduate degree to prepare for my move to Australia for my masters.

I will mainly be focusing on those coffee shops found in Monmouth County, New Jersey. This guide will be perfect for you if you want to choose the perfect spot to stop by for coffee on a day visiting the beach.

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DISCLAIMER: These are my own opinions – you can choose to agree or disagree with them. I am no coffee expert BUT over time, and exploring many parts of the world, I feel that I have some sort of an eye for what coffee IS and ISN’T worth your money. Everyone has their own right to their opinion 🙂

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Related Posts:

The 3 things I look for when choosing a coffee shop to go to

5 things you NEED to make the best coffee at home

Coffee Selection Guide: how to choose what coffee to buy

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Before we dive into this, here’s a quick background of what I look for and love in a coffee shop.

  1. Quality
  2. Consistency
  3. Atmosphere
  4. Overall Experience

I do have a full post delving into what I look for here.

A decent amount of coffee shops in this area greatly lack consistency and training of their baristas. I have made the decision to not focus on the negatives and instead only focus on my top five spots to grab coffee around here.

Now that the ground rules are down let’s do this!

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5th – Booskerdoo

The atmosphere and menu of Booskerdoo is like a step up from Starbucks & Dunkin Donuts. I’ve had both horrible & okay coffee from here.

Pros: Their strengths is definitely their hot drip or pour over coffee.

Cons: Consistency – as the baristas vary greatly is consistency, I choose stay clear of anything with espresso/frothed milk.

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4th – Rook Coffee

Pros: Rook is good, especially in the summertime, if you’re just after a simple, delicious cold brew. BUT be prepared to wait a decent amount of time in a line (depending on location).

Cons: Consistency – it can vary a lot at times. With the way they prep all their coffee beverages, the slightest mess-up with the coffee ratios & your coffee will be far from perfect.

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3rd – Batch

Batch Coffee is a very new addition to my coffee radar. I first popped by the other week and happily impressed. I will definitely be back (I mean look at this aesthetic)!!!

Pros: The aesthetic is so stunning – bright, boho with lots of plants!

Cons: I haven’t been back yet to try any of their specialty drinks (to check consistency & quality more in depth) – but from first glance a con could be easily be how small the place is. They have seating but everything is very squeezed together. I’m hoping once I go back that they are at least consistent.

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2nd – Cafe Volan

My number two spot to visit for a nice cup of coffee is Cafe Volan. Their atmosphere by FAR is my favorite to get work done. They have lots of room to hang out and whip your laptop out (when we’re not in a pandemic).

Pros: The baristas are VERY consistent. I rarely get a coffee I’m unhappy with.

Cons: This really only applies to the pandemic right now but – their coffee is much better to have there over take away (could also just be since I love the atmosphere of the cafe so much).

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1st – Currant General Store & Coffee Bar

If you’ve been keeping up with me at all over on my instagram I always rave about the quality of Currant‘s coffee!

Pros: Consistency – every barista is very well trained and genuinely cares about the quality of your coffee. I am always so impressed with the little things they do to ensure consistency & quality (measuring out the weight of each espresso shot, timing pour over brews, frothing milk, the list goes on…).

Cons: Very limited seating -the dream would be for them to expand somehow & have a whole separate section just dedicated to seating (lots of productivity)!

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Posts to read next:

The 3 things I look for when choosing a coffee shop to go to

5 things you NEED to make the best coffee at home

Coffee Selection Guide: how to choose what coffee to buy

Thanks so much for checking this post out! Genuinely means so much to me 🙂

Lots of love,

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year-round Jersey Shore top spots

In the lines of coming to terms with my departure (where am I going?? check this out), I felt the need to stop by some of my favorite places while at home.

They range from cats to coffee (my two loves), enjoy!

1.Catsbury Park – Asbury Park, NJ.thumb_IMG_3626_1024“Catsbury Park” is a word play on the town it resides in, Asbury Park. It is a cat cafe that opened up in Sept. 2017.

My impression from the beginning: the employees’ main concern was making the building clean and comfortable for the resident cats, while also showcasing them to help them find a permanent home. All the cats living there are adoptable, and are from local animal shelters around Monmouth County. Most of the cats get adopted within 2-3 weeks (which is insane).

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thumb_IMG_3367_1024The cafe is split into two parts: the cafe and the cat room. The cafe offers tea, coffee, snacks and soups, with some vegan and gluten free options. thumb_IMG_3364_1024thumb_IMG_3624_1024The cat room does have an admissions fee (current fees can be found here) but was totally worth it. Around the cafe, were signs mentioning exactly what the fee and anything purchased at the cafe is used for (an example is a 25$ t-shirt they sell, can feed and provide care for a cat for a whole week). They do recommend booking ahead as there is limited space in the cat room. All bookings can be made on their website.

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thumb_IMG_3427_1024thumb_IMG_3490_1024Although, if you chose not to go into the cat room, the cafe is free to enter and you can easily view the cats while grabbing a hot drink to-go. thumb_IMG_3515_1024The staff was very welcoming and really informative about each of the 17 cats’ personalities. Different areas of the room had a “Catsbury Park” take on well known Asbury landmarks (with some hidden spots for the cats too)! thumb_IMG_3521_1024thumb_IMG_3421_1024thumb_IMG_3533_1024thumb_IMG_3608_1024I found it really fun and relaxing to spend time surrounded by little bundles of energy (with occasional cuddles).

2.Crust & Crumble – Asbury Park, NJthumb_IMG_3627_1024Next up is a pizza place and bakery located just down the street from Catsbury Park. An awesome fact is they have an entire vegan menu with loads of options.thumb_IMG_3629_1024They do have a massive regular menu as well, serving pizza, sandwiches, pasta, etc. I found the atmosphere to be warm with a retro feel (very Asbury Park-like).thumb_IMG_3631_1024thumb_IMG_3632_1024aaaaaaaand the pizza is to-die for, just saying.

3.Rook CoffeeMultiple locations throughout the Jersey Shore. Once you are hooked on Rook, well… you’re hooked for life. thumb_IMG_3649_1024Rook focuses on quality, simplicity and experience. The menu is very  straightforward, and I now understand why people are so obsessed. Their stores do not have seating areas, as they revolve around a more upbeat, on the go environment. thumb_IMG_3650_1024Personally, I prefer a less sweet, stronger coffee-taste and they never disappoint; they always give a flavorful cup of coffee.

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4.Broad Street Dough Co. – Oakhurst, NJ thumb_IMG_3635_1024Come here if you want fresh, cake-y donuts, with options that will blow your mind. A majority of the menu is vegan, or does have vegan substitutions. thumb_IMG_3642_1024thumb_IMG_3644_1024Each time I visit, there are new specials displayed behind the counter. They also create custom doughnut concoctions for special occasions (their website can be viewed here).thumb_IMG_3640_1024Let me remind you.

They are made fresh to order.

genius.

Although I created this blog to document my time abroad, I felt my at-home preparation is important to fill in the gaps of my personal story.

I am looking forward to documenting my journey. All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you.

Lots of love,

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