Amarillo runs on Coffee

The Amarillo Metro area includes 264,345 people and yet there are over 38 coffee shops. This is 1 coffee shop per 6,956 people, not including the fast food locations and coffee shops in gas stations around the Amarillo area.

Some big names in the area include Roasters Coffee and Tea, Palace Coffee Company, Cliffside Coffee, the 806 and others. Amarillo has seen an explosion of interest in our coffee shops and that shows by the increasing amount of shops in the area.

“I like coffee shops that have messages that are rooting for the community,” Tearanee’ Lockhart, a senior broadcast journalism major, said.

You can hardly go anywhere in town without seeing someone walking by with a coffee or tea in their hand. One favorite on campus is Starbucks. There is always a line during lunch and between classes. It is best to plan 30+ minutes ahead if you are wanting to get to class on time in the morning, especially if you have to go to the Agricultural Sciences Complex.

“I keep going back to the 806, because they are a part of the community,” Lockhart said.

Coffee shops share a similar history with soda shops during the beginning of prohibition. Rather than drinking alcohol, people were spending their time drinking soda in a location that felt comfortable and social. Drinking locations still serve today as a social experience for studying or with friends.

Starbucks has 12 different locations around Amarillo. Not all of these locations are stand-alone stores, some are located in United Supermarkets, Market Street, Target and Barnes & Noble.

The local coffee shops with the most locations are a tie between Palace Coffee Company and Roasters Coffee & Tea. Each company has four locations in the Amarillo Metro Area.

Amarillo’s oldest coffee roaster is Roasters Coffee & Tea, founded in 1992, an iconic location within the Amarillo area.

Alejandro “AJ” Mata, a junior political science major and barista at Roasters Coffee & Tea, is from the area and loves his job at Roasters.

“I love working at Roasters because of the amazing people and conversations I get to have every time I clock in,” Mata said. “Also the free coffee.”

Technically, Palace Coffee Company was founded in Canyon. This is the home location listed when they won the America’s Best Coffeehouse National Championship in 2014. During that same year, Roasters Coffee & Tea was inducted into the Amarillo Globe-News Best of Amarillo Hall of fame for best Coffee, which is proudly hung on the wall at their Georgia street location.

Another location on the rise is the 2022 Canyon News Readers Choice Best Coffee House, Journey Coffee. Journey Coffee is a relatively new location to Canyon and the West Texas A&M University community. However, it is located right across the street from the First United Bank Center.

The Amarillo area’s multiple locations of coffee shops shows that coffee is competitive, especially in the High Plains.