My first-ever visit to Miami was in February 2017, when I called in on the wonderful Panther Coffee. Back then, I wrote about the roasting side of the business, the Wynwood branch doubling (for now) as the roastery. Today it’s the turn of the Wynwood branch to feature as a Coffee Spot in its own right.
Set back from the busy 2nd Avenue, Wynwood occupies a free-standing, single-storey building, with a large outdoor seating area, perhaps three times the size of the interior. Much of this is centred on a lovely, old tree, which, I imagine, provides much-needed shade in the summer.
Inside, the counter shares the space with the roaster, although Panther has plans to move to a new roasting facility, so it may not be there for much longer. There’s seating opposite the counter and in an annex to the right of the door, but I suspect that most people choose to sit outside.
Panther serves its East Coast and West Coast espresso blends from a concise menu thankfully lacking the buckets-of-milk sizes. There are seven single-origins available through a variety of (filter) brew-methods, plus bulk-brew and cold brew, along with a selection of cakes/cookies.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
On the corner of 2nd Avenue/24th Street, Panther Coffee’s quite obvious if approached via the main drag of 2nd Avenue. However, it’s less obvious when arriving by taxi from the west, through a neighbourhood, that, it has to be said, isn’t promising. My driver was reluctant to set me down, but I (or rather, Google Maps) insisted that Panther was there, and, indeed, there it was.
Wynwood is Panther’s original location, the first of three branches, which opened five years ago. Stretching along 2nd Avenue, it occupies a plot about three times as wide as it is deep, dimensions that mirror the squat, rectangular building which is at the back on the left. Approaching from 24th Street, you arrive at the far end of the outdoor seating. Alternatively, from 2nd Avenue, you walk the short distance across the seating area to the door, which is straight ahead of you.
The seating is split into two areas. To the left, an old tree provides the focal point, surrounded on all sides by a rectangular, concrete-topped table. This doesn’t quite meet on the right-hand side, leaving a gap which allows you into the middle, so you can sit on the inside too. A neat feature is that it’s equipped with power sockets, seating provided by benches/chairs. Beyond this, the left-hand boundary is marked by a tall planter, a stand-up concrete bar running its length.
To the right, extending to 24th Street, are a series of concrete benches, some with low coffee tables, formed into self-contained bays. There are two small ones at the back, while there are three at the front, separated from the pavement by low planters. Other than the tree, a few sunshades provide relief from the sun, while a row of tall shrubs separates the seating at the back from the parking lot, which sits behind Panther Coffee.
The door’s on the right, with a large window to the right of that. There is also a door to the left which you can leave from, creating a natural flow, although I noticed that some people used both. If you enter on the right, you’ll find the counter ahead of you to your left. You order here, then slide over to the left, past the espresso machine, where you collect your coffee. This leaves you standing next to the roastery which is behind nothing more than a waist-high barrier.
There’s not much seating inside, just an annex to the right of the door, with a handful of tables and a window-bar, plus a long, thin, tall communal table opposite the counter, running along the front of the store between the doors.
Panther offers single-origins through cafetiere, Clever Dripper, Kalita Wave and Chemex, with between six and nine seasonal offerings. For more details, please see the Meet the Roaster feature. I, however, ordered the espresso flight, which was a shot of each of the East and West Coast blends.
Each was served with a glass of sparkling water and both were excellent. The East Coast was very traditional, with a nicely-balanced first sip. The West Coast was more citrus, but still well-balanced, although very much a front-of-the-mouth taste. Initially, I preferred the East Coast, but as they cooled, the West Coast really came into its own, suggesting a much deeper complexity.
December 2017: Panther Coffee has won the 2017 Best Overseas Coffee Spot Award.
January 2018: you can see what I made of Panther Coffee’s Coconut Grove branch. I also called in to the origin in Wynwood and was pleased to see that little had changed.
|2390 NW 2ND AVENUE • MIAMI • FL 33127 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 21:00||Roaster||Panther (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 21:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bar; Tables, Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 21:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 21:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 21:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 21:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 21:00||Power||Yes (outside too!)|
|Chain||Local||Visits||9th February 2017, 27th January 2018|
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