Coffee is a pretty significant part of American culture. Every coffee lover has a unique relationship to the beverage, and most people would agree that there aren't a lot of things more disappointing than paying for terrible coffee. Using mobile apps to find great local coffee is a growing way to avoid that morning heartbreak of a bad cup of coffee.
More and more mobile applications are being developed to help users find the best tasting coffee in their area. Although people's coffee preferences differ, user reviews offer third-party recommendations, which are quite a lot more reliable than a commercial advertisement. Users can see what people like about the different coffee options, to better decide which coffee house would best match their tastes.
Blue Crow Media Apps
Blue Crow Media are among the most promising smaller developers, coming out with mobile apps to locate coffee houses. These developers are building indexes of cafes around the world, to help users locate the best coffee in their area. They have specific apps available for most major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco.
New York's Best Coffee App was developed by Blue Crow Media for New Yorkers, and currently includes 75 coffee shops to choose from. The cafes included in this app were hand-picked by the developers. The app uses your phone's geolocation to suggest nearby cafes, including their hours, in-depth reviews, featured coffee and whether or not the place has Wi-Fi available.
Yelp and Google
Yelp and Google Search are still great sources, especially for users without a dedicated coffee-finding application in their area. The user reviews on Yelp are typically reliable and easy to comprehend. Due to the vast number of Yelp and Google users, there are likely a few more incoherent and unhelpful reviews than some of the other mobile apps. However, the larger numbers also means a larger base of opinions to go off of, which can be a good thing.
Yelp also tends to list more of the facilities in the area, giving the user a chance at trying somewhere they might not have known about using a smaller database.
Many coffee enthusiasts, and let's face it, coffee snobs, have a real issue with Starbucks. A majority of the complaints have to do with lazy baristas, poor quality coffee and high prices. However, there is no denying that Starbucks remains a titan among other national food retailers. The Starbucks App is free for all Android and Apple devices, and much more sophisticated than some of the smaller developers. Users can link their app with a Starbucks card, and use their phone to pay for drinks.
Linking your card to the app only takes about five minutes, and it allows the barista to scan your smart phone to pay for beverages or other products from the chain. Using your app to make purchases also earns you reward points which can go toward freebies and discounts in the store. As an added bonus for taking the time to link your card to the app, Starbucks will buy you a free drink on your birthday.