National Coffee Day: We’re No. 1…for coffee lovers!

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Sometimes, you just need it.

Maybe it’s the first thing in the morning. You need to rub the sleep out of your eyes, jolt yourself awake for that drive to work or just get the old bones moving at the beginning of the day. Or maybe it’s 3 p.m. and you’re at your desk fading, or your crank level is nearing red due to everything going wrong on that particular day and there’s nothing else that can save you.

Nothing, except for a nice up of joe.

Luckily, you live here.

And you’re doubly lucky you’re here Thursday, which is National Coffee Day.

A new study by the website WalletHub ranked Fort Wayne as the best city in the state for coffee lovers —  well ahead of Indy — and 39th overall in the country.

“Fort Wayne is full of avid coffee consumers, and it’s a town of evolving palates as well,” said Corey Waldron, owner of Conjure Coffee, a new shop which opened last month where Saint Joseph Boulevard and Columbia Avenue splits near downtown.

Like many of the locally owned coffee shops, Waldron’s offers a variety of roasts. He began developing his own roasts about a year and a half ago under the name Fort Roasting and sold them at a farmer’s market stand.

“Craft coffee is kind of like craft beer right now,” he said of its popularity. “We’re getting our first breweries, our first third-wave coffees, it’s all happening together at the same time.”

The Wallethub rankings — Portland, Ore. and Seattle came in at Nos. 1 and 2 — were based on the number of coffee and donut shops per capita, how many have free Wi-Fi, cost of coffee, presence of coffee-centric events within a city and how often those city residents Google “coffee” plus some a few other metrics related to fine roasted brew.

For the last two decades or so, independent and chain coffee shops have sprouted up all over Fort Wayne.

Anyone and everyone can fill their cup with whatever roasts and flavors they like. There are all the standards from the Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and Dunkin’ Donuts of the world. And those wanting more exotic-sounding brews — like the Majestic Bali Kintamani found at Old Crown or the Costa Rica Tarazzu at Conjure Coffee or even Fortezza’s latte art — will find them at the bevy of independent shops which have been popping up conveniently everywhere.

The city’s coffee scene, like some of its coffee, is certainly robust.

So stop at your favorite shop on National Coffee Day. Some shops might have a special or two going on. Plus, it’ll either be that early morning or that mid-afternoon time, or if you’re a night owl, the dawn of the evening.

And you’ll just need it.

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