Pittsburgh’s quirkiest and most diverse local coffee, tea shops


Amaya Lobato | For the Pitt News

Pastries on a counter in Big Dog Coffee in South Side.

By Sarah Demchak, Staff Writer

The midterm season eerily daunts Pitt students with long library nights and overwhelming work-filled schedules — and caffeine is a college student diet staple to help boost energy for hours of studying. Check out these six local Pittsburgh coffee and tea spots to fuel your caffeine addiction and to find a new favorite study spot — or study break.

Redhawk Coffee

Located right in Oakland on Meyran Avenue, Redhawk Coffee offers Pitt students coffee from beans from around the world. From Mexico and El Salvador to Ethiopia and Guatemala, this shop provides customers with a variety of coffee flavors. For those who fall in love with a specific bean, they can also buy a bag to bring home.

On their website, Redhawk provides in-depth information about each exotic bean, including the farm, processing method, elevation, region and tasting notes. Redhawk provides a customizable experience when shopping for coffee by directing their customers to the drink perfect for them. On the site, users can choose their flavor preference and drinking method to find the coffee bean that suits them best.

Mosaic Leaf Matcha Tea Bar

For those who aren’t big fans of coffee, check out Mosaic Leaf Matcha Tea Bar. Located in Lawrenceville on Butler Street, Pittsburgh’s first matcha tea bar offers a wide selection of matcha blends. With matcha tea as their specialty, this shop experiments with new tastes, botanical infusions, traditional preparation and modern lattes. Mosaic Leaf also offers in-house tea Mocktails and kombucha along with their artisan matcha blends.

The small space provides students with a cute study spot as well. The greenery, brick wall and aesthetic-looking glasses make for a relaxing homework sesh — or Instagram picture!

de Fer Coffee & Tea

Retro espresso machines, bright colored tea plates and mosaic patterned tables — de Fer Coffee & Tea provides students with a fun and fresh space to explore. The small business has multiple locations throughout Pittsburgh such as the Strip District, Highline, Riviera and Market Square.

For those 21 and over, de Fer offers coffee cocktails like espresso martinis and bourbon-spiked coffee, but the shop provides more than just coffee and cocktails — they host events as well. From Trivia Tuesdays and live music to various tastings, de Fer creates a well-rounded community in their little shop.

Big Dog Coffee

Has the Pittsburgh winter become too cold to handle? Check out Big Dog Coffee in Southside on Sarah Street for a toasty fireplace and a hot, aesthetic-looking latte. The warm lights and big front windows invite students in to enjoy a big mug of their favorite beverage and a pastry. From oatmeal bars and croissants to a variety of cookies, the shop offers customers a plethora of sweet goodies to go with their beverage.

As we all know, Pittsburgh weather is quite unpredictable with a snowstorm one day and sunny and 60 degrees the next. Big Dog Coffee has a lovely brick patio filled with various plants outside to enjoy the unpredictable weather.

Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea

Voted Pittsburgh’s best coffee shop for multiple years, Prestogeorge Coffee & Tea has a wide variety of drinks. They offer more than 200 coffees and 300 loose leaf teas and herbs. Located on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, the shop offers exotic beans for everyone’s taste buds.

The industrial coffee roaster machine and hundreds of bean and leaf filled jars add to the overall rustic ambiance in the shop. Customers can purchase a beverage in store or a bag of coffee beans or tea leaves to bring home from their giant selection.

Kickback Pinball Cafe

Coffee, milkshakes, sandwiches, pinball — oh my! Located in Lawrenceville on Butler Street, Kickback’s quirky atmosphere offers students caffeinated beverages and retro arcade fun. The bold colors, bright pinball machines and reasonably priced drinks are the perfect combination for a study break with friends.

Unlike most coffee and tea shops, Kickback is open until 11 p.m. every night except Sundays. If the study grind is heading late into the night, head to Lawrenceville to get that caffeine boost to stay up for that midterm.